Wellness Works!


Free Weekend Events

- Kick-off: Saturday, June 2, 10am-2:30pm

The Wellness Works! kick-off event and continuing workshop series inspire District residents and their families to lead healthier lives through stress reduction, exercise, and better nutrition.

Wellness Works! will take place at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 400 I Street SW, Washington, DC Register soon as space is limited!

The June 2 event will feature a keynote presentation, "Taking Charge of Our Health: We Need a Revolution," by guest speakers Dr. Marilyn Hughes Gaston (Physician) and Dr. Gayle K. Porter (Clinical Psychologist), Co-Founders and Co-Directors, Gaston and Porter Health Improvement Center, Inc. Three short sessions on core areas of wellness will follow: nourishment, fitness, and stress management.

The event will be interactive with cooking demonstrations, samples, recipes, simple techniques to reduce stress, and enjoyable physical activity. Free lunch and childcare will be provided! The series will continue with additional workshops on the next three Saturdays in June. Learn more and register for these three free sessions on June 2 at the Wellness Works! kick-off.

“We are excited to offer Wellness Works! with Westminster Church in our SW community to make healthy habits fun and easy,” says Carole O’Toole, Director of Integrative Navigation at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts and Thelma Jones, Community Breast Care Navigator who is assisting in coordinating the event. 

Workshops are coordinated by Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in conjunction with Westminster Presbyterian Church. This program is funded by a grant from CareFirst Blue Cross, Blue Shield. Special thanks to the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly and the World Bank-International Monetary Fund Staff African American Association. 

Space is limited. Register by calling 202.483.8600 ext. 202 to reserve your space.


Dr. Marilyn Hughes Gaston and Dr. Gayle K. Porter, co-executive directors, bring significant management, clinical, and research experience to GPHIC's mission. They are nationally-recognized experts in women's health and health care issues, particularly those issues facing African American women in midlife with expertise at both local and national levels - public and private. Both are healthcare professionals with a deep understanding of the healthcare status of women and the systemic and personal disparities in their care. Their work has been to transfer evidence-based solutions from research to community-based programs. Drawing on their experiences, focus groups, surveys, and the latest available research, they wrote the seminal book - Prime Time: The African American Woman's Complete Guide to Midlife Health & Wellness, published by Random House in 2001 and revised in 2003.

Dr. Gaston has directed a multitude of community-based and national health programs. She has over 40 years of experience administering programs at local, state, and national levels. She conducted large scale national research programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including one that revolutionized the treatment of children with Sickle Cell Disease nationally and internationally. As Assistant Surgeon General and Director of the Bureau of Primary Health Care in the U.S. Public Health Service, Dr. Gaston directed a $5 billion program that provided health care and a variety of health related services to over 6,000 underserved multicultural communities involving 14 million people.

Dr. Porter is a mental health expert with a background in administering federally funded multi-state research and training initiatives. She directed two outpatient mental health clinics for the Washington, DC Department of Mental Health. While on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins College of Medicine's Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Department, she directed a federally funded mental health program that operated in 19 schools. Dr. Porter was also a principal research analyst and senior mental health advisor with a national research, training, and consulting non-profit organization.