HEALTH/FITNESS

New IU Hospital Plan Still On Track Despite Pandemic

Brian Shockney already had his work cut out for him—and then COVID-19 came along. As president of Indiana University Health South Central Region, Shockney has been managing teams working to build and transition to the new $557 million IU Health Bloomington Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC).

Insurance-Based Fitness Plans Help Seniors Pay Memberships

Judy and Paul Tedesco have logged countless miles trekking around the Twin Lakes Recreation Center track. Judy also rides the recumbent bike, Paul enjoys pickleball, and they both use the weight machines. The couple visits the City-run fitness facility nearly every day.

IU Student Advocates for Youth with Chronic Illness

Sneha Dave learned to cope with chronic illness when she was just a little girl. At age 6, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affecting the large intestine.

Stride Coalition to Open Crisis Diversion Center

Working behind the scenes for two years, a group with more than 40 public, private, and nonprofit organizations represented has been quietly mapping out the community resources available for those with substance abuse disorders, working to identify service gaps, and looking for solutions to the problems faced by people in crisis.

Mind · Body · Spirit: Finding Your Next Fun Fitness Activity

I’m not sure if it’s an aphorism or an adage, but the saying “When one door closes, a window opens” is used in various contexts, usually to keep up one’s spirits. While I can’t seem to pin down who said it first, its general truthfulness and applicability make it useful in a variety of situations. I’ve most recently been applying it to exercise.

A Wellness Coach Who Knows About Trauma

Although she has always had a desire to help people, Susan Woods says experiencing her own health crisis took her work as a health and wellness coach to a new level.

B-town’s Jeff Huntoon—Coach of Championship Teams in Canada

While many of us may be anticipating the approach of the 2020 Summer Olympics, the games mean much more to former Bloomingtonian Jeff Huntoon. For him, those 16 days are the culmination of years of coaching some of Canada’s best track and field athletes.

IU, Bloomington North Study Effects of Subconcussive Hits

Concerns about concussions have led to questions about the safety of high school football. Now a team of researchers from Indiana University has set up shop at Bloomington High School North to study the impact of subconcussive hits in youthful football players over time.

Local Girls Get Moving With Girls on the Run

Chelsea Blanchard says she was lucky to have talented cross country and track coaches when she was a runner—from the time she was in middle school through her time at Indiana University. Now, the Clear Creek Elementary School art teacher is a coach with Girls on the Run (GOTR), training a new generation of runners while also helping them build confidence and make smart life choices.

‘The Universe Gave Me an Opportunity’ To Be a Donor Match and Save a Life

Five years ago, in 2014, Samuel Hanslits was a Georgetown University student, worn out and hungry during finals week. As he stepped off the campus library elevator, he noticed a table offering hefty chocolate chip cookies in exchange for joining Be the Match, a DNA registry seeking bone marrow donors for people with blood cancer.

Life Coaching Offers Clients Guidance and Skill Building

Scan the advertisements of any self-help or wellness magazine and you’ll find the term “life coaching” applied across a variety of services—everything from relationship help, career strategizing, and financial management to spiritual growth, stress reduction, and communication building.

Courtney Payne-Taylor: Skateboarder on a Mission

When Courtney Payne-Taylor stepped onto a skateboard at Upper Cascades Skate Park in 2004, she was hooked. Skateboarding gave her the strength and confidence she needed to overcome the depression that had plagued her teen years.

Senior Games of Indiana: September 13-October 10

Staying active is a factor in healthy aging. In 1985, the Senior Games of Indiana was created to provide opportunities for people 50 and older to keep physically and mentally fit, says Na’Kia Jones, activities and programming manager for the Area 10 Agency on Aging.

City Starts Senior Center at Mall: Open on Tuesdays and Thursdays

While most Bloomington residents head to College Mall to peruse racks of clothing or maybe have lunch, Deborah Hill recently found herself in the mall for an entirely different reason: to attend a low-impact dance class at the new Endwright East Active Living Community Center.

Hoosiers Outrun Cancer Celebrates Its 20th Year

In the fall of 2000, a bittersweet Bloomington tradition began. That’s when 2,400 people gathered for the first Hoosiers Outrun Cancer (HOC) event, an opportunity to remember family and friends lost to cancer, to celebrate survivors, and raise money to help the Bloomington Health Foundation (BHF) support families fighting the disease.

