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When Every Beat Counts, JCC Baltimore wins big

JCC Association-Hadassah partnership brings heart-healthy program to JCCs

On July 28, a heart healthy program aimed at women created by the JCC of Greater Baltimore and the local PRAZE division of Hadassah will be recognized by the national organization for excellence at its 2016 convention.

The JCC has already held four programs in conjunction with the local Hadassah chapter to raise awareness for women’s heart health. It is part of a wider collaboration between JCC Association and national Hadassah that allows JCCs to use Hadassah’s heart healthy content, and requires local JCCs and Hadassah chapters to work together on the programming.

The first program in February had nearly 100 people sign up, and despite a near whiteout snowstorm, still managed to attract 60 participants. An event in May was tailored around Mother’s Day to provide information about heart attack symptoms, risk and prevention for women. There has also been a health fair and a heart healthy cooking class. The JCC and Hadassah worked with LifeBridge Health, a local hospital network in the Baltimore area, to create programs that would provide expert health information in an appealing format that included mediation, a shopping boutique and massages.

“This is letting us reach the members here in the JCC, but it also exemplifies ways we can reach out to other agencies and reach more people through them,” says Gail Wolven, community wellness coordinator for LifeBridge health who works closely with the JCC to bring health experts to the JCC, and helped create the program with the JCC and Hadassah.

“Because of these partnerships, it really opens other doors. It’s truly exciting and it makes me feel good that not only are we meeting the needs of the JCC but are also able to reach more in the community.”

Every Beat Counts was part of a phase one partnership between Hadassah and JCC Association, which piloted the national organization’s program to several JCCs in October 2015. The Baltimore JCC, JCC Chicago and MetroWest JCC in West Orange, N.J. were among the JCCs included in the pilot.

“We’re really pleased with the success of phase one and what each JCC was able to do with the program,” says Steve Becker, JCC Association vice president, health and wellness services. “It’s a great model for JCC Association in partnering with other national organizations and a great model for JCCs, which then partner with local affiliates.”

MetroWest held their Every Beat Counts event in February, attracting about 100 people to an informational program on heart health. JCC Chicago’s event is still in the planning phase.

JCC Association is beginning to recruit for a second cohort of JCCs to participate in the Hadassah program.

For more information about the program contact Steve Becker.

“Eventually we’d like to offer this to all our JCCs,” says Becker. “It’s a natural partnership, bringing Hadassah’s recognized program to a receptive audience, with access to all the wellness and fitness programming a JCC can provide.”

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