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Core-munity Health & Wellness Initiative

Thank You Core-Munity!

On Wednesday, August 23, 2017 the Core Lab along with various laboratories within the Pathology Department showed up and showed out by participating in the first ever Healthy to the Core Gardener's & Crafter's Market. This event would not have been successful without the Team Leaders, volunteers, vendors and participants. This one-day event garnered $900 total of which $500 will go directly to Healthcare for the Homeless. This event highlighted health education, healthy eating, diversity, skills and talents, comradery between labs, charitable giving and so much more. The vendors included staff from HIV, Kennedy Krieger, PDS, and Core Lab. Retired lab employees along with former employees as far away as New York came back to lend a hand. We had several staff members provide in-kind contributions and outside corporate sponsors. There were so many staff members just wanting to be part of the event which made the event a lot of fun. Again, my heartfelt thanks to all of you for your commitment to this worthy cause. God bless you all.

With warmest regards, I am
Yolanda Drake


View the slideshow below to see pictures from this event.

Core-munity Background +
The Core-Munity Health & Wellness Corner (now dubbed Initiative) (CH&W) was created in February 2016. The Core Lab Weekenders, a brain child of Yolanda Drake, a Lab Technician in the Core Laboratory, was a small fellowship group. The Weekenders started out as an effort to promote diversity and community fellowship within the Core Laboratory for employees working on weekends. Activities such as the Healthy Breakfast and a financial seminar co-sponsored by Lincoln Financial were two events that gathered people together and provided health promotion and education.

The CH&W Corner bloomed from a small health education board in the corner of the breakroom to providing continuing education credits, health education documentaries and staff presentations. These health promotional activities were sanctioned and supported by Core Lab leadership, an important component of the initiative. The CH&W's reception was so well received that it brought about dialogue and individual actions by employees. Employees began to assess and discuss their current health lifestyles, i.e., nutrition and exercise. From those conversations, a morning breakfast group called the Chat N' Chew emerged. At mid-year, the CH&W had an all-time high continuing education attendance of 61 employees in one month.

Increased interest about health matters has challenged CH&W to expand its health promotion initiative to include 1 to 2 minute bench-side (stretch) exercises (BEX) and Unplugged, a meditation exercise that promotes stress reduction. Another core-opportunity event called Healthy to the Core Gardener's & Crafter's Market is an occasion for staff to showcase their personal talents, promote employee wellness, provide healthy eating awareness, increase health education, and offers an opportunity for employee blending on a community level. This event is being planned for mid-August, 2017. The mission of the CH&W is to provide support for employees who wish to learn how to incorporate best health practices into their workplace experience in general and into their personal lives in particular. Yolanda subscribes to a belief that a healthy worker is a content worker; thus a content worker is also productive worker providing optimum care for patients throughout Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.
Core-munity Organizer +
Yolanda Drake has a Masters of Science in Healthcare Administration with a specialization in Education and a Masters of Arts in Psychology with an emphasis in Health Education and Wellness Promotion.


Healthy to the Core 2017 +

Healthy to the Core
On Wednesday, August 23, 2017 the Core Lab will be focusing on charitable giving while practicing diversity, inclusion, collegiality and health education mindfulness. The Core-Munity Health & Wellness (CH&W) program along with the Department of Pathology are sponsors of this one-day, 3 shift healthcare event. Healthy at Hopkins, the health and wellness arm of Johns Hopkins Medicine has partnered with CH&W by providing advertisement and educational literature for the affair. The CH&W program has been in existence since January, 2016 and offers continuing education presentations aimed at promoting attentiveness to public health issues; in additional CH&W promotes wellness activities that foster employee engagement in the workplace. Out of this initiative the "Healthy to the Core" market has emerged where employee talents and skills in organic gardening and homemade crafts are showcased. Health education is an integral part of CH&W's mission, therefore, seizing every opportunity to inform the public about the current health issues is of significant importance. In addition to this objective, the event seeks to connect customers to lab service providers. With the primary goal of the event being charity, attendees are encouraged to assist the CH&W program in donating to a community organization reliant on donor support to create a healthy and safe environment for its clients.

The charity that Healthy to the Core has chosen is Healthcare for the Homeless, an organization located in Downtown Baltimore City with sites in the greater suburban Baltimore area. The organization’s clients are our neighbors, family, and co-workers who would otherwise suffer due to the lack of medical resources and attention. Those people are but for the sake of God, us! They are people who have led productive lives, yet have unfortunately fallen on hard times. The CH&W program believes that the larger community is only as strong as its weakest member. We believe that lending a helping hand is not only the right thing to do, but necessary.

As a society and as individuals, the value of life should not be determined by our net worth but by the unspoken worth of our fellow human beings. On August 23, 2017 - you will have an opportunity to make a difference in someone else's life.

For July +

Many of us take for granted how the simplest of things operate; like talking on a wireless phone to someone on the other side of the Atlantic ocean, or wondering how a large Boeing aircraft carrying over 400 people can sustains itself in the sky for long periods of time, or how we can see images from across the globe in real time. With the exception of the experts, many of us give very little thought to how it happens. We just know it happens- like being born into the television, computer or cell phone age we just accept that that is the way it is.

Cord blood can be looked at as the same phenomena. Mothers just assume it is a necessary attachment that helps to nourish the baby until birth. But lo and behold, cord blood has been linked to a variety of successful cell infused regenerations. And now parents are storing their cord blood for future use. Yet, just like a coin, there are two sides to this story.

The ability to use the human umbilical cord blood in the regeneration, rejuvenation and reconnection of healthy cells back to the body is this month's focus. Core-Munity Health & Wellness looks at both sides of cord blood storage and stem cell research coin. Join us this month as we examine, during bench-side chats that look at our values and belief systems regarding this science that many of us simple take for granted. Check the CH&W bulletin board for video schedule and Peer-reviewed articles for CE credits.

Thanks--- and have a safe July.

For June +

To commemorate Men's Health Month and pay tribute to our co-workers who are fathers, the continuing education for June is focused on prostate cancer; an illness that is gaining significant attention in the over-40 male population. June's initiative highlights the importance of men's health as it relates to prostate cancer. Each month the board reflects the latest information on the topic of the month. The board provides nutritional information, humor related to health topic as well as monthly tidbits of inspiration or motivational quotes. The Core-Munity Health & Wellness (CH&W) initiative continues to encourage staff to take advantage of its 2 minute BEX (bench-side stretch exercise) program along with its newly rolled-out program called Unplugged. A place to go for a moment of quiet reflection and meditation. The session is powered by a beautiful zen-type audio/visual video that allows the mind and body to relax in a serene atmosphere.

June Pic 1
June Pic 2
June Pic 3
June Pic 4

CH&W understands that employees who come to serve; need to be served as well. Due to the altruistic nature of health care providers, there is a tendency to regard personal health as least important, thus preventable illnesses go undetected until the employee become the patient.

The CH&W initiative strives to support employees by providing useful information in the form of health education and alternative lifestyle choices. These initiatives are provided in the form of health promotion in an environment in which mental and physical challenges are pre-imminent.

For May +

May's bulletin theme is "Healthy Lives Matter." It does not matter what a person's station is in life; whether they are old, young, rich, poor, male, female, gay, straight, black or white, urban, suburban or rural; whether they are first line service workers or top managers, they all require a level of good health to not only survive, but to thrive. As humans, they are all responsible for themselves as well as their brothers, sisters and children-- at home, in their communities, and within their industry. That's what separates people who care from those who do not concern for themselves and service to others. Healthier, they truly are stronger.