Optum officially opens Community Health Center


If you’re 55 or older, there’s a brand new resource in town. You may want to check out the new Optum New Mexico Community Center at 4010 Montgomery Blvd. NE (between Jefferson and Carlisle on the south side) if you are interested in yoga, tai chi, latin dances, fitness classes, movies (free popcorn!) and any number of social groups dedicated to your favorite hobby.

For free. And you don’t have to be part of Optum New Mexico to become a member. The new community center is open to all seniors.

“A healthy community is a better community,” said Optum’s Community Outreach Coordinator Mykel Kirkpatrick. “If we can keep people out of the ER and doctor’s office, if we can be a gateway to health and a free resource, then we’re here.”

After a soft opening last month, Kirkpatrick said there is a steady influx of new members at the moment, but she expects a surge thereafter Grand opening on November 29th. On the day there will be free food and drink from 9am to 12pm and two sessions of mini-courses and health screenings for blood pressure, medication and A1C testing for diabetes. From 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., experts will teach mini yoga sessions and answer questions about general health and wellness.

Pneumatic machines are smoother to operate. Photo by Stephanie Hainsfurther

Great care has been taken to select strength machines that are made for seniors. Keizer pneumatic resistance systems make the weightlifting movement much smoother and cause less wear and tear on older joints. Other machines are adapted for easy wheelchair access and the seats swivel for easy boarding. There is a large room for fitness classes and cozy places to socialize.

Their regular program includes a book club, conversational Spanish, jewelry making classes, a Painting with a Twist teacher, and an open craft group to socialize while they complete a craft project. There’s also a free movie afternoon with popcorn to snack on. Many of Optum’s efforts are focused on preventing Alzheimer’s and maintaining brain function and social skills.

For more information: https://web.cvent.com/event/147e289c-438c-46ad-9a28-ed608f2dc108/websitePage:d1afeeb1-6e23-4f58-8118-000f520eed60