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Mandell JCC Announces New Community Wellness Director

Sharon O'Brien. Courtesy photo

The hiring of Sharon O’Brien will help the Mandell JCC in West Hartford expand its footprint with a focus on wellness programming.

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The Mandell Jewish Community Center (Mandell JCC) is excited to announce that Sharon O’Brien, who founded the Center for Integrative Medicine at Saint Francis Hospital, has been named Community Wellness Director.

O’Brien, who has worked in the field of health promotion and wellness since 1988 – teaching prevention and intervention classes, coordinating health screenings, and promoting wellness practices – will be responsible for all wellness programming at the J, as well as community wellness initiatives and partnerships between the JCC and local businesses, agencies, municipalities, and services, including JCC community healthcare partner Trinity Health of New England.

“I am incredibly honored to join an organization that is dedicated to improving the quality of life and health in our community,” said O’Brien. “The JCC is one of the truly great nonprofit organizations in Connecticut, and as a trusted source for wellness education and engagement, the JCC will be a key referral source for medical practices and healthcare institutions whose patients need fitness, holistic options, stress management, pain management, and whole body wellness. We will also work with companies that need additional wellness programs and opportunities to round out their employee benefits.”

“In the wake of this pandemic, keeping our community healthy is our most important contribution,” said Annie Keith, Chief Operating Officer for the Mandell JCC, “and health and wellness is now an essential service. Through our partnership with Trinity Health of New England, we have worked with Sharon over the years on many programs and events, and with her extensive background and experience as a wellness industry leader, she will help us expand our market footprint quickly. In addition, Sharon’s connection with our members has been so positive, that it was clear to us that she was the right fit to manage our community wellness initiatives.”

“We would like to congratulate Sharon O’Brien on her new position as Community Wellness Director at the Mandell JCC,” said Thomas Burke, BPharm, MBA, President of Saint Francis Hospital. “We look forward to working closely with Sharon to enhance the partnership between Saint Francis and the Mandell JCC. The missions behind both of our organizations align to support the well-being of our surrounding community and we are committed to serving people of all backgrounds, ages, and cultural identities.”

In addition to being the Director and Founder of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Saint Francis Hospital, O’Brien also worked as the Assistant Director of the Comprehensive Women’s Health Center. After more than 20 years at Trinity Health of New England, engaging the staff and the community in health promotion practices, O’Brien partnered with her colleagues to open Holistic Health Options, LLC at the Mandell JCC in October 2020.

Holistic Health Options serves the Greater Hartford community with a variety of wellness options, including acupuncture, massage, hypnosis, nutrition consultations, health and life coaching and sound and energy therapy.

O’Brien, who has a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Fitness from Springfield College, is certified in health and life coaching, mind-body medicine, M-technique, Ayurvedic massage, Reiki, weight management, mindfulness, and stress management.

“Wellness is not just the absence of disease,” added O’Brien. “It is the quality of being in good health and ultimately taking responsibility for your health and happiness – physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially. As we begin to inch out of the COVID restrictions, it is the perfect time to take stock in how we are caring for ourselves.”

The following is a sample of some of the wellness programming for the month of April:

Guided Meditation
Wednesdays | April 7-28 | 11:30am | Zoom

Take time for YOU with a 15-minute relaxation technique.
Join Sharon O’Brien virtually and experience Deepak Chopra meditations meant to reduce tension, manage stress, and help you feel more at peace. Free and open to the community.

Spring into Better Health with a Seasonal Cleanse

Thursdays, April 8 & 15 | 5:30pm (Hybrid) | Presented by Dr. Diana Zitserman

Join Dr. Diana in this 2-part lecture series as she uncovers the biology and health benefits behind body detoxification. Seasonal detoxification is a powerful way to clearing waste from the body, kick start a stubborn metabolism, reduce tissue inflammation, boost immune function, and improve energy levels, mood and skin.

$100/$110 non-member – Price includes protein powder shakes for 10-day cleanse, wellness guidelines, and access to naturopath, Dr. Diana, throughout the cleanse.

$25/$35 non-member – Lecture series without protein powder

To register for these classes and learn more: www.mandelljcc.org/wellness

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