Mount Nittany Health looks beyond its walls to improve health

July 02, 2020
The Foundation
5 min read

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At Mount Nittany Health, our commitment to community health is embodied by our mission to make people healthier. As a trusted local healthcare leader, we are committed to supporting the health and wellness of our patients and the communities we serve.

Did you know that 20 percent of what influences good health is related to the quality of care available and a person’s access to that care? The other 80 percent is connected to patients’ behaviors, socioeconomic conditions and other factors that are often challenging to address in clinic visits.

Mount Nittany Health understands that every community has a unique mix of these factors impacting patients and families in small and big ways. This is why we are proud to offer healthy resources beyond the walls of Mount Nittany Medical Center or our Mount Nittany Physician Group offices. One of the ways we do this is by partnering with other community organizations like Clearwater Conservancy.

Both Mount Nittany Health and Clearwater share a goal of encouraging individuals to spend more time enjoying nature and being physically active. Deb Nardone, executive director, Clearwater, says, “We value our longstanding partnership with Mount Nittany Health. Together we are improving the health of individuals while creating a deep and abiding appreciation for green spaces in Central Pennsylvania." 

Evidence shows that time spent outdoors interacting with nature provides positive health benefits. This includes reduced stress and anxiety, as well as lower blood pressure, lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels and a lower pulse rate. Additionally, time spent outdoors is consistent with reduced inflammation and a boosted immune system.

"Compared with our parents or grandparents, we are spending more time in environments that not only limit physical activity, but often require prolonged sitting. This is true at work, at home, in our cars and our communities. Engaging in outdoor activity is a great way to exercise our bodies and calm our minds,” shares Jan Ulbercht, MD, Mount Nittany Physician Group Endocrinology.

Through this partnership with Clearwater, Mount Nittany Health offers patients and community members opportunities to spend time outdoors and increase physical activity through the Centred Outdoors program. This structured program is designed to remove barriers to participation with a focus on welcoming people of all fitness levels and ages.

Clearwater welcomes the entire community to spend time outside, even in the midst of social distancing. This year’s program – while different from past years – still plays a critical role in community health. Clearwater will be creating a series of virtual tours for various locations throughout the area. These virtual guides will help patients and families navigate their real-life nature excursions with confidence and excitement.

This year, consider joining Mount Nittany Health and Clearwater Conservancy in the great outdoors by participating in Centred Outdoors. For more information, visit centredoutdoors.org.

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