For Runner Olivia Ballew Life is All About Routine

Local marathoner Olivia Ballew is a busy person. In November she ran a 2:43:13 marathon at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, qualifying her for next year’s Olympic trials that will determine the 2020 U.S. Olympic marathon team. On top of her training, Ballew, 29, is a Ph.D. candidate in genome, cellular, and developmental biology at Indiana University.

Big Fitness Facilities Offer Something for Everyone

All large fitness facilities have a few things in common—cardio and weight machines, free weights, group exercise classes, personal trainers. But if you want to join a gym, you need to figure out which one is right for you. Here, we focus on four of the largest fitness facilities in Bloomington.

Public Library Now Offers Summer Running Program

Bloomington’s running culture is getting a boost from a place most people associate with more cerebral activities. On May 1, the Monroe County Public Library (MCPL) began a free 16-week running program for ages 18 and older called Booking It.

Suicide Awareness Training Prepares Teachers to Respond

Kara Cheslock has a new acronym in her teaching toolkit. A science teacher at Batchelor Middle School, Cheslock was in the first cohort of Monroe County Community School Corporation teachers to participate in a state-mandated suicide awareness and prevention training program.

Volunteers in Medicine Offers Full Dental Care

The dental clinic at Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) sees about 100 patients each month. During those visits, dentists Steve Pritchard and Park Firebaugh and dental hygienist Jan Firebaugh do what most of us might see as routine dental care: they conduct exams, perform cleanings and extractions, take X-rays, and fit dentures.

Bloom’s Greatest Hits: A Guide To Golf In Our Own Backyard

Indiana does not generally fit the golfer’s notion of paradise, like, say, Florida, Hawaii, or even Myrtle Beach. We are missing the temperate climates, the sandy dunes, and the ocean breezes that conjure up the golfer’s idyll. But Indiana is actually a great place to play golf, precisely because most people don’t think of it that way.

IU Eskenazi Art Museum Will Offer Art Therapy Programming

Art therapy has shown to be a powerful healing tool. Now, thanks to a charitable gift from philanthropist Bob LeBien, the Indiana University Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art will soon make such healing available in Bloomington.

Baby Boomers—Five Times More Likely to Have Hep C

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that in 2016 there were 2.4 million people living with hepatitis C in the United States. Carrie Lawrence, director of Project Cultivate, an Indiana University School of Public Health program, wants people to know the disease can be prevented and, if diagnosed, it can be treated.

IRA Offers Tools to Help Address Opioid Epidemic

As the country struggles to address the opioid epidemic, the Indiana Recovery Alliance (IRA) offers local communities tools to directly address two of the most pressing issues—the administration of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone and the disposal of used syringes.

Maxwell House Offers Free Yoga to Everyone

There are a lot of yoga studios in Bloomington, but Maxwell House Yoga is different. Here, instructors volunteer their time to teach free classes that last as long as three hours. Students are asked to donate what they can to local charities.

Ivy Tech Massage Program Offers Low-Cost Treatments to the Public

The students enrolled in the therapeutic massage program at Ivy Tech Community College–Bloomington may not know it, but they are at the forefront of a growing career trend. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs for massage therapists are growing much faster than the average for all occupations in the United States.

Soccer Player Allison Jorden Makes Sure Everybody Plays

When Indiana University soccer player Allison Jorden suffered a season-ending injury at the start of her sophomore year, she recognized the challenges she would have to overcome to return to the sport she loves. But rather than simply sit on the sidelines, Jorden spent her recovery returning to a sports-related passion she first developed as a high school student in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Local Boy Ian Finnerty Is Top NCAA Swimmer

While Indiana University swimmer Ian Finnerty might emulate other swimmers like Olympic medal record-holder Michael Phelps in the pool, he gets much of his inspiration from land-based athletes like runner Steve Prefontaine.

Hundreds of Lifesaving AEDs Are Now All Around Town

While you might not have known what it was, chances are you have seen an automated external defibrillator, or AED. Used to restart someone’s heart following sudden cardiac arrest, AEDs have been placed in more gyms, schools, and businesses in recent years due to increased regulation and greater public awareness of their ability to save lives.

