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 Pa. Health Secretary to Visit SRU Equestrian Center April 4 

 

SPOTLIGHT

March 14, 2006

Contact: Gordon Ovenshine 724-738-4854; gordon.ovenshine@sru.edu

PA HEALTH SECRETARY TO VISIT SRU EQUESTRIAN CENTER APRIL 4

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Dr. Calvin B. Johnson, Pennsylvania secretary of health since 2003, will come to Slippery Rock University on April 4 to learn more about the university’s Adapted Physical Activity Program and its latest component, the Storm Harbor Equestrian Center.

           Johnson’s visit corresponds with the April 3-9 National Public Health Week, with the theme of  “Designing Healthy Communities: Raising Healthy Kids.”

           SRU’s adapted program teaches students to organize and manage physical activity and recreational activities for adults and children with disabilities, including horseback riding, aquatics and gymnastics. Johnson, a pediatrician, will meet with SRU faculty and students at the equestrian center from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Aides in Harrisburg said he takes a bus tour annually to visit those involved in programs working to improve the health of Pennsylvanians. Johnson selected SRU’s Adapted Physical Activity Program.

           “We’re pleased Secretary Johnson is visiting,” said SRU’s Dr. Robert Arnhold, professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences and coordinator of the equestrian center. “Our students work hard, and Storm Harbor is just the latest way in which they are working to improve lives while preparing for careers of service for those with disabilities.”

           The center, which opened in August, specializes in providing horseback riding for children and adults with mental and physical disabilities. Riding improves clients’ self-esteem, coordination and muscle strength, Arnhold said.

            The 20-acre Storm Harbor center houses seven horses and includes an indoor riding arena, a wheelchair lift, stables and outdoor pastures.

           Gov. Edward Rendell appointed Johnson secretary of health in 2003. Johnson serves as senior adviser to the governor on identified health priorities for the state. He attended Morehouse College in Atlanta and earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University.

           At the time of his appointment, Johnson was a professor of pediatrics at Temple University School of Medicine and a practicing pediatrician.

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