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How Voting Affects Fitness For You & Your Community, According To Instructors

With the 2020 elections just on the other side of this month, voting is top of mind for a lot of people. There’s a lot at stake in this election, and if you’re turning to fitness to sweat the stress away, you’re probably not the only one. But fitness and voting have even more to do with each other than you’d think.

Your access to workout spaces — whether that’s a local park with a track or a boutique studio — is fundamentally shaped by voting, says Nicole Cardoza, a yoga instructor and founder of Yoga Foster and the newsletter Anti-Racism Daily. “There are systemic issues perpetuated in the studios we hold dear and in the spaces that we occupy when we’re trying to be well,” Cardoza says. “So when we want to feel well in studios, it’s really about looking at that overarching system of racism and dismantling it. A lot of that, especially in the next few weeks, comes down to the actions we take at our polls.”

How Do Politics Shape Fitness Culture?

Pretty much everything about your gym or fitness studio is shaped by who’s in office in your area, Cardoza explains, pointing in particular to access to public transportation, instructor pay, and basic neighborhood safety where studios are located.

T’Nisha Symone, founder of luxury fitness club BLAQUE, tells Bustle that zoning laws have a lot to do with the presence — or lack thereof — of accessible fitness spaces in Black and brown neighborhoods. “State and local governments decide how neighborhoods are constructed and as a result, what kind of fitness and wellness behaviors the people in these communities will have access to,” she explains. “Whether or not these resources are available is something that can and should inform our voting behaviors at the local level.”

Access to fitness resources has to do with both private and public interests. A 2019 analysis conducted by Bloomberg found that franchises like CrossFit, Barry’s Boot Camp, and Pure Barre are usually located in neighborhoods that are over 80% white. Of the other 13 fitness franchises included in the analysis, 12 were also located in areas with an average of 70-80% white people. The data also revealed that clubs like Equinox and SoulCycle are often located in gentrifying neighborhoods, drawing in more affluent and white clientele rather than serving the often BIPOC, low-income communities that have been living there.

“Wellness is political,” says Helen Phelan, a Pilates instructor who specializes in body neutrality and mindfulness. “To serve only one type of person is political. To avoid making a statement or ‘getting political’ is a privilege and a political statement all in itself.”

What people learn, say, and even wear in studios is also political. “If you say ‘namaste’ at the end of your practice or wear Mala beads, you need to be standing up for racial injustice,” says Ali Duncan, a yoga instructor and the founder of Urban Sanctuary, the first women-run, Black-owned yoga studio in Denver, Colorado. “So

Community Transmission Extent Remains Low In Northern Virginia

VIRGINIA — On Sunday, 811 additional coronavirus cases and four deaths were reported in Virginia. The cumulative case total is 158,716, while 11,519 people have been hospitalized and 3,358 have died.

Most of the regions moderate community transmission, according to the VDH Pandemic Metrics Dashboard on transmission extent. Here is the outlook for the regions in the week ending on Oct. 3:

  • Northern: Low community transmission, decreasing trend

  • Northwest: Moderate community transmission, fluctuating trend

  • Eastern: Moderate community transmission, decreasing trend

  • Central: Moderate community transmission, decreasing trend

  • Near southwest: Substantial community transmission, fluctuating trend

  • Far southwest: Moderate community transmission, fluctuating trend

Across Virginia, 2,256,820 PCR tests have been completed, an increase of 18,616 from Saturday. The statewide positive average of PCR tests stands at 4.6 percent as of Oct. 7.

According to the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, there are 924 current COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state. That includes 201 patients in the intensive care units and 98 on ventilators. Ventilator use among all hospital patients is at 22 percent, while ICU occupancy is at 79 percent. No hospitals are experiencing difficulty obtaining personal protective equipment or other medical supplies in the next 72 hours. There have been 18,492 COVID-19 patients discharged from hospitals as of Sunday.

