AZUSA, Calif.- Azusa Pacific University’s Neighborhood Wellness Center (NWC), which provides free wellness and prevention services to the Azusa community, received a $7,500 Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center Community Benefit grant. With the grant, NWC launched “Let’s Start at the Very Beginning,” a program that seeks to reduce obesity and prevent chronic disease, particularly diabetes, by promoting physical activity, healthy diets, and weight control for mothers and their families. The no-cost program combines nutrition counseling with a walking class led by a certified athletic trainer. Local women, including those who are pregnant and have permission from their doctors, can enroll at anytime. Participants receive a free T-shirt and a pedometer.

Let’s Start at the Very Beginning Walking Classes:

  • Mondays and Wednesdays at 8:15 a.m.

    Neighborhood Wellness Center located at 5355 N. Enid Ave. in Azusa

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:15 a.m.

    Neighborhood Wellness Center located at 795 N. Dalton Ave. in Azusa

“Azusa is a relatively young city with a median age of 29, and 42 percent of households have children under the age of 18,” said Julie Pusztai, NWC director. “This grant enables the Neighborhood Wellness Center to help Azusa mothers develop better nutrition and exercise habits which directly benefit their babies. Mothers influence the fitness and dietary decisions of their children and other family members, so by focusing on these women we make the entire community a healthier place.”

Since 1998, the NWC has recorded more than 8,200 visits, including appointments and walk-ins. Approximately 1,800 residents have received health screenings through the Azusa outreach programs facilitated by the NWC. From diabetes prevention to nutrition tips and more, APU nursing students and faculty provide practical wellness education and promote healthy living. In addition to “Let’s Start at the Very Beginning,” the center boasts two additional programs, the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program (N2N) and the Azusa Walks Program. N2N emphasizes diabetes and obesity prevention services at the center, schools, churches, and other community groups. Azusa Walks influences the physical activity levels of more than 150 participants, including Azusa Mayor Joe Rocha, all who receive pedometers to measure their steps and progress.

The Neighborhood Wellness Center, located at 740 N. Dalton Ave., is open on a walk-in basis on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m.—2 p.m. The second site, located at 5335 N. Enid Ave., is open on a walk-in basis on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m.—12 p.m. Both offices are open year-around, with the exception of the month of August. For more information, call (626) 812-5191.