Nurse-Family Partnership Means Healthier Babies

With a focus on the development of healthier families, the IU Health Community Health Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) pairs first-time, low-income, expectant mothers with a registered nurse during pregnancy and through the child’s second birthday.

Hoosiers Outrun Cancer, Everyone’s a Winner!

The winners of the annual Hoosiers Outrun Cancer 5K are the participants who band together to celebrate survival over cancer, to honor the memory of a loved one who lost the fight, or to encourage those just beginning their battle.

Nurse Navigators Guide Patients on Cancer Journey

As long as Debra Traylor Davis had been getting yearly mammograms, she had also been getting called back to Southern Indiana Radiological Associates (SIRA). “They usually couldn’t get a good read on the first one, so I’d have to get a second mammogram,” Davis says. “So when they called me back last year, I figured that’s what it was.”

At Cutters Soccer Club, Everybody Gets to Play

On Saturday mornings, Karst Farm Park is home to Cutters Soccer Club, a Bloomington organization dedicated to youth soccer. Looking around, what most people see are kids running up and down soccer fields. What Cutters Executive Director Michael Nosofsky would like them to see, however, is not a youth soccer program so much as a youth development program that uses soccer as its vehicle. 

Back Handspring Anyone? Stage Flight Circus Arts Is a Place to Learn from Pros

Clint and Hannah Bobzein, the owners of Stage Flight, are professional circus artists. After years of international touring, they settled in Bloomington in 2014. The next year they opened Stage Flight in a barn on Lake Monroe. They started by offering open-gym sessions, later adding classes in the circus arts. They soon had 30 students. In January 2017 they relocated to a west-side warehouse where they now teach more than 80 students of all ages and experience levels. 

Fred Astaire Studio Offers Dance Lessons and Chance for Romance

When Dmitriy Volodko boarded a plane to the United States from Ukraine six years ago, it was the first time he had seen the inside of an airport, let alone a plane. When he arrived in New York City, it was a struggle to locate his luggage. “I had zero language skills,” he says. It was his skill as a competitive ballroom dancer, a career he began at age 8, that made the journey possible.

Sunday Hoops at the Y: A 20-Year-Old Tradition

Many of the faces have changed over the past two decades, but not the bond that brings them together—basketball. Every Sunday at 8 a.m., approximately 20 men, young and old, gather at the Southeast YMCA to shoot hoops for a couple of hours. Their reasons for playing are as diverse as their backgrounds.

Bodybuilder, Personal Trainer & Artists’ Model

Personal trainer Brian Bourkland is a serious bodybuilder. His clients generally aren’t, but that’s fine with him. “I’m mostly interested in working with people in my generation—40s, 50s, 60s,” Bourkland says. “Everyone should be building strength and bone density to feel better long into their retirement years.”

Using Group Music Therapy to Improve Mental Health

In Gloria Stearns-Bruner’s softly lit, cozy music therapy room, young clients come in, pick out a lap dulcimer or rain stick or any of the other hand-held string and percussion instruments. They stand, sinking their feet into the plush rug, or sit down to relax—and make music. 

B-town Gets a Salt Cave: Known as a Relaxing, Healthy Escape

Laura Chaiken likens the experience of visiting the Bloomington Salt Cave to getting “a nice big pink hug.” Visitors are surrounded by four tons of pink Himalayan salt on the walls and floor, 500 twinkling lights on the ceiling, and the quiet sounds of nature.

Jill’s House Has New Purpose as Home for Memory Care Patients

When Jan Gerkensmeyer needed more care due to memory loss, she and her husband, Dave, faced a tough decision. They knew they couldn’t continue living in their lake cabin in Minnesota. Their daughter lives in Bloomington, so they came here, where they found Jill’s House, an assisted living facility focusing on memory care.

PALS: Offering Horsemanship Therapy Even for Non-Riders

Over the past 17 years, Bloomington-based People & Animal Learning Services (PALS) has provided therapeutic riding programs for hundreds of clients with a wide range of conditions, from bipolar disorder to muscular dystrophy.

