November 28, 2011
Allison Agwu, M.D., leads weekly Zumba classes in the Rubenstein Child Health Building.
Rhonique Harris, M.D., left, and Allison Agwu, M.D., are certified aerobics instructors.
Tuesday evenings in Hopkins Children's Rubenstein Child Health Building are now Zumba evenings. Once the clinic closes, waiting room chairs are moved and staff, patients and families join in a cardio workout led by pediatricians Allison Agwu and Rhonique Harris, both certified aerobics instructors.
Agwu, a pediatric infectious disease specialist, and Harris, a friend who runs the mobile health programs at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., volunteered earlier this fall to teach the popular aerobic classes to teenage girls in Hopkins Children’s Youth Fitness Circle. Led by pediatric social worker Carrie Vick, the “circle” is a fitness and nutrition program for overweight children and adolescents. The Zumba clinic, which runs through Dec. 20 for Rubenstein staff and circle members, grew out of the enthusiasm engendered by the weekly classes for the youth. “Staff were standing around while the kids were having a blast,” says Vick. “Now, we have combined Zumba classes for both and everyone is having so much fun getting fit. Morale is boosted and weight is dropping. Our leaders are such wonderful role models with loads of positive energy.”
Classes are well attended, too, with clinic patient service coordinators, doctors, nurses, security staff and administrators joining in, she adds.
“We’d love to spread the word about our Zumba clinics as we truly feel that it is important for any first-class hospital system, such as Hopkins, to inspire and promote health and fitness as part of workplace wellness,” says Agwu.
As an additional component of Rubenstein's focus on body and mind wellness for employees, a meditation program, led by Hopkins Children’s pediatrician Erica Sibinga, is also offered Tuesdays, 12:15-1 p.m., in the building's second floor conference room, Rm 2089.
For more information about either program, contact Carrie Vick, 410-955-2679, firstname.lastname@example.org.