ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – For the sixth year in a row, Presbyterian Healthcare Services held multiple Days of Service throughout the month of October to help New Mexico kids learn how much fun it can be to stay active and eat healthfully.
Part of Presbyterian's commitment to improving the health of the New Mexicans we serve, the annual tradition brought more than 500 Presbyterian staff and leaders to 27 schools across the state -- serving nearly 10,900 children in Central New Mexico alone -- as well as to health fairs and food pantries.
"Day of Service fits in perfectly with Presbyterian's purpose to improve the health of the communities we serve," said Leigh Caswell, Director, Presbyterian Center for Community Health. "It is an amazing chance for us to share our community health priorities of healthy eating and active living with children across the state. And spending the day dancing and learning with kids is just incredibly fun."
This year, most schools in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho participated in dancing, stretching and fun activities related to healthy eating. Staff with NDI New Mexico collaborated on dance activities.
At other sites, Presbyterian staff tailored activities to focus on areas such as bullying prevention or avoiding tobacco. Staff at Plains Regional Medical Center in Clovis organized obstacle courses, hand hygiene stations and cooking demos during the community's annual Farm Safety Days, while at Chimayo Elementary staff from Presbyterian Espanola Hospital focused on smoking prevention and activities like hula hooping.
The Day of Service visit with Presbyterian Rust Medical Center staff is always a great experience for kids at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary in Rio Rancho, said Principal Janna Chenault.
"Every year we look forward to Presbyterian's Day of Service, "said Chenault. "Our students engage in physical activities that engage the mind and body. Students are excited to interact with the hospital staff and learn about ways to make their bodies and minds stronger. The staff from Rust are energetic, engaging and bursting with ideas. To answer questions from 900 students takes a lot of patience, poise and practice! We are blessed to have Rust as a community partner, promoting health and wellness for our students."
About Presbyterian Healthcare Services
Presbyterian Healthcare Services exists to improve the health of patients, members and the communities we serve. Presbyterian is a locally owned, not-for-profit healthcare system of eight hospitals, a statewide health plan and a growing multi-specialty medical group. Founded in New Mexico in 1908, it is the state's largest private employer with more than 11,000 employees.