County Executive Robert P. Astorino is seeking Spanish-speaking volunteers to facilitate workshopsOct. 20, 2016 - County Executive Robert P. Astorino is seeking Spanish-speaking volunteers to facilitate workshops that will help older residents manage chronic health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and arthritis. A medical background is not necessary.

“I encourage Spanish-speaking adults to consider giving their time to this worthwhile program,” Astorino said. “It is a terrific way to contribute to the community and help seniors live healthier lives.”

The free program is called “Tomando Control de su Salud” (Take Control of your Health). It is the Spanish version of the Livable Communities “Health for Life Programs” (HeLP), which are taught in English.

Training is scheduled for Nov. 9, 10, 16 and 17 in White Plains. The training is free but prospective volunteers must commit to four days of training from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to become certified and must agree to co-lead at least three workshops by mid-July 2017. For more information, contact Marikay Capasso by phone at (914) 813-6427 or by e-mail at .

Tomando empowers seniors to enhance their quality of life and age in place by getting a better understanding of why physical activity, healthy eating and stress management are so important. Learning to use medications correctly and improving communication with health care providers and family are also crucial. The program is not a substitute for a senior’s healthcare provider; rather, it helps to enhance better health outcomes.

The workshops take place at community-based locations in Westchester such as houses of worship, senior centers, libraries and housing developments. They are held one day per week for six consecutive weeks and each session is two and a half hours.

The workshop was developed by Stanford University’s Patient Education Center and is taught today in 49 states and 28 countries. The volunteers will follow the model teaching program from Stanford and also receive additional training to lead discussions to help seniors gain insights into their health related behaviors.

“When seniors take care of their health, their quality of life vastly improves,” said DSPS Commissioner Mae Carpenter. “Tomando is such a valuable program, and I hope many people volunteer.”