Zufall Health in suburban New Jersey is a prime example of how health centers can serve as an engine for innovation, particularly in the area of community health. A case in point is the Zufall Intergenerational Program (ZIP), launched and operated solely by Zufall’s Community HealthCorps members.
Intergenerational programs bring together youth and older adults in a service learning settings. Programs such as these have been growing in popularity, especially as mounting research shows positive health and social outcomes for the seniors and children who participate.
Zufall Health launched its own program in partnership with the local head start program, the senior public housing facility and two assisted living centers A local Whole Foods store also provides all ZIP participants with free healthy snacks at each session.
“I feel younger by being around the children! It motivates me to get up and go,” said program participant and Grandfriend Willa Hayes. “We [seniors] need activities that keep us alive. If you are not moving then you are not engaged in life!”
“ZIP provides a tremendous benefit to the communities we serve and would not be possible without our Community HealthCorps team. That’s just a fact,” explains Zufall Health CEO, Eva Turbiner. “It’s also one of the many reasons we place such a high value on both the potential and the results our Community HealthCorps AmeriCorps members are able to create through their service.”
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