Mary Maufas says that OASIS is greatest thing that has ever happened to her in her life. “It opened up doors to learn, maintain my health, have fun and grow,” she says.
The energetic 68-year old learned about OASIS from a friend. After a career spent in many different fields, including a health spa, a hair salon and a hair restoration clinic, Mary was looking for things to do. Her OASIS experience started in 2006 with taking ExerStart, a beginning level exercise class. From there, Mary started volunteering to teach classes. With her positive attitude and passion, she’s been hailed as the “poster child” for OASIS volunteering.
“I want to help people, and OASIS gives me the chance to do so every day,” she says.
In the last three years, Mary has taught nearly 40 evidence-based classes, helping her students “learn to have a better life and grow.” Those classes include ExerStart, Matter of Balance, Living a Healthy Life and Active Living Every Day.
“I feel like I’m a fireman,” she says, “helping to save lives every day!”
Indeed, Mary is filling an important role by volunteering to help people save their own lives. She’s one of 31 peer facilitators who lead OASIS health classes in over 25 sites across the St. Louis area.
One of the classes Mary teaches, “Living a Healthy Life,” is an evidence-based chronic disease self-management program developed at Stanford University. The interactive program helps participants build skills and confidence to manage their health and take control of their lives. Chronic conditions account for 75 percent of U.S. spending on health care, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet only one percent of health care dollars are spent on public efforts to improve overall health.
“People don’t know how to take care of themselves. OASIS has gone to great lengths to help them learn how,” she says.