New Program Uses Music to Help Alzheimer’s Patients & Caregivers

Barbara Edmonds is enlisting high school music students, adult volunteers, and local professionals in her efforts to use music to enrich the lives of Monroe County elders living with Alzheimer’s disease. The nonprofit program she founded, Blooming Memories Thru Music, grew out of Edmonds’ experience watching her closest friend work as a caregiver for a relative with Alzheimer’s.

Bloomington Hospital Foundation Celebrates 50 Years of Helping People

If you live in south-central Indiana, you’ve almost certainly benefited from the work of the Bloomington Hospital Foundation at some point in your life. Established in 1967 by Bloomington’s Local Council of Women, the foundation has grown into a major force in health care philanthropy.

Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping: You’ll Kick, Punch, Squat & Sweat

Pam Green, co-owner of Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping, shouts to be heard over the music blasting in the gym. “Pound that bag. Left jab, right cross,” she yells. “Let me hear that bag. It’s music to my ears.” To the 20 sweaty exercisers punching and kicking the black heavy bags, she exhorts, “Keep pushing yourself.”

Kids Assemble Their New Bikes at Boys & Girls Clubs of B-town

Sixty-five local children put together their new bicycles, supplied by the Wheels & Wellness public health project, on Saturday, April 1, at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington on South Lincoln Street. Bill Morrow, a nurse practitioner with Riley Physicians at IU Health in Bloomington, led the effort, which developed into a multi-organizational partnership that raised about $12,500 to purchase the bicycle kits.

Housing for 
the Homeless: Work Starts on Crawford II Building

Crawford Homes, located on South Henderson Street, provides permanent, supportive housing for those suffering from long-term homelessness due to mental illness, chronic disease, late-stage addiction, and physical and developmental disabilities. Crawford I opened in 2013 and, according to those involved with the 25-unit complex, has proven to be a success.

Wheeler Mission Ministries: Helping Addicts Recover Their Lives

Since 1953, Wheeler Mission Ministries has operated a 285-acre residential facility on Fish Road called Camp Hunt that helps men overcome addiction. And, since merging with Backstreet Missions in 2015, Wheeler has operated the Center for Men and Center for Women & Children homeless shelters in town.

Loading

HEALTH/FITNESS

New IU Hospital Plan Still On Track Despite Pandemic

Brian Shockney already had his work cut out for him—and then COVID-19 came along. As president of Indiana University Health South Central Region, Shockney has been managing teams working to build and transition to the new $557 million IU Health Bloomington Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC).

Insurance-Based Fitness Plans Help Seniors Pay Memberships

Judy and Paul Tedesco have logged countless miles trekking around the Twin Lakes Recreation Center track. Judy also rides the recumbent bike, Paul enjoys pickleball, and they both use the weight machines. The couple visits the City-run fitness facility nearly every day.

IU Student Advocates for Youth with Chronic Illness

Sneha Dave learned to cope with chronic illness when she was just a little girl. At age 6, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affecting the large intestine.

Stride Coalition to Open Crisis Diversion Center

Working behind the scenes for two years, a group with more than 40 public, private, and nonprofit organizations represented has been quietly mapping out the community resources available for those with substance abuse disorders, working to identify service gaps, and looking for solutions to the problems faced by people in crisis.

Mind · Body · Spirit: Finding Your Next Fun Fitness Activity

I’m not sure if it’s an aphorism or an adage, but the saying “When one door closes, a window opens” is used in various contexts, usually to keep up one’s spirits. While I can’t seem to pin down who said it first, its general truthfulness and applicability make it useful in a variety of situations. I’ve most recently been applying it to exercise.

A Wellness Coach Who Knows About Trauma

Although she has always had a desire to help people, Susan Woods says experiencing her own health crisis took her work as a health and wellness coach to a new level.

B-town’s Jeff Huntoon—Coach of Championship Teams in Canada

While many of us may be anticipating the approach of the 2020 Summer Olympics, the games mean much more to former Bloomingtonian Jeff Huntoon. For him, those 16 days are the culmination of years of coaching some of Canada’s best track and field athletes.

IU, Bloomington North Study Effects of Subconcussive Hits

Concerns about concussions have led to questions about the safety of high school football. Now a team of researchers from Indiana University has set up shop at Bloomington High School North to study the impact of subconcussive hits in youthful football players over time.