Here is the latest breakdown of cases and deaths by age group:

  • 0-9: 5,873 cases, 0 deaths

  • 10-19: 15,880 cases, 1 death

  • 20-29: 32,971 cases, 7 deaths

  • 30-39: 27,033 cases, 32 deaths

  • 40-49: 24,259 cases, 90 deaths

  • 50-59: 22,181 cases, 233 deaths

  • 60-69: 14,596 cases, 531 deaths

  • 70-79: 7,768 cases, 855 deaths

  • 80 and up: 6,845 cases, 1,605 deaths

  • Not reported: 1,310 cases, 4 deaths

Here are the latest coronavirus data updates for our coverage area between Saturday and Sunday:

  • Alexandria: 4,027 cases, 323 hospitalizations, 73 deaths; increase of 18 cases

  • Arlington County: 4,187 cases, 510 hospitalizations, 152 deaths; increase of 17 cases

  • Fairfax County: 21,952 cases, 2,191 hospitalizations, 599 deaths; increase of 91 cases and one hospitalization

  • Fairfax City: 144 cases, 13 hospitalizations, eight deaths; increase of one case

  • Falls Church: 74 cases, 13 hospitalizations, seven deaths; no changes

  • Loudoun County: 7,217 cases, 447 hospitalizations, 128 deaths; increase of 36 cases

  • Manassas: 1,982 cases, 130 hospitalizations, 24 deaths; increase of two cases

  • Manassas Park: 625 cases, 56 hospitalizations, eight deaths; increase of one case

  • Prince William County: 13,110 cases, 944 hospitalizations, 213 deaths; increase of 31 cases and one hospitalization

  • Fredericksburg: 566 cases, 50 hospitalizations, five deaths; increase of three cases

  • Spotsylvania County: 2,260 cases, 138 hospitalizations, 46 deaths; increase of 10 cases

  • Stafford County: 2,155 cases, 165 hospitalizations, 19 deaths; increase of 17 cases

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This article originally appeared on the Kingstowne-Rose Hill Patch

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Tomball Regional Health Foundation continues supporting community with recent grant to Lone Star College

Lone Star College announced, Oct. 6, that the Tomball Regional Health Foundation awarded the Lone Star College Foundation grants worth $244,696 to help Lone Star College-Tomball’s nursing and lifePATH programs.

LSC-Tomball president Lee Ann Nutt said the college has a longstanding relationship with the Tomball Regional Health Foundation.

“They have been supportive of our programs and our college for many years, we have a great track record with them. …That’s allowed us to maintain this relationship of trust and support,” Nutt said. “Because of that relationship, trust and respect between us, we’ve been able to partner together quite a bit, I’m very grateful for that.”

The grant is technically one award but was split into two different parts, according to Nutt, with $244,696 going toward funding for additional lifePATH staffing and $101,839 helping provide more nursing equipment.


Tomball Hospital Authority CEO and THRF board treasurer Lynn LeBouef said the latest donation puts the foundation over $2 million worth of donations to LSC-Tomball in the last eight years.

“We’re pretty proud of that, been able to assist them on needs and haven’t had to raise tax dollars to provide that care,” LeBouef said.

Nutt said the college wouldn’t be able to purchase the necessary equipment without the foundation’s help.

“Health care equipment is very expensive and while we could purchase some, what they’ve allowed us to do is to equip our programs with the best equipment possible for our students,” Nutt said.

Nutt said the college needed additional options for nursing students to use health care training equipment amid COVID. More than half of the funding went to the purchase of four adult, full-body clinical nursing skills simulators, surgical technology supplies and infusion pumps.

“This equipment will simulate working on a patient because with COVID our students don’t have as much or any access to clinical sites,” Nutt said. “This equipment allows us to fill in that gap a little bit and to be able to still give that clinical experience in a simulated environment. …We can’t do all the clinical hours that way but having that additional equipment really helps solve the problem for us, so we appreciate that.”

Serving the community

The latest grant to Lone Star College is just one of many initiatives that the foundation is doing to help the community.

Tomball Regional Health Foundation Chief Administrative Officer Marilyn Kinyo said the foundation’s mission is to provide funding to nonprofits within their service territory for health care and education needs.

The foundation’s service area consists of 15 zip codes throughout northwest Harris including Tomball, Magnolia, Spring, southern Montgomery and Waller county.

“One issue is that people will call us within our service area but they’re helping folks in other areas outside our service area, other countries. …It has to be within our service area,” Kinyo said.

LeBouef

New York City Should Have Done More Outreach in Covid-19 Hot Spots Before Surges, Community Leaders Say

This summer New York City’s public-hospital system identified the areas most at risk of a resurgence of Covid-19 and enlisted community-based organizations to help educate residents and test and trace for the virus.

