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“Our basic purpose is communication between residents and staff,” summarizes Jeanne Bowen, chairperson of the Health Committee at East Ridge at Cutler Bay.

A lifelong Miamian, nursing teacher for 15 years at the University of Miami at Jackson Memorial Hospital and long active in Miami-Dade Medical Auxiliary, no one could have been better equipped for the position at the community.

“I like to be active”, said this cheerful lady of 78. “I’m used to knowing what needs to be done to maintain health and assist those in need of services. Volunteering is something you learn to love.”

The 15-member Health Committee serves as a link between residents and the Health Center and Home Health Services, as well as each of the individual areas they provide. Recounting a few of the Committee activities:

  • Offering assistance in the Health Center, acting as a liaison and assisting residents when they are temporarily confined for illness or other infirmity;
  • Assisting with a health screening program from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. the first Thursday of each month with eye and hearing tests in addition to blood pressure and sugar level counts;
  • Acting with other members as a “Committee of Concerns” to hear and discuss comments on health services from residents, later providing input to members of the East Ridge Health Center’s staff at monthly meetings;
  • Creation of a special area in the Health Center for the correct disposal of outdated prescriptions;
  • Preparing articles in the monthly newsletter by “The Health Elf,’ advising seniors how to maintain and improve health in the retirement years.

“Now, as volunteers ourselves, we’ve started a program to recruit a new group to provide candy striper-style personal services for residents who will reside there,” she noted.

With the opening of the new Health Center and its assisted living area, Bowen expects “we will be even busier than ever, helping others – for isn’t that what volunteering is all about!”