Katie Giles

Katie Giles

2013 Innovation Award - Toronto

Bernard Betel Centre

Nominator Comments:

Katie is recognized for advancing new approaches to cross-cultural communications and cultural specific programs that ensure diverse seniors in the community benefit from the wellness programs and services. Many seniors at the Centre suffer strokes, heart attacks and illnesses requiring hospitalization. After returning home, these seniors wanted to exercise but were too frail to attempt regular programs. Katie instituted seated versions of the most popular programs such as seated yoga, seated osteofit, chair conditioning as well as Tai Chi,low Impact, and stretching classesthereby enabling seniors to slowly return to a healthy state.

Katie significantly increased the participation of Russian-speaking seniors by introducing Zumba and belly dancing as they preferred dancing to fitness classes. Her new initiatives have had a tremendous impact on the community. Seniors themselves reported on surveys that their flexibility, strength, endurance and general health have improved.

To quote her nominators: “She not only “talks the talk, but also walks the walk.” She is both an inspiration to the seniors and the staff alike – her entire life revolves around wellness and she is a fantastic role model for healthy living”

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