This marked our 6th year at the NBC4/Telemundo 44 Health and Fitness Expo. Over the years, we have offered more than 3,000 screenings on our Mobile Health Vehicle and engaged volunteers in several hundred hours of service to offer healthy, free activities for the community. Expo is attended by an estimated 80-85,000 attendees annually from across the region.
This year’s activities centered around one’s built environment and how safe sidewalks, bike-paths, playgrounds and access to healthy foods, quality health care work together to shape good health. We welcomed the community to our “KP Neighborhood.”
The expo, produced by NBC, is at its core a chance to provide important health services– it also brings NBC’s local and national talent to the expo hall to capture the most important health stories.
During an interview and a visit to our exhibit space, Doreen Gentzler, NBC4’s health reporter interviewed Celeste James, our xecutive director of Community Health. Celeste had a chance to discuss Kaiser Permanente’s deep commitment to community health throughout the region and the deeper tie this year’s activations had to the role environment plays in health.
Sunday morning, Doreen moderated a panel on brain health, featuring Amit Patel, MD, Chief of Psychiatry for District of Columbia and Suburban Maryland. During the discussion, “Keeping Your Brain Healthy,” Dr. Patel described many strategies for prevention and wellness. He spoke to the importance of staying socially connected, taking time to practice mindfulness and meditation, eating healthy, exercising and achieving enough sleep—all of which can reduce stress and protect against depression and dementia.
Visitors to our branded neighborhood, found a farm stand to illustrate the importance of access to healthy foods close to home; stationary bikes to simulate the ride to work and school, and to illustrate the connection between bikeable, walkable communities and health. Certified personal trainer, Prisna Anderson, led crowds in simple ways to exercise at home or on the go– no equipment required, making physical activity affordable and accessible for all. Access to health care underscored it all with the mobile health vehicle as the backdrop for the space and the clinical team onsite providing health screenings and flu shots for hundreds who visited.