Cornerstone receives Pinnacle Award for wellness program


Joan Fagan, a client at Cornerstone’s Alzheimer’s Center on Warwick Neck Avenue gravitated to her role in the spotlight yesterday. In fact, she was kicking to do it.

Joan, like many others at Cornerstone centers, enjoys using the NuStep exercise machine. And Cornerstone received the newest of the NuSteps, the model T5, yesterday.

With some assistance from physical therapist Vikki Paull, Joan slid into the seat and started pumping her arms and legs. She looked delighted and smiled widely for the cameras.

The unit virtually overshadowed the significance of why Cornerstone was selected to receive it and why so many people were gathered in the facility’s main room.

Cornerstone Adult Services, a member of Saint Elizabeth Community, was selected from 50 applicants for NuStep’s Gold Pinnacle Award in the senior center category.

NuStep’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing Steve Sarns said the machine is only an element to a program. He noted that it involves people to work with patients who are motivated.

He called it “whole person wellness,” and said in visiting the three finalists for the award, Cornerstone’s program stood out from the others. Cornerstone is unique in that in addition to providing adult day care services, it also offers rehab services through Innovations Rehab of Rhode Island.

“We are honored to have been chosen for this distinction,” said Cornerstone Administrator Dottie Santagata, “and pleased to be recognized for our wellness initiatives at our day centers.” She said the machines are so popular that clients are “fighting” to get to use them.

The national award recognizes senior organizations with outstanding whole-person wellness programming and recognizes a multidimensional, interdependent model that promotes

self-responsibility for wellness in all dimensions of one’s life, from physical and intellectual wellness to spiritual, vocational, environmental, social and emotional wellness.

Sarns said in the 20 years NuStep has been in business, it has sold about 60,000 of the machines to institutions as well as individuals. The units range in price from $3,800 to $6,000. He said the machines provide a “full workout” and are designed “to keep people out of nursing homes.”

At Cornerstone, Paull said, NuSteps are used to help people improve their balance, strength, postural stability and overall fitness. She said balance is critical, as complications resulting from falls are a major cause of hospitalization of the elderly.


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