OWH Wellness Watch December 2011

       OWH Wellness Watch

                        Across the Lifespan ~ Across Indiana

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ISDH Works to Develop a Community Health Worker (CHW) System of Care 

Update provided by JoBeth McCarthy-Jean, MPH
In an effort to further support community health, the Indiana State Department of Health is partnering with internal and external stakeholders, including community health workers, large employers groups, health insurance providers, health care delivery providers and systems, policy makers and social service agencies from across the state to assess the needs of and ways to support community health workers in Indiana.
Community health workers (CHWs), also known as promotor(a) de salud, patient navigators, health access workers, care coordinators and the like play a vital role in reducing health care costs, improving access to quality clinical and preventative services, and advancing health outcomes for communities in which they serve.
 As a facilitator and navigator of the local health care system, CHWs connect patients to affordable and culturally relevant preventative and disease management services such as language interpretation, self management training, and accessible resources to facilitate patient adherence (transportation, child care, food pantry, housing, etc.), and social support. By facilitating access to all of these services and resources in the community, CHWs reduce unnecessary costs and improve community health.
CHWs represent the community and are intimately aware of barriers and opportunities supported by local community entities, thus removing the financial burden of preventative services from the health care system. CHWs complement and support the Medical Home Model, a primary health care model designed to facilitate coordinated and comprehensive care by establishing a central provider to facilitate patient care.
To join the newly formed Community Health Worker Coalition of Indiana, e-mail JMccarthy-Jean@isdh.in.gov or call 317-233-7816. The next meeting of the Coalition is on Friday, January 6 at ISDH, Room 8A.  All are welcomed! 


Community Spotlight

This past spring, Families Exercising and Eating Together (FEET), of Parke County, was awarded funding through the joint OWH/INShape 2011 Collaborative Mini-Grant Opportunity. OWH staff recently interviewed the project lead, Jenn Kersey, on program successes and lessons learned:
OWH staff: You developed FEET with health promotion in mind and a goal to engage the community. Tell us about some of the strengths you have observed in your program, based on some of your activities conducted this fall.
Jenn Kersey:  We knew that community support would be very important to gain members in the Parke County Families Eating & Exercising Together (FEET) program. We are blessed to have so many organizations and businesses in our county that have helped get the program moving. Some of our more successful events have been our kick-off event, which included a brief speech on women’s overall health by Dr. Steinstra and a walk to the park for registration; and the cooking demonstrations at our local IGA using foods from the perimeter of the store were also very popular. People received a sample, the recipe for the meal, and coupons for the items used in the recipe. 
OWH staff: Have you been pleased with the participation levels you have observed?  What are some of the ways that you are reaching out to the community that you would share with other organizations attempting the same type of project?
Jenn Kersey: We are pleased with the number of members who have registered, but some of the physical activity events do not bring in the large crowds we would like. Our outreach efforts include emails and a weekly newsletter to all participants, facebook page updates, handouts at physician offices and clinics and articles in the local newspaper.  A couple of our oversight committee members have even visited programs such as Head Start to speak to the mothers and encourage participation.
OWH staff: How will you go forward based on the successes of this program?  How are you planning to use some of the data or stories/successes you have collected within your community?
Jenn Kersey: The Parke County Health Department has committed to fund the FEET program after the grant-supported program is complete.  This will allow us to continue to reach out and grow in our community.  We will use the success stories to encourage more participation and the data collected will be ongoing to prove that a community wellness program can make a difference!
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What is the Benefit of Omega 3s? Healthy Skin and More!

The big transparent pill you have seen people take with their selection of daily supplements are most often "fish oil" vitamins, that are used to prevent and treat a number of diseases. Omega 3s are called essential fatty acids because the body doesn't make them - you have to get them through supplement form, or through food (dietary intake). The American Heart Association recommends Omega 3 fatty acids as studies have shown they can lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels and decrease the risk of heart attacks. The American Heart Association recommends that people with no history of heart disease increase their dietary intake by eating fish at least twice a week (adults with coronary heart disease are recommended to take a supplement of one gram daily of the 2 fatty acids found in fish oil - EPA and DHA). Omega 3s are also found in foods such as flaxseed, many types of coldwater fish, soybeans and tofu, and walnuts!  
Researchers have known of the benefit Omega 3s have shown in conjunction with the disease states of asthma, cancer, depression, Chrohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, but a new study has shown that eating fish may keep the brain healthy and help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, as well. The study was presented on November 30, 2011, at the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting in Chicago, and is the first study to use MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to examine the effect of eating fish on the actual structure of the brain. The study showed that Omega 3s improve blood flow to the brain, which in turn delivers more oxygen and nutrients to brain cells. Omega 3s reduce inflammation in the brain, and it is thought that they may protect against the amyloid plaques thought to be the cause of Alzhiemers.  More research is needed, however, for conclusive results.  The report can be viewed by visiting: http://www.rsna.org/media/pressreleases/pr_target.cfm?ID=571
There are risks and side effects to taking any kind of dietary supplement and OWH advises you to speak with your physician before using Omega 3 fatty acids in supplement form.


