Local senior center nationally recognized for wellness

Nov. 16—A St. Joseph senior center was recognized as one of the top five health and wellness facilities in the country.

Staff at the Joyce Royce Patterson 50+ Activity Center were presented with the International Council for Active Aging NuStep Pinnacle award for “Best in Wellness” on Nov. 8.

The ICAA first began honoring senior living communities in 2019. This year, they added achievements for community centers — senior centers, parks and recreation facilities as well as adult day services — as well as CEOs. A panel of four professionals selected the centers to receive the awards and be recognized.

This award panel looks for organizations that “pioneer the best strategies, staffing, programs and philosophy to foster an environment that embraces wellness as a way of life” and more.

Julie Noel, the manager of the Joyce Raye Patterson center, said that receiving the award was amazing and humbling.

“It was just kind of inspiring,” Noel said. “When we applied, we really didn’t expect to get it.”

The staff includes three full-time employees, a shared fitness coordinator, six part-time employees and four volunteers.

Noel spoke very highly of her employees as they work hard for the goal of putting the guest first.

“They’re loyal and they have the best interest for customers in mind … they take on a lot of responsibility when they’re here,” Noel said. “It really does take a great staff to build a community like this. It’s surrounded by wellness … we’re really fortunate.”

The center has a variety of activities for guests to participate in. Some of these include fitness classes, symposium guest speakers, lunch served four days a week and avenues for competitive activities (pool tables, shuffleboard, ping pong, etc.) There are also classes and opportunities to get blood pressure checked.

The feeling in the building is that there is a sense of community and family with everyone.

“We have a slogan … it’s friendship, fun and fitness,” Noel said. “That’s really what it is all about here, making friends and having fun and staying well.”

Noel said that the staff is grateful to receive the award and proud that their hard work is paying off.

“We can’t take all the credit … we have to look at the people who were here before us and all the work that they put into it because they set the foundation for us to continue,” Noel said.

Riley Funk can be reached at [email protected]