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NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm and Speaker Staff Participate in Amida Care “Live Your Life” Wellness Event

April 23, 2015

New York, NY (Thursday, April 23, 2015) – New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm and Joey Pressley, Deputy Chief of Staff of Member Services to Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito , visited Amida Care’s “Medicine Necklace” event held on April 15 at the Community United Methodist Church in Jackson Heights, Queens. “Medicine Necklace” is part of a series of Amida Care’s monthly Live Your Life wellness events where members and their guests learn about ways to get healthy and take good care of themselves.

Necklace Event

Council Member Dromm and Joey Pressley participate in the Medicine Necklace event.

Author and performer Ty Nolan guided Amida Care members and the Council representatives through the creation of their own personal Medicine Necklaces. Native American people use the word “medicine” to mean both healing and sacred. As participants constructed their necklaces, they were asked to think of past experiences that made them feel proud, competent, and healthy and to create something that told their story in a tangible form. One breast cancer survivor used pink beads to symbolize breast cancer awareness. Another member used a variety of smaller and larger beads to represent the ups and downs of her life in her journey to wellness. The necklaces are to be worn as a reminder of personal strength and accomplishments.

“We are grateful to Amida Care for offering these unique events that support community wellness in Queens,” said Councilman Dromm. “I’m delighted that I had the opportunity to share this experience with Amida Care members.”Amida Care is a community-sponsored, not-for-profit special needs health plan (SNP) that provides comprehensive medical, behavioral, and wellness services to people living with multiple chronic conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, severe mental illness, and substance use disorder, throughout New York City. Programs like Live Your Life are a critical component of Amida Care’s unique approach to care and wellness: helping members to help themselves, ensuring that each person receives the specialized services and personal attention they need to get healthy and stay healthy. Members consistently express gratitude for the joy and fulfillment they get from Amida Care’s Live Your Life events. “The Live Your Life program grew out of direct member feedback that health care needs to be about more than visiting the doctor and taking pills. These events are designed to meet the social, physical, and emotional needs of our members and build life skills. Our Member Advisory Council is credited with their creation,” says Doug Wirth , President and CEO of Amida Care.

Amida Care hosts four monthly Live Your Life events at community organizations throughout the five boroughs. Free to all Amida Care members and their guests, the events offer opportunities to learn about nutrition, healthy relationships, art therapy, meditation, yoga, and African and Latin dance. According to Dr. Jerome Ernst, Chief Medical Officer at Amida Care, “We believe that health is more than the absence of disease, and we are doing our best to help our members achieve what the World Health Organization defines as health – a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing.”