December 2011

1  World AIDS Day

1-4: Nat'l Handwashing Awareness Week

~Read an ISDH press release marking World AIDS Day and discussing the theme of "Going for Zero" at: www.in.gov/isdh/       
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Upcoming Events

December 5 - OWH Advisory Board Member Meeting, ISDH, Yoho Board Room, 3rd Floor, 1 p.m.  *Open to the public.
December 6 - Indiana Commission for Women Interagency Network reconvenes, IGCS Bldg, Conference Room 2, 9 a.m., to discuss ICW's recent listening session results, its initiative to identify critical issues affecting women, and learn what is needed to create a coordinated effort to help move women forward. For more information, visit ICW at www.in.gov/icw.
December 14 - Human Trafficking webinar from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. For more information, email dmccormick@incasa.org
December 13-18th - Million Dollar Quartet at Clowes Memorial Hall. Order tickets through Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault and help raise money to benefit the anti-sexual violence movement. Visit the INCASA website at www.incasa.org
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December 20 - Applications due to jthogan@indianaperinatal.org for proposals for oral and poster presentations to be showcased at the March 9, 2012, 5th annual IPN Forum, Controversies & Innovations in Perinatal Health. IPN is looking for clinical or community-based topics that show innovative research, or findings, or showcases any new initiatives or projects, or summarizes recent successes.
January 17 - Indiana Rural Health Association, 9th Annual Indiana Rural Public Policy Forum, Hyatt Regency, Indianapolis, 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., register online at http://bit.ly/tbSTZv
January 28 - First Annual Living with Lupus Symposium, Ft. Wayne, Lutheran Hospital, open to patients and family members, email diondraemiller@gmail.com. For more information visit the Indiana Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America at www.lupusindiana.org
January 28-29 - Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center. This tissue collection event is part of the Super Cure partnership with the Indianapolis Colts! The tissue bank holds five donation collections a year in Indianapolis. To find out the donation process and view personal anecdotes about donating breast tissue, visit  http://komentissuebank.iu.edu/tissue-donors/.  Women must pre-register for the January event.
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Healthy Living Calendars NOW AVAILABLE! 

Below is a link to the CDC's Office of Women's Health which has just released three versions of Healthy 2012 calendars: one for men, one for women, and one for communities.  Please visit http://www.cdc.gov/women/calendar/ for a pdf version for your organization. The one page calendars promote taking simple steps every day for a safe and healthy life!

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Did you Know? Hamilton County Free Clinic is Open Seven Days a Week for Low-income and Uninsured 

Trinity Free Clinic operates out of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church and offers many services in its state-of-the-art facility run by a staff of seven. Services include: medical, dental, eye, foot, asthma/allergy, OB/GYN, and physical therapy.  The clinic has been open since 2000 and has served more than 10,000 patients with no insurance or without adequate insurance. The clinic has a limited number of appointments available and are booked through February, but the clinic is open seven days a week for Hamilton County residents.  Learn more at www.trinityfreeclinic.org.
There are two other free clinics serving Hamilton County which are open two Saturdays every month: Hope Family Clinic in Cicero and Heart and Soul in Westfied. 

Welcome Ciera, our new OWH Intern!

OWH Staff are pleased to announce that Ciera Oshodi will be joining the team in mid-January to fulfill her university internship requirements in our office. Ciera is a third-year pre-med student at Butler University with an interest in heatlh disparities. She has assumed many leadership positions at Butler and has completed an internship at Deaconess Hospital Health Science Institute. She will be arriving in mid-January and will be working on National Women's Health week planning and the creation of an OWH Facebook page to showcase OWH initiatives. Please help us welcome Ciera!

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Thank you!  OWH now has 91 followers and the numbers keep increasing.  Follow us @inpublichealth!