Women's Build Week

Whether or not you have experience swinging a hammer, Habitat for Humanity is gathering up girl power for its International Women Build Week.

Women builders wanted

Whether or not you have experience swinging a hammer, Habitat for Humanity is gathering up girl power for its International Women Build Week. The event, created by Habitat’s Women Build program, is held the week leading up to International Women’s Day on March 8.

Jackson’s local chapter, Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Teton Area, has three dates it’s hoping to staff with women volunteers: today, Thursday and Saturday. Volunteers will be building homes at The Grove.

Those who participate will receive a pair of gloves, a T-shirt and lunch. You can learn more and sign up to volunteer a few hours at TinyURL.com/tetonhabitatwomenbuildweek.

Ice melt

Skaters, it’s time to make your final turns.

The ice rink at the Teton County Fairgrounds will close Thursday to make room for setup of the Hill Climb, coming up March 19 through 22.

“It takes a couple of weeks to ‘melt out’ the boards, tear it down and clean up the area,” stated a press release from Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation.

The Powderhorn, Owen Bircher and Alta rinks will remain open as long as winter weather allows.

Ice skaters can keep up with the closure schedules by following @TCJPrinks on Twitter or by visiting TetonParksAndRec.org.

A dose of lifestyle medicine

For decades, doctors have recommended healthy lifestyle choices as a way to fight diseases. Now, St. John’s Health has an entire program dedicated to improving patients’ lives through wellness programming.

In what’s dubbed “lifestyle medicine,” the hospital will begin offering wellness coaching and other tools to help patients have better outcomes without medication or invasive procedures. Many offerings are tools St. John’s already provides, but with a more tailored focus.

“We’re not creating a new department,” CEO Dr. Paul Beaupre told the hospital’s board of trustees when the idea for the program was introduced over the summer. “It’s an umbrella for what we already have.”

Though the program was announced to the hospital board in August, the official launch was Monday. Under the auspices of the Wellness Department, St. John’s offers several modalities for patients, including one-on-one wellness coaching, tobacco cessation counseling, nutrition consultations and diabetes education.

Wellness can be a nebulous word that applies to both proven and unproven aspects of health care. In the new St. John’s program, wellness focuses on six pillars of patient health: nutrition, sleep, relationships, exercise, stress management and avoiding risky substances.

None of those concepts are new, but grouping them into one intentional program is novel.

“We investigated cutting-edge programs around the nation,” Wellness Department Director Julia Heemstra told the board. “Lifestyle medicine is the most cutting edge.”

With a focus on prevention of chronic disease, rather than reactive treatment, lifestyle medicine has been shown to reduce obesity, Type II diabetes and other long-term conditions. Heemstra said 86% of all money spent on health care goes to fighting chronic disease, and 80% of that spending is tied to poor lifestyle choices. Therefore, she said, the program has the potential to save both patients and the hospital money.

Patients interested in joining the program will go through an intake appointment with a nurse accredited by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. Many insurance companies don’t cover wellness coaching, so St. John’s is offering lifestyle medicine as a cash-pay subscription service.

Learn a language

If you are learning Spanish or English you still have the opportunity to pair up with a partner to practice through Language Exchange JH. Applications for the partner program will remain open until there are enough participants.

The program pairs high beginners through advanced speakers with native speakers of the language a person is wanting to practice. The program also offers training, monthly support and activity ideas and regular check-ins. Partners meet through May.

Those who apply must be an English speaker wanting to practice Spanish or vice versa. Applicants also must be a Level 2 Spanish speaker. Videos on what that looks like — and information on applying — can be found at LanguageExchangeJH.org.

Those looking to practice their Spanish or English on a more drop-in basis may want to check out the Bilingual Conversation Club. The free program, offered through Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation, promises to “improve your language skills and build your confidence speaking,” said a press release.

The club meets from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month. The next meeting is March 11.

All ages and abilities are welcome. If you have questions, contact Bilingual Recreation Programmer Ashley Potzernitz at 732-5760 or apotzernitz@tetoncountywy.gov.

Apply to be a page for Enzi

U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi is looking for high school juniors and seniors for the Washington, D.C., page program.

“The Senate Page Program is a great opportunity for young people and provides experiences participants will carry with them for the rest of their lives,” Enzi said in a statement. “Not many people can say they’ve worked on the Senate floor — the page program gives students a front row seat to see history in the making while gaining real work experience.”

Senate pages deliver correspondence and legislative materials and prep the Senate chamber for session. Enzi sponsors two students over the course of the summer. The first session is June 8 to July 2. The second runs from July 20 to Aug. 7.

Pages live near the Capitol and receive a stipend. Breakfast and dinner are provided daily.

High school juniors age 16 or 17 by the date of appointment are eligible to apply. Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA. The deadline is March 11.

Learn more at Enzi.Senate.gov, or contact Dianne Kirkbride at 772-2477 or dianne_kirkbride@enzi.senate.gov.

Spanish-speaking resources

Teton County Library is asking organizations that work with Spanish speakers in the Teton County and Teton Valley, Idaho, region to participate in a survey that aims to assess Spanish-speaking resources.

“We receive a wide array of requests for various services on a daily basis, and want to be able to direct people to the appropriate person or organization,” the library said in a release.

— Melissa Cassutt, River Gayton, Tom Hallberg


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