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Andricks_Tanya 6.23.16

Tanya Andricks is CEO of Crossing Healthcare, which has opened gardens to increase area residents’ access to healthy foods.

DECATUR -- As Crossing Healthcare approached its first National Health Center Week in its new building at 320 E. Central Ave., it wanted to make a splash.

The result is five days of fun beginning today, inside and outside the building.

“This year, we decided to make it bigger and better than we have in the past, because we’re bigger and better than we’ve been in the past,” Crossing Executive Director Tanya Andricks said. “So as people drive by, they’re going to see all kinds of strange things outside.”

Each day, across the street from the building in the lot by the gardens, Crossing will highlight a difference service offered. There will be a giveaway to patients each day as well.

Today, Children's Health Services are highlighted -- Sally the Clown will paint faces and make balloon animals from 9 to 11 a.m.

On Tuesday, Women’s Health and Prenatal Services will be highlighted at an all-day booth. The Scovill Petting Zoo will visit from 9 to 11 a.m.

Then, on Tuesday evening, Central Illinois Foodbank’s Mobile Food Pantry will be available free to anyone. Bring an empty box or laundry basket and fill it up with food.

“Our doctors and nurse practitioners took up a collection of $1,100, which is the price Central Illinois Foodbank charges to bring 13,000 pounds of fresh, healthy food,” Andricks said. “We’ll have the truck here, and all of our staff are going volunteer and hand it out to whoever comes with a basket.

“August is a hard month for a lot of people because they stretch their dollars to get kids back to school, so this seemed like a good time for it.”

Wednesday will feature adult health, with free blood pressure checks and also Paw Print Ministries’ therapy dogs from 10 to 11 a.m. and low-impact chair exercises or Zumba from 2 to 3 p.m.

Thursday’s all-day booth will have information about Nutritional Services. Two registered dietitians will compete at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., with patients the judges of whose healthy snack is better. There will also be a Praise Moves demonstration from 10 to 11 a.m. and a Lose to Live exercise booth from 1 to 3 p.m.

The week finishes on Friday by highlighting Behavioral Health services. Therapy horses will be on hand from 1 to 2 p.m., and Paw Print Ministries’ therapy dogs will be there from 2 to 3 p.m.

Shawna Cole, Crossing human resources director, said the goal of the activities and giveaways was to provide a fun way to get the word out about all of what Crossing offers.

“We wanted to come up with some ways to spotlight our services and encouraging our patients to become more aware of what we do have to offer,” Cole said.

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Sports editor for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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