Community celebrates opening of S. Snohomish County Center for Healthy Living

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Members of the Senior Services Multicultural Senior Center celebrated the opening of the Center for Healthy Living in Lynnwood with a musical performance. The various multicultural groups will be meeting at the Center in the future.

The Center for Healthy Living officially opened its doors last week, but Wednesday’s open house was the first opportunity for many South Snohomish residents to take a look at the new facility operated by Senior Services of Snohomish County.

The Center, which is supported by a five-year grant from the Verdant Health Commission, will be providing an array of services for seniors and people with disabilities.

The location in Lynnwood (4100 Alderwood Mall Blvd., Suite 1) was chosen specifically to meet the needs of as many residents as possible.

About 40 percent of Snohomish County’s population will be served by the new Center, which is in Public Hospital Health District No. 2.

“It’s a good location,” Senior Services of Snohomish County Chief Executive Officer Jim Steinruck said.

Some of the multi-culture groups, which had been meeting at a smaller facility in Everett now will be gathering at the Center in Lynnwood. Many of those members were in attendance at the open house.  The five groups include Filipino, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and Latino/Hispanic.

The Center also is partnering with the University of Washington Dental Program to offer geriatric dental care. The Center will have four dental chairs.

Steinruck added that the Center is looking for other non-profit organizations to partner with to provide services.

“This is truly a community facility,” he said.

Many of the services provided by Senior Services of Snohomish County are aimed specifically at those 60 and older and those 18 and older who are disabled because the funding dictates those specific groups.

The services offered by the Center for Healthy Living won’t have those type of restrictions. The Center will be able to serve those in their 40s and 50s.

“They need attention. They need to get services,” Steinruck said. “It’s a very unique partnership between Senior Services of Snohomish County and Verdant Health. It’s a real collaboration.”

The Center also is affiliated with the three local Senior Centers in Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace. Steinruck went to those agencies before moving ahead with the Center.

“We said, ‘if we do this, we want to collaborate with you,’” he said. “We want to be an extension of you. All three senior centers said yes.”

Steinruck wants the Center to establish an advisory board and all three seniors centers have been asked to participate.

Many of the organization’s social work staff will be working out of Center. The Center will be providing geriatric mental health services and assistance to veterans. The Center also hopes to work with the Alzheimer’s Association.

The Center will provide support services to those suffering chronic diseases, such as diabetes. The goal is to prevent health crises.

“We want to help people manage their own disease process,” Steinruck said. “Support groups are important.”

Steinruck was pleased by the response from the community so far.

“We’re excited to be here,” he said. “We’re just trying to get the word out that we’re here.”

For more information on the Center for Healthy Living, go to www.sssc.org.

– Story and photo by David Pan

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