Now, with the new coronavirus resurgent across pockets of the city, some say this summer’s effort was insufficient and focused on the wrong neighborhoods.

Earlier this week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered new restrictions on communities around the state where the virus has rebounded. The affected areas have higher positivity rates of Covid-19 than the rest of the state and include communities in nine ZIP Codes in Brooklyn and Queens that the city has been tracking for weeks as hot spots. Large Orthodox Jewish communities reside in most of the hot spots.

Of the nine ZIP Codes targeted by the city, only one was listed as a high priority this summer by the Health + Hospitals system in a request for grant applications from community-based organizations to help test and trace the virus. Five of the nine ZIP Codes were listed as a low priority and three weren’t listed at all.

Health officials said the neighborhoods under scrutiny now weren’t as high a priority in the summer when other areas were experiencing worsening numbers or were improving at a slower rate than the citywide average.

None of the community-based organizations awarded grants under the program were from the Orthodox community. But officials said that many organizations had now been enlisted to help with the response to the surge in Orthodox neighborhoods.

Officials said that one aim of the city’s outreach to community-based organizations was to address structural conditions of racism that exacerbated the effects of the pandemic. City data show that the pandemic disproportionately affected low-income neighborhoods and people of color compared with whites and higher-income neighborhoods.

Christopher Miller, a spokesman for the city’s hospital system, Health + Hospitals, said: “We continue to identify new organizations to partner with as positivity increases in certain neighborhoods.”

A worker from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs handing out masks and printed information about Covid-19 testing in July in New York.



Photo:

Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

The city’s health department, which also does education on the virus, said since February it has done extensive outreach in the communities that are now under lockdowns. The outreach includes advertisements in local newspapers in multiple languages, community round tables and talks with leaders, including rabbis. In late August, officials also began distributing masks at synagogues and conducting testing, according to the health department.

City officials said they have also recently increased testing in these communities.

Carlina Rivera, the Democratic chairwoman of New York City Council’s committee on hospitals, said the hospital system hasn’t been forthcoming about the methods it used to prioritize certain areas or about how many contact tracers speak languages such as Yiddish.

“We think Health and Hospitals is doing their best, but that just might not be enough for an organization that is used to emergency treatment inside a hospital,”

Military-Style Response at One Retirement Community Stymies COVID-19

Along with much of the country, Knollwood Life Plan Community in the District of Columbia went into lockdown in mid-March to try to protect residents and staff from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The retirement community includes sections for independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing. The leadership team stopped allowing visitors to the facility, which is typically home to 280 people – all of whom are retired military service members, former high-level federal government officials and family members. Residents range from those living independently to those needing a high level of care. They are served by 250 staffers, who all began wearing personal protective equipment, including masks, disposable gloves and full gowns, when the pandemic began.

The first weeks of lockdown seemed fine.

Everything changed six days before Easter, on April 6. That day, the District of Columbia Medical Examiner’s office called to notify community officials that a Knollwood hospice resident who had recently died, a woman in her 90s, had tested positive for COVID-19.

The deadly new virus had penetrated Knollwood.

Leaders quickly launched a military-style response to ramp up testing of residents and staff. “It was chaotic,” says Col. Paul Bricker, a retired Army helicopter pilot and Knollwood’s chief operating officer who commanded the effort. “It reminded me very much of being in Afghanistan in a firebase under attack. I almost started wearing camouflage to work.”

Bricker’s wartime aviation experience – he served in Afghanistan and Iraq – informed his efforts.

“When you fly into fog, you’re flying blind,” he says. “Testing provides a light through the (fog) to better understand what you’re dealing with.” As a helicopter pilot, Bricker could rely on his instruments when visibility was poor. Similarly, he knew that mounting a testing effort could illuminate who was infected by the virus, which would help Knollwood stop its spread by quarantining infected residents and staffers for two weeks – until they were no longer contagious, in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In early April, officials decided to launch an offensive against the virus start by testing everyone in the skilled nursing neighborhood, residents and staff.

Skilled nursing is the smallest of three neighborhoods at Knollwood, and is home to residents who are most vulnerable and require full-time care. This neighborhood includes a skilled memory care section, for people with conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. The majority of Knollwood residents live in independent living, and a smaller number in assisted living.

