A collaborative of County organizations has come together to help better inform residents on how they can lead all-around healthier lives through a series of monthly public presentations focusing on various aspects of overall wellness.

The LiveWell Aroostook: Presque Isle Community Wellness Pilot Project was formed by several non-profit, educational, healthcare and municipal entities that serve the health and wellbeing of residents in the Greater Presque Isle area.

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Using eight recognized “Pillars of Wellness” (plus adding a ninth to reflect the importance of both physical activity and nutrition) the partners are working to develop a series of interactive community sessions that will be offered to the public at no charge.  Presentations on each of the topics are planned monthly for the University of Maine at Presque Isle, Northern Maine Community College and TAMC beginning in September 2015 and running through May 2016.

Project coordinators have created a calendar matching each of the coming nine months with one of the wellness pillars.  During that month, subject matter experts on the set topic will present at each of the locations during different weeks and times of day to reach as many community members as possible.

The focus of the first presentations in September will be nutrition.  “Your Stomach is Not a ‘Waist’ Basket!” will be led by Dawn Roberts, Healthy Aroostook’s community education specialist, and Colette Thompson, Healthy Aroostook’s 5 2 1 0 Let’s Go! program coordinator.

“That old saying is true... ‘You are what you eat’,” said Roberts.  “You need to fuel your body with good food and not trash.  Sound nutritional advice can be hard to find.  Many people have nutrition advice and not all of it is real life and/or user friendly.  And some extreme diet and nutrition tips, though they may produce results, are not a healthy lifestyle change.  We invite all community members to join us to learn more about healthful nutrition.”

The sessions focusing on nutrition will be presented on Tuesday, September 8 at 12:00 noon at the Smith Wellness Center at NMCC; on Tuesday, September 15 at 7:00 a.m. at Gentile Hall on the UMPI campus; and on Tuesday, September 22 at 6:00 p.m. in the conference center on the second floor of the East Wing Building at TAMC.

The October presentations will focus on social wellness, specifically healthy relationships and bullying.  These will be co-presented by staff members with Hope and Justice Project and The Northern Lighthouse.  Sessions are set for Tuesday, October 14 at 12:00 noon at the Smith Wellness Center at NMCC; on Tuesday, October 20 at 7:00 a.m. at Gentile Hall on the UMPI campus; and on Tuesday, October 27 at 6:00 p.m. in the conference center on the second floor of the East Wing Building at TAMC.

Presentation topics through the remainder of the pilot project will be as follows: November, intellectual wellness; December, spiritual wellness; January, physical wellness; February, environmental wellness; March, financial wellness; April, occupational wellness; and May, emotional wellness.  More information, including dates, times and presenters will be announced in the weeks and months ahead.

LiveWell Aroostook: Presque Isle Community Wellness Pilot Project is a partnership of the TAMC Total Health Team, UMPI, NMCC, the Aroostook County Action Program, Healthy Aroostook, City of Presque Isle, Presque Isle Downtown Revitalization Committee, AMHC, Hope and Justice Project, The Northern Lighthouse, and Wintergreen Arts Center.  Project partners plan to assess the pilot through the coming nine months.  If successful, the program may expand to other areas in Aroostook County, bringing additional partners in those regions onboard.

For more information on the LiveWell Aroostook: Presque Isle Community Wellness Pilot Project, call 207-768-4044.