First Choice Launches Wellness Trail at South Valley Commons
Costume Parade, Healthy Snacks Featured Along Trail
Albuquerque – First Choice Community Healthcare is launching a Wellness Trail around the South Valley Commons campus to make walking for better health that much easier for patients, neighbors and clinic staff.
The Wellness Trail is part of the Healthy Here initiative of the Bernalillo County Community Health Council, and is supported with CDC funding, contributions and other resources from Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Health Matters New Mexico, Bernalillo County, and other partners.
The 1/2 mile loop is the first of several trails that are planned on the 20-acre campus, where 10-acres are slated for future development of an expanded South Valley Wellness Ecosystem. The trailhead is located just outside the entrance of the South Valley Health Commons clinic, which serves 20,000 patients annually. It loops around Bernalillo County’s Armijo Senior Meal Site, YDI programs, and a UNM Hospital facility located on the existing 10-acre campus.
The launch event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 3 pm, with a short dedication, followed by a costume parade along the trail, mascots Smokey Bear and Puddles the Blue Goose, as well as healthy snacks and information for community members.
Doctors from First Choice and Presbyterian Healthcare began "prescribing" walking to patients, and connecting them with volunteers, through a new Wellness Referral Center that is housed at Adelante Development Center, who lead regular walking groups three times a week.
With the addition of signage, trail markings and informational brochures, more people will be able to find the trail and use it with or without a "prescription."
"We are working to make the healthy choice the easy choice," said Juan Lopez, Coordinator of the South Valley Community Commons expansion project. The future 10-acre expansion project includes an onsite farm and food hub, where South Valley growers will be able to get more locally-grown vegetables to patients and other customers.
The expansion plan also includes a future farm-to-table-style restaurant that will serve locally-grown food; a child development center; a health professions charter high school; a workforce training center; and an ‘aging well’ Wellness Center. Construction on the farm site is expected to begin later this year with grants from Presbyterian, PNM Fund, Wells Fargo and others.
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