Local Girls Get Moving With Girls on the Run

Chelsea Blanchard says she was lucky to have talented cross country and track coaches when she was a runner—from the time she was in middle school through her time at Indiana University. Now, the Clear Creek Elementary School art teacher is a coach with Girls on the Run (GOTR), training a new generation of runners while also helping them build confidence and make smart life choices.

‘The Universe Gave Me an Opportunity’ To Be a Donor Match and Save a Life

Five years ago, in 2014, Samuel Hanslits was a Georgetown University student, worn out and hungry during finals week. As he stepped off the campus library elevator, he noticed a table offering hefty chocolate chip cookies in exchange for joining Be the Match, a DNA registry seeking bone marrow donors for people with blood cancer.

Life Coaching Offers Clients Guidance and Skill Building

Scan the advertisements of any self-help or wellness magazine and you’ll find the term “life coaching” applied across a variety of services—everything from relationship help, career strategizing, and financial management to spiritual growth, stress reduction, and communication building.

Courtney Payne-Taylor: Skateboarder on a Mission

When Courtney Payne-Taylor stepped onto a skateboard at Upper Cascades Skate Park in 2004, she was hooked. Skateboarding gave her the strength and confidence she needed to overcome the depression that had plagued her teen years.

Senior Games of Indiana: September 13-October 10

Staying active is a factor in healthy aging. In 1985, the Senior Games of Indiana was created to provide opportunities for people 50 and older to keep physically and mentally fit, says Na’Kia Jones, activities and programming manager for the Area 10 Agency on Aging.

City Starts Senior Center at Mall: Open on Tuesdays and Thursdays

While most Bloomington residents head to College Mall to peruse racks of clothing or maybe have lunch, Deborah Hill recently found herself in the mall for an entirely different reason: to attend a low-impact dance class at the new Endwright East Active Living Community Center.

Hoosiers Outrun Cancer Celebrates Its 20th Year

In the fall of 2000, a bittersweet Bloomington tradition began. That’s when 2,400 people gathered for the first Hoosiers Outrun Cancer (HOC) event, an opportunity to remember family and friends lost to cancer, to celebrate survivors, and raise money to help the Bloomington Health Foundation (BHF) support families fighting the disease.

For Runner Olivia Ballew Life is All About Routine

Local marathoner Olivia Ballew is a busy person. In November she ran a 2:43:13 marathon at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, qualifying her for next year’s Olympic trials that will determine the 2020 U.S. Olympic marathon team. On top of her training, Ballew, 29, is a Ph.D. candidate in genome, cellular, and developmental biology at Indiana University.

Big Fitness Facilities Offer Something for Everyone

All large fitness facilities have a few things in common—cardio and weight machines, free weights, group exercise classes, personal trainers. But if you want to join a gym, you need to figure out which one is right for you. Here, we focus on four of the largest fitness facilities in Bloomington.

Public Library Now Offers Summer Running Program

Bloomington’s running culture is getting a boost from a place most people associate with more cerebral activities. On May 1, the Monroe County Public Library (MCPL) began a free 16-week running program for ages 18 and older called Booking It.

Suicide Awareness Training Prepares Teachers to Respond

Kara Cheslock has a new acronym in her teaching toolkit. A science teacher at Batchelor Middle School, Cheslock was in the first cohort of Monroe County Community School Corporation teachers to participate in a state-mandated suicide awareness and prevention training program.

Volunteers in Medicine Offers Full Dental Care

The dental clinic at Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) sees about 100 patients each month. During those visits, dentists Steve Pritchard and Park Firebaugh and dental hygienist Jan Firebaugh do what most of us might see as routine dental care: they conduct exams, perform cleanings and extractions, take X-rays, and fit dentures.

Bloom’s Greatest Hits: A Guide To Golf In Our Own Backyard

Indiana does not generally fit the golfer’s notion of paradise, like, say, Florida, Hawaii, or even Myrtle Beach. We are missing the temperate climates, the sandy dunes, and the ocean breezes that conjure up the golfer’s idyll. But Indiana is actually a great place to play golf, precisely because most people don’t think of it that way.

