Photo Credit : Jade Beall
I am super excited to share with the world this wonderful news. I have been awarded a fellowship to work with a population that is near and dear to my heart women, children and their family. Check out the press release below.
University of Otago Arts Fellowships for 2015 announced
In my last blog post, The Uzo Method Project- A Public Health Solution- Community Based Resource Center for PMAD, I shared some research data that shows the importance of music and dance on energy and stress levels. This curiosity about music and dance continues as I continue to tie my graduate studies work to the power of music and dance. I am striving to build the relationship between being a health care provider in public health nursing and my gift and passion for dance, it is a no brainer to explore and study the best way to merge the two disciplines and worlds.
I was fortunate to be awarded this fellowship at the University of Otago. Yes!!!!! I am going to Aeotoera (New Zealand) as the 2015 Caroline Plummer Dance Fellow. I get to live my dreams combining dance with Maternal and Child Health nursing. This opportunity involves working with the community members of Dunedin NZ as well as the health care providers exploring the culture and perceptions around pre-natal and post-partum mood disorders (PPMD). This would lead to an informed community dance experience and a performance/arts installation at the end.The goal of my Maternal-Child Dance project is to share cultural ideologies around PPMD and engage in community awareness of the benefits of music and dance as a support for the mother, babies and their families and communities as a whole as members experience disturbances due to PPMD.
I wonder what it would be like if nurses, nurse home visitors, nurse midwives, doulas, lactation consultants, OB/GYNs, mental health providers, and family members used music and movement as a part of relieving the anxiety, preventing further depression, decreasing stress, building community, developing positive pathways in the brain, building relationships, improving caregiver child interaction, and improving communication through everyday practice.
Founder Uzo Method Project
From December of 2011 through March of 2013, women who were diagnosed with or at risk for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMAD) were offered an Uzo Method dance intervention. There were 54 dance interventions provided for 28 unique participants. Participants were asked to rate their stress and energy on a 5 point scale both before and after the intervention The proportion of participants who reported a reduction in stress was 83.33%. The proportion of participants who reported an increase in energy was 81.25%. This is wonderful information that proves my belief that dance improves well being and especially when life is tough. Parenting in the first few years can be especially challenging when PPMD is suspected or diagnosed. The community can help at large if we can sensitive to new moms, their emotions, the resources and support systems that encourage dancing together. Let us all get up and get moving with good music. Uzoamaka Nwankpa RN BSN Grand Canyon University Graduate Student Masters of Nursing Science Uzo Nwankpa, facilitated all the sessions and collected the data which was compiled and analyzed by Fania Bevill, also a registered nurse.
From children making coconut oil sugar scrubs, to juicing Ayurvedic style.
From visual sugar content in drinks to children under ten cooking for the public with their mother.
Haile Thomas and the HAPPY organization along with the Tucson YWCA went through a great deal to feed the community with healthy delicious meals.
What an amazing experience it is to be in the Tucson community.
I was honored to be a part of an amazing family that inspires me. The thomas family have together supported Haile in her ventures following her dreams.
Photos to come soon.
I was asked to be a speaker and of course I spoke about music and movement and self-healing practices.
See Presentation details here
“The Healthy Belly Community Dinner is a creative and engaging approach to addressing the issue of childhood obesity, malnutrition, and hunger all in one fun, delicious and informative evening with a community of deserving families and supportive community health & wellness presenters. HAPPY Organization Founder, Haile Thomas created this event for Global Youth Service Day, as a Service-Learning Project, and in support of her overall mission to inspire healthier generation”
This winter is HOT with community healing events all over Tucson.
This Tucson community in AZ continues to thrive for lifelong wellness and ofcourse WE are here to support the community bringing balance to health and illness. We will be facilitating community engagement at Healthy South Tucson’s First Fit Saturday: A Victory Party!
SO after the wonderful Family Fitness Fest, we will be headed to South Tucson to continue the wellness excitement. Come join us in some dancing, movement, music and community building.
Hope to see you all there.