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Success Stories

Health Center Teaches Positive Moves Through Zumba

From pop to Spanish hip-hop, from salsa to merengue, you can hear the music pumping. Twice a week, there’s always a group moving to the beat in Katia Torosian’s Zumba class at One World Community Health Center. Patients, community members and staff all are welcome take part in the sessions held at the Livestock Exchange Building.

The center, a federally qualified health clinic which began in 1970, primarily serves the underinsured and uninsured in south Omaha. Services include medical, dental, pharmacy, vision and social services. Last year, One World saw about 21,000 patients, from infants to the elderly, says development specialist Haley Armstrong.

“Our patients are mostly female, though we do serve male patients, too. Pediatrics is a huge focus for us. If we can start people on the road to good health when they’re young, we feel it’s beneficial to not only our patients, but to the whole community.”

Torosian—who also is a registered nurse and diabetes educator at the center—knows exercise can have an impact on the primarily Latino community that One World serves. She talks about it often to the patients and staff she sees.

“When you look at the national trends for obesity, it’s shocking to see how many people will likely have diabetes.” Girls of Latino descent born after 2000, she says, have an even greater risk to be diabetic.

“We want to show everybody in the community that exercise makes you happy and healthy, and you can teach your kids and your friends that, too. Our Zumba classes are an avenue for us to help reverse the negative trends.”

As a member of Partners for a Healthy Community, One World is helping spread the word. In addition to Torosian’s class for teens and adults, the center also has offered a Zumba class for younger children.

“For us, it’s all about prevention,” notes Armstrong. “When we provide education for people, whether it’s diabetes instruction or Zumba classes, it really makes a difference in the lives of our patients and their well being.”

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