After the Medical Examiner’s notification, Bricker and his colleagues made a series of phone calls and obtained 150 COVID-19 tests. Then Bricker and his team met with CDC officials to discuss the plan to ramp up testing.

Soon after, with the help of CDC doctors who came to the community, Knollwood began testing residents and staff members. Testing began in the skilled nursing section, where the resident who had died with COVID-19 had lived. It’s also where Knollwood’s most vulnerable residents are; their average age

Tim McGraw Awarded the Tom Hanks Caregiver Champion for His Support of the Military and Veterans Community

Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Tim Mcgraw, you never fail to put a smile on our faces, especially now during these exceedingly challenging times. Off the top of our heads, we recall how the country star has comforted us with his poignant commencement speech for this year’s graduates this past May. Then, in July, he surprised health care workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis by dropping in on their video meeting. In August, he performed at a virtual St. Jude festival alongside other country music greats like Keith Urban.

Whether we hear it in his music or see it in his sweet relationship with wife Faith Hill, it’s clear McGraw has a very big heart. Now, the country singer is wowing us again, this time with his dedication to helping the veterans community. As we learned from SoundsLikeNashville.com, McGraw is being honored with the Tom Hanks Caregiver Champion Award by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. The award will be presented to McGraw at the foundation’s Heroes and History Makers virtual event on October 20, at 8 p.m. ET, which will be hosted by Senators Elizabeth and Bob Dole and also include appearances by Tom Hanks, Darius Rucker, and Savannah Guthrie, among other notable celebrities.

Having lost his own father to brain cancer, McGraw acts as the Honorary Chair of the Tug McGraw Foundation, which provides help to those with brain conditions, coming to the aid of many veterans and their caregivers through their work. “We are thrilled to honor Tim McGraw this year. He understands from both his personal experiences, and his support of other caregivers, exactly what our military and veteran caregivers go through on a daily basis,” said Steve Schwab, CEO of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation in a statement posted on SoundsLikeNashville.com. “Inspired by what he learned from caring for his father, Tim has used his platform as one of our nation’s top entertainers to help the military community find resources for invisible injuries. This continues to be a critical need for caregivers, and an important component of our work at the Elizabeth Dole Foundation.”

Previous recipients of the award are the award’s namesake, Tom Hanks himself, and former First Lady Michelle Obama. If you’d like to learn more or sign up for the event, click here.

WATCH: Alabama Man Who Mows Lawns for the Elderly and Veterans, Now Delivering Free Meals Too

Alabama Man Who Mows Lawns for the Elderly and Veterans, Now Delivering Free Meals Too

“I’m just mowing and doing what I love to do best: helping others.”

Congratulations on another amazing achievement, Mr.McGraw. Both on the music charts and off, it’s clear you’re an incredible person.

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The Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC) Announces Case for Quality Collaborative Community with FDA Participation

The Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) will participate in its Case for Quality Collaborative Community (CfQcc) initiative.

The CDRH identified participation in collaborative communities as a strategic priority for 2018 to 2020. The purpose of a collaborative community is to bring together medical device stakeholders in a continuing forum of private- and public-sector members, including the FDA, to achieve common outcomes, solve shared challenges, and leverage collective opportunities. Ultimately, collaborative communities seek to contribute to the improvement of areas affecting U.S. patients and healthcare.

“The FDA is committed to working with diverse stakeholders to help ensure that patients and health care providers have access to safe, effective, and high-quality medical devices,” said Francisco Vicenty, CfQcc program manager within FDA’s CDRH. “Today’s announcement reflects the agency’s commitment to collaborative communities and builds upon existing efforts to help advance medical device quality and safety to achieve better patient outcomes. We continue to believe that collaborative communities can contribute to improvements in areas affecting patients and health care in the United States.”

The mission of the CfQcc is to convene a collaborative community of diverse stakeholders representing and serving the medical device industry with the goal of transitioning from baseline regulatory compliance to sustained, predictive practices that advance medical device quality and safety to achieve better patient outcomes. As the Convener of the CfQcc, MDIC will facilitate a neutral environment of trust and transparency, wherein a diverse group of stakeholders representing the breadth of the medical device ecosystem can collaborate openly with candor irrespective of whether they are a manufacturer, provider, patient, payor, or a member of MDIC. This initiative builds on the progress of MDIC’s Case for Quality program.

