Wellness hubs fostering connections with communities

North NSW Conference running an ELIA Wellness Snapshot (health expo).

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ELIA Wellness, an initiative of Adventist Health, is providing opportunities for members to connect with their communities in a meaningful way through wellness hubs.

ELIA is working with unions and conferences to establish 100 wellness hubs across Australia and New Zealand by 2025. The hubs will offer health activities, programs and resources aimed at supporting people towards whole-person health.

Already up and running—and making a positive impact in their community—is a wellness hub at the Sydney Portuguese Adventist church.

“I’m passionate about health programs and finding different ways to serve my community,” said the church’s health ministry leader, Miriam da Silva, an ELIA Wellness partner.

“We started first with the ELIA Wellness ‘Live More Project’ and then the ‘De-Stress and Thrive’ programs to promote emotional wellness.

“We’ve had great feedback about the ELIA resources from our community members, saying they really enjoyed them. Especially during the pandemic when it was needed most, it was a great way to bring everyone together to the wellness hub.”

 Mt Druitt (Sydney) ELIA Wellness Snapshot (health expo).

Kempsey Adventist church in northern NSW is also in the process of establishing a wellness hub. ELIA Wellness partner Dr Paul Wood believes it will be a great opportunity to reach the local community.

“As a local GP and lifestyle medicine physician I’m really excited to see the tools being rolled out to equip people like myself to connect in a meaningful way with the patients in our community and take them on a journey to whole-person health,” Dr Wood said.

ELIA Wellness was established in 2016 to promote the benefits of lifestyle medicine and whole-person health. In 2020 it was welcomed under the corporate umbrella of Adventist Healthcare, and is a sister organisation to the Sydney Adventist Hospital to also tackle chronic disease. Key programs include the “Live More Project”, “Enhance your Gut Health”,  “Forgive to Live” and “Reduce Your Risk of Cancer”. Next month a new spiritual wellness program will be added: “Empowered and Purposeful Living’’.

A high tea celebration at the end of the ‘De-Stress and Thrive’ program organised by ELIA Wellness partner Miriam da Silva.

ELIA Wellness executive director Geraldine Przybylko said 9 out of 10 deaths in Australia and New Zealand are due to lifestyle diseases that can be largely prevented and managed by better lifestyle choices.

“ELIA Wellness’s mission is to empower people to health, healing and hope. We do this because we care about the community,” said Mrs Przybylko.

ELIA’s core health ministry initiatives are to:

  • Develop whole-person health clinical and community programs in conjunction with leading health professionals.
  • Support people by making health content accessible through its digital platform and media.
  • Empower members of local wellness hubs to engage with their communities through whole-person health.
  • Launch a new lifestyle medicine centre that will be a blueprint for other locations.

As a health promotion charity, ELIA Wellness needs financial support to achieve its goals. Donations can be made through egiving: egiving.org.au or egiving.org.nz (search ELIA Wellness on the website or scroll down the app). All donations above $2 are tax deductible and ELIA is grateful for any support that helps it achieve its mission in the community.

To learn more about how your church can establish a wellness hub email Dr Christiana Leimena at partner@eliawellness.com.

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