Health and Wellness


Wellness used to be thought of as the absence of illness or disabilities; however, it has progressed to the state of thriving instead of just surviving, regardless of illness or disability.  Here at the GCS Health and Wellness department, we combine our skills and knowledge to offer services and activities to enable our individuals to thrive in physical, social, emotional, intellectual, and environmental wellness.

*Health & Wellness activities, with the exclusion of Bowling, are free activities to GCS folks and the community.  All participants are required to register for the activity they wish to attend to ensure space availability and safety.  All participants are to be accompanied by staff, adult and/or guardian for the entire activity.  And all “Community” participants will be required to sign a Liability waiver prior to participating in all GCS activities.

Health & Wellness Consultations are individualized appointments that include our GCS individual, support staff and parent(s) and/or guardian(s).  Health & Wellness goals can focus on assisting with making healthy food choices, incorporating exercise or movement, tackling stress and anxiety, and managing health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.  Small achievable action steps are created and tracked to encourage the individual to make healthy lifestyle choices that become a way of life.  Support is given by the Health & Wellness consultant, support staff and parent(s) and/or guardian(s) to create an environment of success.

H&W Mobility Consultations are aimed at identifying any aspects of life that could be improved. Areas include physical movement, ADLs (bathing, dressing, and toileting), meal prep, chores, money management, medication management and leisure activities. Goals are then developed based on the individual’s needs. Collaboration between the individual, support staff and parent(s) and/or guardian(s) will determine how goals will be met. Progress will be tracked so that goals can be modified and updated as necessary.

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
– World Health Organization

Health and Wellness Activities

  • Yogability: Yogability is a form of Yoga geared for individuals with disabilities, starting at their current level of ability and moving forward towards meeting achievable goals utilizing a team approach.  Benefits include improved strength, balance, range of motion, mental & physical energy, and socialization, as well as aiding in stress reduction & relaxation.
  • Arts & Crafts: Arts and Crafts is a great opportunity to create fun projects and meet new friends.  Arts and Crafts promotes fine and gross motor skills, hand eye coordination, decision making, self-esteem, creativity, and socialization.
  • Life Skills: Life Skills is designed to improve knowledge and skills necessary for everyday living through activities focused on vocational skills, home and community safety, money management, cooking, social skills, and homemaking skills.
  • Dream Horse Stables:  Dream Horse Stables is locally owned and operated in Westmoreland County by Kelli Cinibulk.  Kelli has provided GCS with an opportunity for individuals and staff to come on out to the barn to get an up-close and personal experience with horse life!  Individuals can visit and observe, feed, water, brush, leadline, and on special occasions saddle up and ride a GCS designated horse.
  • Bowling:  GCS provides bowling now at 3 locations:  New Great Valley in North Versailles, Hillview Lanes in Greensburg and Nesbit Lanes in Plum
  • Creative Music: Creative music offers musical activities that encourage movement and creativity through singing, dancing, playing instruments and fun musical games.  Creative music is a great opportunity for self-expression, physical activity, making friends and having fun.
  • Paint and Sip:  Paint and Sip is a time of laughter and fun as we create fun and flavorful mocktails and follow a step- by-step painting.
  • Brain Gym: Brain Gym is a series of movements and activities used to activate both hemispheres of the brain, encouraging an enhancement of the brain performance.  Benefits include improved memory and focus, lowered stress, and stronger balance.
  • Healthy Cooking 101: Healthy Cooking 101 teaches individuals about kitchen & food safety, correct food proportions, cleaning tips, healthy food swaps & alternatives, and more through an interactive group cooking experience.
  • GCS Farm: Our GCS Farm is located in Tarrs, PA which is easily accessed from the New Stanton exit off of the turnpike. The GCS Farm is a 5-acre pieces of property housing our first GCS farm building along with our vegetable and flower gardens!  The GCS Farm serves as a spot for outdoor games, picnics, learning, and social gatherings.
  • Freestyle Fitness & Fun:Freestyle Fitness & Fun offers interactive games that encourage physical fitness, socialization, and teamwork. Activities are alternated throughout the month which include wiffle ball, charades, basketball, kick ball, workout classes and corn hole.
  • Walking Club: Walking club is held concurrently to yoga as to provide a pre or post workout activity or a stand-alone workout. It is held on an indoor track. It is a great opportunity for meeting new people and light exercise.

Annual GCS Events

  • Biggest Winner Challenge
  • Adopt-A-Highway
  • Fishing Contest
  • Annual Picnic
  • Thanksgiving Event
  • H&W Event/Farmers Market
  • Spring Gala
  • Bowling Challenge
  • Art Skills Challenge

GCS Health and Wellness Team

 

Erin Centofanto
BS in Physical Education/Exercise Physiology, Certified Yoga Instructor, Certified H&W Consultant, CPR Instructor, Director of Health & Wellness
Erin@genecooksupports.org

Lindsay Whisler:
Certified OTA, BA in Fine Arts; Mobility Coordinator
Lindsay@genecooksupports.org

Marquel Formato:
Licensed PTA, Certified Nutrition Coach/H&W Consultant, Mobility Coordinator
Marquel@genecooksupports.org