IU Eskenazi Art Museum Will Offer Art Therapy Programming

Art therapy has shown to be a powerful healing tool. Now, thanks to a charitable gift from philanthropist Bob LeBien, the Indiana University Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art will soon make such healing available in Bloomington.

Baby Boomers—Five Times More Likely to Have Hep C

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that in 2016 there were 2.4 million people living with hepatitis C in the United States. Carrie Lawrence, director of Project Cultivate, an Indiana University School of Public Health program, wants people to know the disease can be prevented and, if diagnosed, it can be treated.

IRA Offers Tools to Help Address Opioid Epidemic

As the country struggles to address the opioid epidemic, the Indiana Recovery Alliance (IRA) offers local communities tools to directly address two of the most pressing issues—the administration of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone and the disposal of used syringes.

Maxwell House Offers Free Yoga to Everyone

There are a lot of yoga studios in Bloomington, but Maxwell House Yoga is different. Here, instructors volunteer their time to teach free classes that last as long as three hours. Students are asked to donate what they can to local charities.

Ivy Tech Massage Program Offers Low-Cost Treatments to the Public

The students enrolled in the therapeutic massage program at Ivy Tech Community College–Bloomington may not know it, but they are at the forefront of a growing career trend. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs for massage therapists are growing much faster than the average for all occupations in the United States.

Soccer Player Allison Jorden Makes Sure Everybody Plays

When Indiana University soccer player Allison Jorden suffered a season-ending injury at the start of her sophomore year, she recognized the challenges she would have to overcome to return to the sport she loves. But rather than simply sit on the sidelines, Jorden spent her recovery returning to a sports-related passion she first developed as a high school student in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Local Boy Ian Finnerty Is Top NCAA Swimmer

While Indiana University swimmer Ian Finnerty might emulate other swimmers like Olympic medal record-holder Michael Phelps in the pool, he gets much of his inspiration from land-based athletes like runner Steve Prefontaine.

Hundreds of Lifesaving AEDs Are Now All Around Town

While you might not have known what it was, chances are you have seen an automated external defibrillator, or AED. Used to restart someone’s heart following sudden cardiac arrest, AEDs have been placed in more gyms, schools, and businesses in recent years due to increased regulation and greater public awareness of their ability to save lives.

Nurse-Family Partnership Means Healthier Babies

With a focus on the development of healthier families, the IU Health Community Health Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) pairs first-time, low-income, expectant mothers with a registered nurse during pregnancy and through the child’s second birthday.

Hoosiers Outrun Cancer, Everyone’s a Winner!

The winners of the annual Hoosiers Outrun Cancer 5K are the participants who band together to celebrate survival over cancer, to honor the memory of a loved one who lost the fight, or to encourage those just beginning their battle.

Nurse Navigators Guide Patients on Cancer Journey

As long as Debra Traylor Davis had been getting yearly mammograms, she had also been getting called back to Southern Indiana Radiological Associates (SIRA). “They usually couldn’t get a good read on the first one, so I’d have to get a second mammogram,” Davis says. “So when they called me back last year, I figured that’s what it was.”

At Cutters Soccer Club, Everybody Gets to Play

On Saturday mornings, Karst Farm Park is home to Cutters Soccer Club, a Bloomington organization dedicated to youth soccer. Looking around, what most people see are kids running up and down soccer fields. What Cutters Executive Director Michael Nosofsky would like them to see, however, is not a youth soccer program so much as a youth development program that uses soccer as its vehicle. 

Back Handspring Anyone? Stage Flight Circus Arts Is a Place to Learn from Pros

Clint and Hannah Bobzein, the owners of Stage Flight, are professional circus artists. After years of international touring, they settled in Bloomington in 2014. The next year they opened Stage Flight in a barn on Lake Monroe. They started by offering open-gym sessions, later adding classes in the circus arts. They soon had 30 students. In January 2017 they relocated to a west-side warehouse where they now teach more than 80 students of all ages and experience levels. 

Fred Astaire Studio Offers Dance Lessons and Chance for Romance

When Dmitriy Volodko boarded a plane to the United States from Ukraine six years ago, it was the first time he had seen the inside of an airport, let alone a plane. When he arrived in New York City, it was a struggle to locate his luggage. “I had zero language skills,” he says. It was his skill as a competitive ballroom dancer, a career he began at age 8, that made the journey possible.