“We founded the vision and mission of the Case for Quality to reduce the risk to patients. The transformation of Case for Quality from an ecosystem program to a collaborative community really is an exciting time for us,” said Joe Sapiente, Vice President of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs, Surgical, Breast, Skeletal Health, for Hologic Inc. and Chair of MDIC’s Case for Quality Steering Committee. “The formation of the Case for Quality Collaborative Community is a model for long-term success and benefit, in terms of governance, agency and industry involvement, and relationship management of our diverse stakeholders.”

In 2019, MDIC’s National Evaluation System for health Technologies Coordinating Center (NESTcc) Collaborative Community was named one of the first collaborative communities with FDA participation.

About the Medical Device Innovation Consortium
Founded in 2012, the Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC) is the first public-private partnership created with the sole objective of advancing medical device regulatory science throughout the total product life cycle. MDIC’s mission is to promote public health through science and technology and to enhance trust and confidence among stakeholders. MDIC works in the pre-competitive space to facilitate the development of methods, tools, and approaches that enhance understanding and improve evaluation of product safety, quality, and

Empire Communities Announces Partnership with Community Food Centres Canada

Vaughan, Ontario, Oct. 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Empire Communities, one of North America’s largest privately-owned builder-developers, has entered into a strategic partnership with Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC). Their work helps to support families struggling with food insecurity and programs that help to promote resources for accessing healthy food, the development of food skills and education promoting health and well-being. The sponsorship names Empire as the Community Partner in their innovative program, The Big Social, the CFCC’s second annual national fundraising event raising money for food programs.

“With COVID-19 affecting so many families across southern Ontario and the communities in which we build we felt that a partnership with CFCC was a cause that could directly impact and help the local families in Empire communities, specifically in Southwestern Ontario where Empire has a strong presence,” says Sue MacKay, Vice President of Marketing at Empire Communities. “Empire has long been a supporter of causes and organizations assisting with the promotion of health, education, sport and well-being, and with the uncertainties brought on by the pandemic this type of support is needed now more than ever.”

This year’s Big Social event will be completely virtual, bringing thousands of Canadians together from October 9 to 25 to host a small meal or virtual dinner party with friends and family to fundraise and raise awareness. Money raised will support community members to get access to the supplies they need to eat well and cook healthy.

“Food is an incredible tool for bringing people together. That’s what our community partners do each and every day,” says Nick Saul, CEO of Community Food Centres Canada. “Food insecurity and isolation are at an all-time high, and The Big Social provides a safe and valuable way to give back during COVID-19.”

 

COMMUNITY FOOD CENTRES CANADA

Community Food Centres Canada (cfccanada.ca) builds dynamic and responsive Community Food Centres and food programs that support people to eat well, connect with their neighbours and contribute, through advocacy and mutual support, to a more just and inclusive Canada. With our 200+ partners, we work to eradicate poverty, food insecurity and improve the health and well-being of low-income Canadians.

 

EMPIRE COMMUNITIES

Empire Communities (empirecommunities.com) is a residential builder/developer involved in all sectors of the new home building industry, including both low‐rise and high‐rise built forms. Celebrating over 25 years of building inspiring new places to live, Empire has an established tradition of creating prestigious award-winning new homes, communities and amenities and has earned a reputation for outstanding attention to detail and customer service. Since its inception in 1993, Empire has built over 20,000 new homes and condos. Today, Empire is one of the largest privately held homebuilders in North America with current communities in Toronto, Southwestern Ontario and the Southern U.S. States.

 

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CONTACT: Daniela Tirone Empire Communities 416-627-3896 [email protected]

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Mardi Paws geauxs pink, docs paint their nails all to fight breast cancer | St. Tammany community news

A little over a month ago, Ace, a 2-year-old female Lab mix, was an orphaned pup dropped off at the St. Tammany Parish animal shelter in Lacombe.

Her former owners needed to part ways with the black beauty because she is said to have an issue with seizures, and the family couldn’t afford her care.

Fast forward to October: Ace is still in the shelter, but now she’s also an unorthodox champion for breast cancer awareness.

Like some other shelter pups, has taken on a new role wearing pink accessories to help promote breast cancer awareness as part of the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s annual “Geaux Pink” campaign in October. 

