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Generous funding from The Westlake Health Foundation has allowed The West Cook YMCA and Westlake Hospital to collaborate on the Healthy Communities Initiative. The Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI) utilizes a 3-prong approach to reduce health risk factors and improve overall health and well-being for individuals in Proviso Township.
The next Healthy Communities Initiative program begins March 4 and ends May 8, 2019.
Duration of Program: 10 weeks, meets twice a week on Monday and Wednesdays
Program Location: Donald W. Kent Residence, 134 S. Wolf Rd., Northlake, IL 60164
For more information about the Healthy Communities Initiative, please contact Sierra Waller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 708.434.0208
HCI will inform individuals of chronic and preventable diseases, risk factors, symptoms, causes, prevention and treatment. This information is vital, especially for populations who are not health literate and may not seek out the information on their own. According to research studies, persons with limited health literacy skills are more likely to skip important preventive measures. HCI health education will also include information how to access medical, psychological and financial resources for health care. Furthermore, when compared to those with adequate health literacy skills, studies have shown that patients with limited health literacy skills enter the healthcare system when they are much sicker.
HCI will provide free health and fitness screenings. Health screenings will include glucose, blood pressure, and BMI. Fitness screenings will include flexibility, cardiovascular and strength assessments. Screenings will provide individuals with personal information about their own risk factors for acquiring chronic or preventable diseases. Each health/fitness screening will include the distribution of health education literature related to the individual. Upon receipt of lab results, the individual will receive additional information about follow-up. Those whose results are shown to be high or critical will receive a phone call to encourage them to seek follow-up care and to assist in scheduling a follow-up appointment, if desired.
HCI will engage and provide a viable path for individuals to change from a sedentary to an active lifestyle. Having an active lifestyle has been identified as a necessary component in the fight against disease. Fitness programming at health fairs and health screenings will focus on simple, easy-to-do active life style activities that can be added to daily life. For instance, walking up a flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator or parking the car in the farthest space from the entrance. HCI will also offer a 10-week on-going fitness programs which will promote consistent and on-going participation/education. Included will be nutritional consultations by the registered dietician with suggestions on how to change diet and overall lifestyle for better health. At the beginning and end of each 10-week fitness program, adults will receive screenings (blood pressure, glucose, weight, BMI) and a fitness assessment to document health and fitness improvements.