A local managed care organization has opened a Community Wellness Center in the heart of West Philadelphia.

Health Partners Plans is encouraging community members to take charge of their health and wellness by offering special programming at the new center.

The 2,509-square-foot facility housed on the second floor of 6232 Market St., features healthy cooking demos, professional development workshops focused on resume building and interviewing skills, medication checks, nutrition classes, health and wellness classes, and mental and social well-being classes.

“There is an array of things that we offer here and this is the first of its kind in this area and if anyone is to do it, why not the number one health plan in the state of Pennsylvania for wellness,” said Joyce R. Williams, HPP’s vice president of community engagement and marketing.

Prior to opening the facility, Health Partners officials conducted outreach and engaged with local organizations to determine what community members wanted the center to offer.

Nicole Seahorn, a resident of Overbrook Park, has been tapping into the center’s programs since January. She participated in the New Start, New You program — an eight-week workshop series that helps individuals get healthy in a variety of ways. By using nutrition education, self-monitoring and physical activity in a supportive group setting, participants learn healthy ways to lose weight, get fit and have fun while doing it.

“I felt like it was going to help me be a bit more consistent — or help create consistency in my self-care endeavors,” she said.

“I inspired some of the ladies that I walk with to actually come to the program as well, because wellness doesn’t stop, neither does sickness and we have to learn to become consistent. We’ll do things for a few weeks or a few days and then life happens and we get busy and we kind of forget about ourselves.”

Seahorn said she appreciated Health Partners because she “wasn’t alone.”

Monet Irving, HPP’s director of corporate communications, said the organization seeks to tackle the social determinants of health — the economic and social conditions that are impacting the health status of community members.

“We understand that this wellness center is about more than just health; it’s about the challenges that our members and community members are facing in order to obtain good health, so that is why we are here,” Irving said.

Health Partners officials will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the center at 11 a.m. on April 4. The ceremony will be followed by a grand opening celebration that runs from 12 to 4 p.m, featuring free health screenings, fitness demos, a kids zone, giveaways and refreshments. Free groceries will be distributed to 100 families during the event.

ajones@phillytrib.com (215) 893-5747

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