In AdventHealth Shawnee Mission’s Community Wellness program, participants learn how to improve their whole health—mind, body and spirit. Through classes such as fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness, they learn from health care team members about how to make healthy choices in a setting where they can meet others with similar interests or health conditions.

That social connection is an important part of helping participants to feel whole, says Lisa Cummings, wellness manager at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission. While staying connected can be a challenge with COVID-19 and social distancing, it’s an important part of our overall health.

“We want to provide a place where people can learn tools to manage their health and also talk about what’s going on in their lives,” says Cummings. “It’s a way to provide peace in anxious times.”

Community Wellness classes were paused in March and April with COVID precautions, but the classes started again in June as guidelines were established for keeping participants healthy. Participants receive masks and a temperature check before entering. Tables are spaced out so everyone can sit six feet apart. Some classes are offered virtually, although the in-person classes tend to be the most popular.

“Many participants feel comfortable coming to the classes because of the additional level of safety at the hospital,” says Cummings. “Our physicians and directors review all our procedures and protocols and give their approval before we open our classes and programs.”

For example, AdventHealth Shawnee Mission has an infection prevention manager who provides guidance on keeping a safe environment. Physicians in pulmonology and cardiology direct and approve the fitness programs, which are evaluated for the individuals’ safety.

One of those fitness programs, Move 4 Life, is geared toward former patients who have chronic health conditions, who are often seniors, and could be at-risk for complications of COVID-19. Before reopening in 2020, the program had to be carefully evaluated at the hospital to ensure that all precautions were taken.

“The program went through approvals throughout the hospital before we opened it back up in September,” says Cummings. “Everyone gets a temperature check and mask, and we make sure that everyone is socially distanced. Health care team members are on hand to check vitals and make sure that everyone is safe.”

Classes are available that help focus on whole health–mind, body and spirit—which are particularly helpful during anxious times.  Tereza Hubkova, MD, integrative medicine physician, teaches a class called Building a Resilient Immune System, which covers how to improve your chances of staying healthy. Cummings leads a class called Mindfulness For Every Day, that shows participants how to focus on the present moment for better physical and emotional health. Mindfulness involves being aware of your surroundings and your senses to help your mind and body relax.

“Research has shown that just 10 to 15 minutes of mindfulness can have beneficial effects and actually change the parts of your brain that keep you relaxed,” says Cummings. “People are often amazed at how much better they feel after a few minutes of closing their eyes and deep breathing.”

Other Community Wellness programs available to the community include an Open Canvas Night painting class, a Mindful Eating class, and an organization class called More Peace, Less Clutter. Community Wellness also hosts a book club called A Novel Idea, which meets four times in the fall to help provide a place of connection.

“These classes are always popular because it’s a great place to talk with others about life in a supportive environment,” says Cummings. “It can help them in a time where they may feel isolated.”

In addition, Community Wellness team members regularly have a tent at the Overland Park Farmers’ Market. There, they provide handouts and giveaways and let people know about classes and information to help them feel whole, no matter what their stage of wellness.

“It’s one way of reaching out to the community,” says Cummings. “We want to help them care for their physical health, as well as their emotional and spiritual health.”

For more information on AdventHealth Community Wellness classes and programs, visit