SCAN Health Plan Awards $5,000 Grant to Support Warm Water Aquatics Program for Seniors at AbilityFirst Long Beach Center

Date Posted: 05/13/2015

(Long Beach, CA) – SCAN Health Plan has awarded a $5,000 grant to the AbilityFirst Long Beach Center to support their warm water aquatics program for seniors. Denise Likar, vice president of Independence at Home, SCAN’s Community Service division, will present the check to Barbara Schlosser, director of AbilityFirst in Long Beach, on Friday, May 15, at 9:30am at the Center, located at 3770 East Willow Street in Long Beach.

“We are extremely grateful to SCAN for this grant, which will help 400 older adults with chronic health conditions to enjoy the physical and psychological benefits of regular exercise and a meaningful social network,” said Lori Gangemi, CEO of AbilityFirst. “The warm water exercise program minimizes the risk of injury while maximizing the therapeutic advantages of safe, regular activity.”

The AbilityFirst Long Beach Center operates programs and serves individuals who have physical and developmental disabilities, including autism, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. The center operates one of only two warm water swimming pools in the area that is open to members of the public. Weekly aquatics programming includes arthritis exercise classes, classes emphasizing muscle tone, strength, flexibility and endurance, and open swim times for recreational swimming and exercise.

“The aquatics program is a cornerstone of our approach that enriches independence, health and overall well-being for hundreds of seniors throughout the Long Beach community,” said Barbara Schlosser, AbilityFirst Center Director. “Contributions from supporters like SCAN are critical to keeping the program accessible to our swimmers.”

According to Independence at Home’s Denise Likar, “SCAN and Independence at Home are dedicated to finding innovative ways to enhance seniors’ ability to manage their health and to continue to control where and how they live. We’re proud to support the warm water aquatics program, which underscores our commitment to helping older adults maintain their independence.”

About Ability First
Established in 1926 AbilityFirst, formerly Crippled Children’s Society of Southern California, provides programs and services to help children and adults with disabilities reach their full potential. Through 25 locations across Southern California, AbilityFirst offers a broad range of employment, recreational and socialization programs as well as accessible housing and a camp, Camp Paivika, which provides year-round programs for children and adults.

About SCAN Health Plan/Independence at Home
Independence at Home is a SCAN community service. SCAN Health Plan is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans currently serving 170,000 members in California. For more details on SCAN’s community programs, please visit or at

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Contact Information:

Kendra Sanchez, AbilityFirst


Lyndsey Schaefer, Independence at Home, a SCAN Community Service