VELAS Health & Wellness Program
The Health & Wellness Program was launched in November 2006 with a series of health classes and demonstrations, spearheaded by VELAS Community Partners and Volunteers, which take place on the second Saturday of the month at the East Los Angeles Farmers Market. They are designed to educate families about health issues, services and resources. The program seeks to empower community residents by providing the knowledge and tools to keep themselves and their families healthy, by connecting the public directly to community service providers and educators.
The Health and Wellness program at the East Los Angeles Farmers Market provides direct services and resources to families. Community members are part of an on-going cooking demonstration and learn how to make healthier, more varied, practical recipes for their families to increase their daily fruit and vegetable intake. They also receive educational literature on the importance of eating fruits and vegetables and physical activity. Parents learn about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease management through an interactive class which includes a PowerPoint presentation, questions and answers session, surveys, quizzes and respiratory exercises lead by a registered respiratory technician. Market customers also gain awareness about access to affordable health care services and health insurance for the whole family and receive free health screenings, including: blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. Other Health & Wellness events include memory loss assessment surveys and services, as well as family planning education and resources.
VELA has secured the partnership and support of local businesses and agencies, such as UCCE Network for a Healthy California, Latino Campaign, Breathe CA of Los Angeles County, East Los Angeles College Respiratory Technicians’ Club, Clínica Médica Su Casa, USC Keck School of Medicine, Memory and Aging Center, LCHW Institute, among others, to collectively address the most pressing issues affecting the East Los Angeles community today. The Health & Wellness Program has served over 1,000 community residents.
Volunteering for the Health & Wellness Program
Volunteering for the Health & Wellness Program gives an individual valuable insight about the health disparities affecting the East Los Angeles Community. It also empowers the volunteer to advocate for his or her community and it provides valuable skills for a career in the health field or social services. The activities needed to run this program effectively, include: signing up families for classes, assisting in developing the Program Calendar, assisting with registration, surveys and distribution of educational literature.
To become a VELA Volunteer, Click Here.