Sunday Hoops at the Y: A 20-Year-Old Tradition

Many of the faces have changed over the past two decades, but not the bond that brings them together—basketball. Every Sunday at 8 a.m., approximately 20 men, young and old, gather at the Southeast YMCA to shoot hoops for a couple of hours. Their reasons for playing are as diverse as their backgrounds.

Bodybuilder, Personal Trainer & Artists’ Model

Personal trainer Brian Bourkland is a serious bodybuilder. His clients generally aren’t, but that’s fine with him. “I’m mostly interested in working with people in my generation—40s, 50s, 60s,” Bourkland says. “Everyone should be building strength and bone density to feel better long into their retirement years.”

Using Group Music Therapy to Improve Mental Health

In Gloria Stearns-Bruner’s softly lit, cozy music therapy room, young clients come in, pick out a lap dulcimer or rain stick or any of the other hand-held string and percussion instruments. They stand, sinking their feet into the plush rug, or sit down to relax—and make music. 

B-town Gets a Salt Cave: Known as a Relaxing, Healthy Escape

Laura Chaiken likens the experience of visiting the Bloomington Salt Cave to getting “a nice big pink hug.” Visitors are surrounded by four tons of pink Himalayan salt on the walls and floor, 500 twinkling lights on the ceiling, and the quiet sounds of nature.

Jill’s House Has New Purpose as Home for Memory Care Patients

When Jan Gerkensmeyer needed more care due to memory loss, she and her husband, Dave, faced a tough decision. They knew they couldn’t continue living in their lake cabin in Minnesota. Their daughter lives in Bloomington, so they came here, where they found Jill’s House, an assisted living facility focusing on memory care.

PALS: Offering Horsemanship Therapy Even for Non-Riders

Over the past 17 years, Bloomington-based People & Animal Learning Services (PALS) has provided therapeutic riding programs for hundreds of clients with a wide range of conditions, from bipolar disorder to muscular dystrophy.

New Program Uses Music to Help Alzheimer’s Patients & Caregivers

Barbara Edmonds is enlisting high school music students, adult volunteers, and local professionals in her efforts to use music to enrich the lives of Monroe County elders living with Alzheimer’s disease. The nonprofit program she founded, Blooming Memories Thru Music, grew out of Edmonds’ experience watching her closest friend work as a caregiver for a relative with Alzheimer’s.

Bloomington Hospital Foundation Celebrates 50 Years of Helping People

If you live in south-central Indiana, you’ve almost certainly benefited from the work of the Bloomington Hospital Foundation at some point in your life. Established in 1967 by Bloomington’s Local Council of Women, the foundation has grown into a major force in health care philanthropy.

Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping: You’ll Kick, Punch, Squat & Sweat

Pam Green, co-owner of Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping, shouts to be heard over the music blasting in the gym. “Pound that bag. Left jab, right cross,” she yells. “Let me hear that bag. It’s music to my ears.” To the 20 sweaty exercisers punching and kicking the black heavy bags, she exhorts, “Keep pushing yourself.”

Kids Assemble Their New Bikes at Boys & Girls Clubs of B-town

Sixty-five local children put together their new bicycles, supplied by the Wheels & Wellness public health project, on Saturday, April 1, at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington on South Lincoln Street. Bill Morrow, a nurse practitioner with Riley Physicians at IU Health in Bloomington, led the effort, which developed into a multi-organizational partnership that raised about $12,500 to purchase the bicycle kits.

Housing for 
the Homeless: Work Starts on Crawford II Building

Crawford Homes, located on South Henderson Street, provides permanent, supportive housing for those suffering from long-term homelessness due to mental illness, chronic disease, late-stage addiction, and physical and developmental disabilities. Crawford I opened in 2013 and, according to those involved with the 25-unit complex, has proven to be a success.

Wheeler Mission Ministries: Helping Addicts Recover Their Lives

Since 1953, Wheeler Mission Ministries has operated a 285-acre residential facility on Fish Road called Camp Hunt that helps men overcome addiction. And, since merging with Backstreet Missions in 2015, Wheeler has operated the Center for Men and Center for Women & Children homeless shelters in town.

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