Open Source Wellness program demonstration

  • Wed Nov 13th, 2019 1:30am
  • Life

Submitted by Lopez Island Family Resource Center

Open Source Wellness is coming to Lopez Island. Join the Lopez Island Family Resource Center for a demonstration event from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14 at Grace Church. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Open Source Wellness, an Oakland-based nonprofit that supports a healthy lifestyle, is the recipient of this year’s Scattergood Innovation Award. The prestigious award is sponsored annually by the Thomas Scattergood Foundation, which focuses on mental and behavioral health.

Open Source Wellness is a pioneering organization dedicated to transforming health outcomes and health care by leveraging the power of community. The OSW “model” functions as a delivery system for the “behavioral prescriptions” that healthcare providers make, such as “Exercise more,” “Eat better,” and “Reduce your stress!” Open Source Wellness is an experiential program where participants actually do the practices that support their health and well-being.

“Our health is substantially determined by our daily behaviors and experiences- how we move, what we eat, how we handle stress, how we are supported by those around us. These habits are hard to change, and they’re particularly hard to change on our own,” said Elizabeth Markle, founder. “Open Source Wellness is a community built to make eating well, exercising and reducing stress fun, easy, accessible and affordable, particularly for underserved communities.”

Open Source Wellness is a scalable delivery system for the health behaviors that underlie individual and population-level health outcomes and costs. It offers weekly two-hour sessions on a four-month loop and can serve up to 30 people at the Lopez site each week. The curriculum includes fun physical activity; a brief mindfulness meditation; an interactive lesson on health; and a meal in small groups with a health coach who helps participants make and meet the goals that matter to them.

“On average OSW participants with hypertension reduce their blood pressure by 15 points — this is more than antihypertensive medications. OSW participants with depression cut their depression in half,” said Ben Emmert-Aronson, co-founder. “People increase their exercise by 45 minutes [per] week, and increase their daily fruit [and] vegetable intake by 7 servings per week.”

With clear results and a strong mandate, Open Source Wellness hopes to expand its work throughout California and farther afield including a launch on Lopez Island. Space is limited at the demonstration event on Nov. 14, so please call the Lopez Island Family Resource Center at 360-468-4117 to reserve a spot.