When it comes to promoting a cause amid the chaos of COVID-19 and ongoing mandates, it’s all about creativity, said Erica Kelt, director of development for the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Covington, and finding novel ways to fight a disease that affects every one in eight women.

Ace is part of Bark for a Cure, hosted by Mardi Paws, which is a weeklong event Oct. 11-17 online on the Mardi Paws Facebook or barkforacure.net. The event features raffles, contests and, of course, fundraising. Proceeds from the event will benefit the cancer center.

“We just have a soft spot in our hearts for people that are suffering and we want to do anything we can to make it a little bit easier on them,” said Mardi Paws founder Denise Gutnisky.

The Geaux Pink effort is ongoing through the month of October, and donors can take on any method of fundraising — individual or as a team — and contribute directly online. All moneys raised will go toward the center’s breast cancer screening and prevention efforts, said Kelt, which includes the mobile unit that sets up at various public places throughout the parish.

“You’ll see our mobile screening unit or mammogram unit at place like a Walgreens or Winn-Dixie because people are already going there,” said Kelt. “People can just go there and get screened so they don’t have to make a second appointment at their doctor’s office.”

Navigators are also there to assist if something is discovered during the test that needs follow-up.

In the case of Dr. Jay Saux, oncologist, and Dr. Angela Buonagura, breast surgeon, their message is in the fingernails. The two teamed up to get their nails done up in pink, and they’re encouraging others to do the same and donate.

According to the Geaux Pink website, the idea is to get pink fingernails and toenails for the month of October and donate to the cancer center in Covington. 

Saux, who is known throughout the community for his flamboyant pirate costumes and upbeat attitude, said he went with a bold sparkle pink gel wrap, while Dr. Buonagura decided on a soft pink polish. The two got their nails done together at the P&G Salon in Covington while chatting about the importance of breast cancer awareness. It’s a subject that both doctors are passionate about

Virtual fitness classes allow this community battling addiction to gain strength during lockdown

The Covid-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone — but for the nearly 21 million Americans battling addiction, it can be especially harmful.



Scott Strode sitting in front of a laptop computer: Scott Strode's nonprofit is helping people in recovery stay connected and supported during the pandemic.


© Provided by CNN
Scott Strode’s nonprofit is helping people in recovery stay connected and supported during the pandemic.

“For somebody in recovery, social isolation is a really slippery slope,” said Scott Strode, a 2012 CNN Hero. “It can often lead to the relapse.”

Strode knows firsthand the reality of being in recovery. He was able to overcome his addiction to drugs and alcohol through sports and exercise. Encouraged by his success, in 2007 Strode started his non-profit, The Phoenix, to help others deal with their own addiction.

The organization has provided free athletic activities and a sober support community to more than 36,000 people across the United States.

When Covid-19 hit, the organization had to close its gyms and practice social distancing. But the non-profit found a new way to keep those connections — and quickly pivoted to virtual programming.

Now, clients can log on to free virtual classes offered throughout the day — everything from yoga and strength training to meditation and recovery meetings.

“We hadn’t done virtual programming before, but we pretty quickly learned that it allowed the Phoenix to offer programs to rural communities that we historically couldn’t reach,” Strode said.

The group now has people in recovery joining classes from all across the US, and four other countries. They’ve also been able to bring their programming into prisons nationwide by recording content that is then distributed to inmates.

“I don’t think we’re going to find some magic solution that’s going to fix addiction in all of our communities,” Strode said. “I think we have to do it as a community and be there for each other — letting people step into the pride and strength in their recovery can get us out of this.”

CNN’s Phil Mattingly recently joined a Phoenix class and spoke with Strode about his work. Below is an edited version of their conversation.

Phil Mattingly: What is it about these classes that you feel really resonates with people who are generally going through a pretty tough time?

Scott Strode: I always say that people come to the Phoenix for the workout, but they really stay for the friendships. When we face that greater adversity of that workout together, we build a bond. And in that bond, we find a place where we can support each other in our recovery journey. Often times we keep our struggles in the shadows, in this dark place of shame. There’s something really special about finding a community where you can just be open about all the challenges you’ve faced.

I think we’re all in recovery from something. For me, it just happens to be a substance use disorder. And when I find a community that accepts me and loves me for who I am, it just allows me to build different kinds of friendships.

Mattingly: There’s no silver lining or bright