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Programs praised at launch of Community Wellness at MIT Medical

Liz Carbone, right, chats with some raffle contestants at the launch event.
Liz Carbone, right, chats with some raffle contestants at the launch event.
Photo: Lisa Damtoft

Community Wellness at MIT Medical welcomed students, staff and other MIT community members at its Sept. 30 launch event, where highlights for attendees included a raffle and the opportunity to meet the Sexpert in person.

Visitors picked up informational materials free notepads and other giveaways designed with the new Community Wellness logo. The new logo was part of a revamp that included a redesigned website and a name change from the Center for Health Promotion and Wellness.

"Students let me know how much they like the new, simpler name. It helps them remember where to go when they need to regain balance," said wellness specialist Zan Barry.

"I recall several people coming over and saying things like 'Oh my God, you're the Sexpert!' to Kate," said tobacco treatment specialist Lauren Mayhew. "There was a great deal of enthusiasm for her column. In fact, one woman asked for her autograph for a coworker who wasn't able to attend the event."

Several attendees praised various Community Wellness services, especially the annual getfit@mit fitness challenge, while others were happy to learn about programs for the first time.

"A couple of freshmen commented about how great it is that we have free relaxation downloads on our website. They seemed really surprised that we have a relaxation phone line that they could call anytime, and said they would use it a lot," Mayhew said.

"Lots of people were excited to learn about the free Healthy Living series, and many told me how much they enjoy the 253-CALM number," McCarthy said. "Honestly, the event was a potpourri of all of our services and how different facets help different folks."

Justin Graves won the grand prize in the raffle: a bike and gear courtesy of Cambridge Bicycle. Other raffle winners were Amanda Evans (a free hooping class for herself and four friends), Rhonda Jordan (a personalized yoga session for herself and friends), Tammy Stevens (a free wellness class), and Seth Emerson (lunch with the Sexpert).

"The response from the raffle winners I talked to has been so enthusiastic — they’re looking forward to learning something new, like yoga, or having the opportunity to stay healthy and fit as the winter months approach," Barry said.

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