The Community Health Strategy & Innovation team finds new ways to educate our community to promote long-term solutions to maintaining a healthier lifestyle. Using the Wellness Connection model, our community health nurse delivers preventive health initiatives directly to the underserved. Additionally, we provide evidence-based, sustainable programming to community members designed to overcome social determinants regarding health education and access to care.
The Wellness Connection is a collaboration between Truman Medical Centers/University Health and community partners. There are currently three Wellness Connections in Kansas City, Missouri: at the Don Bosco English as a Second Language School, the Bluford Library and the Palestine Senior Activity Center.
The innovative platform creates new solutions tailored to the health issues of the community and provides education so community members can advocate for their own health while taking the proper steps to reduce risk and fight chronic diseases. The community health nurse tracks and measures improvement in self-management with an ultimate goal of reducing Emergency Department visits for manageable healthcare needs.
The Wellness Connection offers a physical space with a blood pressure cuff and a litany of health education and resources. Programs are designed based on the need of the community, and include the Weight Loss Challenge at Bluford Library and educational field trips at Kansas City and Independence public schools, using the Healthy Harvest Mobile Market and the Mobile Wellness Unit.
The Community Health Strategies and Innovation team dedicates considerable resources in the local schools and has forged strong partnerships with the Kansas City and Independence school districts. Students at an early age must learn the importance of adopting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The Your Health is Your Wealth curriculum was strategically designed to address four main points:
- Urban minority youth are disproportionately affected by both educational and health disparities.
- Healthier students are better learners.
- School programs and policies can favorably influence educationally relevant health disparities affecting youth.
- Now is the opportune time for change.
Your Health is Your Wealth is a 12-week curriculum designed to supplement high school health classes. The community health nurse and the nutrition education team lead several of the sessions. Truman Medical Centers/University Health professionals representing Behavioral Health and Trauma Services, among others, provide real-world experience and a hands-on teaching style to better connect with the students.
Students take midterm and final exams, as well as weekly quizzes counted as a portion of their final health grade.
NOTE: Due to the Coronavirus, a Healthy Living Challenge is not currently scheduled.
In response to health disparities, Truman Medical Centers/University Health and the Bluford Library developed a 12-week Healthy Living Challenge. The Challenge consisted of workout classes, weekly educational topics, cooking demos and fresh produce from the Healthy Harvest Mobile Market. Pre- and post-screenings measured total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, body mass index, weight, height, body fat percentage, waist circumference, glucose and blood pressure. Dr. Lindquist, TMC's weight-loss doctor, also conducted popular Q & A sessions.
The Diabetes Self-Management Program is designed for people with diabetes and their relatives who need information on self-care. The program is based on participatory education methodology. It utilizes principles of adult education and group work techniques that promote learning as well as progression toward a healthy lifestyle.
This effective self-management education program is for people with chronic health problems. The program specifically addresses arthritis, diabetes, and lung and heart disease, but teaches skills useful for managing a variety of chronic diseases.
Chronic Pain Self-Management (CPSMP) is a 6 -week course designed to help the 30-percent of the people worldwide who live with chronic pain conditions, which many have no identifiable cause. The course help people explore healthy ways to manage and live with their chronic pain condition so they can enjoy more fulfilling, satisfying lives.
Several assumptions underlie the CPSMP:
- People with different types of chronic pain conditions have similar concerns and problems.
- People with chronic pain must deal not only with their specific condition or disease, but also with the impact these have on their lives and emotions.
- Lay people with chronic pain conditions, when given a detailed Leader’s manual, can teach the CPSMP as effectively, if not more effectively, than health professionals.
- The process or way the CPSMP is taught is as important, if not more important, than the subject matter that is taught.