On Saturday, November 7, Sharp Coronado Hospital hosted a Wellness Fair for the community. The free, open event drew approximately 100 visitors, and the hospital gave out stacks of educational materials, dozens of free massages, and over 70 flu shots.
“Our main objective was to showcase the patient-centered services and care that are especially unique to Sharp Coronado Hospital,” says Barbara Malebranche, coordinator of the event and Manager of Patient/Administrative Relations at the hospital. “Sharp Coronado was the first hospital in California (and one of the first five hospitals nationwide) to be recognized as a Designated Planetree Patient-Centered Hospital. We emphasize health and wellness for the community.”
The event included free flu shots and health screenings, a physician talk with world-renowned hepatologist and gastroenterologist Dr. Tarek Hassanein, informative talks on advance care planning, healthy cooking demonstrations, personal training and integrative spa therapy demonstrations in the Sewall Healthy Living Center, and opportunities to speak with a pharmacist about medications.
“The open house included exhibits throughout the first floor, the Sanderman Education Center, and the Soledad Room,” said Barbara. “The Healthy Living Center offered complimentary 10-minute chair massages, a display and education on the health benefits of aromatherapy, complimentary hand massages, tours of the spa, personal training demos, and education on the benefits of exercise.”
As a visitor myself, I had an opportunity to tour the Sewell Healthy Living Center, which is only two years old and is open to the public daily. Hospital and rehab patients take advantage of the full-service gym, regular fitness classes (yoga and tai chi, among others), massages, and education services, but few locals know that all of these options are open to them as well. For a reasonable monthly or yearly fee — or for a one-time massage or fitness class — locals have access to a quiet, peaceful exercise space in Coronado. The gym is in pristine condition with beautiful views over Tidelands Park, and the massage rooms included heated massage tables, aromatherapy, a built-in sound system for calming music, and friendly and considerate staff.
Upstairs in the hospital, the MAKOplasty machine was on display, offering another side of Sharp Coronado care. The impressive machine is the only one of its kind in San Diego County, and it is used for minimally-invasive osteoarthritis knee surgery. Sharp surgeons perform over 1,500 of these knee surgeries annually at Sharp Coronado, thereby preventing hundreds of patients from suffering until they need a full knee replacement.
Another demonstration downstairs included an introduction to Sharp Coronado’s new telestroke device. The impressive machine will allow hospital staff to immediately get in contact with a neurologist if one is not already on site. During those precious minutes when a patient in the ER may be losing brain cells to a stroke, a neurologist off-site can use the machine’s camera to closely examine and talk to the patient, and the patient, family, and staff can interact with the neurologist on the screen with questions and observations.
Next to the telestroke device, staff in the Mindful Cafe were also busy participating in the Wellness Fair. The chefs offered two cooking demonstrations at 11:45 and 12:45 to teach how food choice and preparation can be flavorful, satisfying, and healthy. I had a chance to taste the results of the second demonstration — ginger and tofu stir fry with fresh vegetables — and loved the bright flavors and satisfying food.
During the day, the hospital also offered free flu shots, which is a regular service they provide to Coronado. “We offer free flu shots to the community every year in October or November,” explained Barbara. “This year we were able to have a free flu clinic on October 20 as well as at the November 7 event. The additional, free health screenings included blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, and BMI. Results were immediate and confidential. The screening nurses could answer very basic, general questions to help guests understand the results.”
At the end of the day, visitors who signed off at 10 or more of the exhibits were eligible for raffle prizes: grand prize was a one-night stay at the Glorietta Bay Inn, and other prizes included two gift certificates for several services in the Healthy Living Center, a Fitbit Zip device, and several wellness gift baskets.
Overall, the staff at Sharp Coronado were glad with the turn out and the smiles on the faces of their visitors, and they said they look forward to serving the community of Coronado in the future as well.