Heritage Farm Inc. and Colgate University may differ in the type of organization, but both have been longtime community pillars, supporting, educating and promoting individuals to become contributors to society in their own unique ways. A recent collaboration between the two, in conjunction with the Community Wellness Center (CWC) of Community Memorial, has now provided a partnership that supports clients of Heritage Farm and furthers educational opportunities for students at Colgate University.
“Pairing Psychology students at Colgate with Heritage Farm participants allows for the growth of our students, and fosters health and wellness for the Heritage Farm members,” notes Dr. Regina Conti, Associate Professor of Psychology at Colgate University. “Our course ‘Bonding Across Boundaries’ aims to educate students surrounding ways to break down barriers that those with neurodevelopment disorders may face.”
After an orientation for the Colgate students with the certified trainer at the Community Wellness Center, Heritage Farm clients interested in an exercise program were evaluated for ability and program development opportunities. Once paired together, bi-weekly workout sessions began. “The Community Wellness Center has always served as a safe, friendly environment for community members to enjoy exercise,” remarks Sam Cooper, Managing Governor of the Board of Governors for the Wellness Center. “We’re excited to promote the extensive benefits that exercise can bring and be the host site for the partnering program between Colgate and Heritage Farm.”
Direct Support Professional with Heritage Farm, Inc., Steven Bassett, shares his thought on the success of the program: “Watching this program blossom has been a pleasure and privilege. The Colgate students and the CWC staff not only accommodated the participants but went above and beyond to personalize their experiences and ensure that they felt like they belonged. They pushed, motivated, and connected with the participants in ways that will leave a lasting impression.”
CWC trainer Mitch Cavanagh was able to structure exercise routines for the participants and watch the important interactions between everyone. “I appreciate that a large part of their success came from the engagement they got with the Colgate students. In between exercise sets, there was positive feedback and conversations about everyday life. Everyone involved including myself, the Heritage clients, and the students gained something from this experience. I look forward to having the opportunity to do it again.”
For years, the Community Wellness Center has provided a professionally supervised health and fitness program to hundreds of people in our region. Community Memorial Hospital has a continued interest in optimizing healthy lifestyle practices as a means of maintaining good health for people of all ages and abilities. To learn more about the Community Wellness Center of Community Memorial, including becoming a member or supporting their mission, please visit: communitymemorial.org/services/wellness-center/