The Role of Health Educators Within the Affordable Care Act
With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, the opportunity and importance for health education specialists to play a role in improving health outcomes is greater than ever. The health care law provides funding and a stronger focus on prevention and the quality of patient care. Health educators have the perfect training and skills to help improve both. However, while evidence supports a health educator’s effective role in a patient’s primary care team, there are challenges.
The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) released a detailed issue brief in April that talks about the opportunities and challenges health educators face. It also lists ten specific action steps SOPHE can work on with their partners and stakeholders to address them.
Read the full issue brief for more information—Affordable Care Act: Opportunities and Challenges for Health Education Specialists.
Success Story Tool Guide from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
You’ve worked hard with your partners to make community changes. How do you translate these successes so that people take notice, can learn from them, and you can sustain your efforts? Through success stories!
Success stories capture public health work, results within communities, and long-term impacts around policy, environmental, and systems changes. To help you write them more easily, the Centers for Disease Control’s Division of Community Health created a guide to help you. The guide includes:
- An easy-to-use tool to develop your story.
- Tips on how to write a success story.
- A downloadable worksheet to begin the pre-writing process.
- Three professionally developed templates.
- A free photo library.
- A Success Stories Library that you can search and share.
For more information, see: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dch/success-stories/
Spotlight article: Brady Woodbury, Administrator,
Asotin County Health District
Lots of exciting things are happening in Asotin County. Brady Woodbury gets to be part of many of them in his role as the Administrator for the Asotin County Health District. Brady’s history includes emergency preparedness, international travel, and extensive health promotion experience. He is also the newest member of the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant Advisory Committee.
Brady is married with four kids. Outside of work, he coaches little league baseball and softball. He likes all sports and says he could easily have pursued athletics as a career. In addition, he enjoys biking, hiking, running, and racquetball. Brady grew up in Eastern Idaho and came from a big family, with five sisters and one brother. He went to a private college for a few years, and then spent several years traveling in Southeast Asia. These experiences made a big impact on his future path in public health. He saw lots of poverty and needs, as well as the impact that public health could make on improving lives. After returning to the states, he received his Bachelor of Science in health education from Idaho State University. During that time he also worked in tobacco prevention education for Idaho State and was the community coordinator for the National Spit Tobacco Education Program. He then got his Masters in Public Health in health promotion from Brigham Young University. After moving back to Idaho, he worked as a public health emergency preparedness planner until he was promoted into management. Starting in July 2011, he became the Administrator of the Asotin County Health District.
Brady oversees 12 employees, and every day is different. The favorite part of his job is that he works across the whole spectrum of public health on a weekly, and sometimes daily, basis. Brady gets excited to see positive changes in people’s lives, and said his greatest strength is the unique perspective he brings to the job. His advice for new public health professionals is to find the part of public health that you are most passionate about. Even if your path changes a little, it will eventually reconnect because you’re doing what you love. When asked what three things he thinks every health educator needs, he said:
- Compassion for people.
- A population perspective.
- Access to accurate information.
Brady believes family-centered health promotion is critical. While not everyone has that opportunity, he believes it achieves the most impactful and positive results. His future plans involve continuing to streamline his work as Administrator, and for the health district to do more work in the community. He helped with health promotion projects for Haiti, Zimbabwe, and Indonesia, but was unable to visit those countries. Eventually he wants to travel to another country to do onsite health promotion work.
Are You Hungry? Healthy Vending Toolkit
You’re hungry and didn’t bring enough food to work today. So you grab some change and head to the vending machine for a snack. Your options are limited – salt or sugar? Chocolate or cheese flavored? Do you want to offer healthier food and beverages in your vending machines? There’s a better way. Public Health-Seattle and King County (PHSKC) has a tool to help you.
The Healthy Vending Toolkit has just been released and PHSKC encourages you to use this tool in your work. It helps organizations implement the King County Healthy Vending Guidelines, passed in April 2011 by the King County Board of Health. The concepts can easily be translated to your county.
- Plan for change.
- Get organizational commitment.
- Build the leadership team.
- Gather information.
- Develop the implantation plan.
- Implement the change.
- Evaluate the change.
For more information, see: http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/nutrition.aspx
New Evidence-Based Strategies to Increase Youth Physical Activity
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report in March. A committee made up of national partners focused on strategies to increase physical activity among youth. Experts reviewed existing literature to find effective youth physical activity programs. The review and recommendations focus on five settings:
- Preschool and child care
- Family and home
- Health care
The report discusses evidence-based practices, emerging evidence, and opportunities for additional research. It can be used to help guide public health and health care professionals, policy makers, and leaders in the five settings and guide the Let’s Move Campaign.
Key findings of the report show:
- School settings should be a main strategy area.
- Preschool and child care centers serving young children should be a focus.
- Changes in the built environment and partnering with stakeholders such as urban planners, transportation, and public safety are promising.
- Key research gaps should be addressed to advance efforts.
Increasing Academic Success by Improving School Wellness: New Research and Recommendations
Another study has linked a child’s academic success with nutrition and physical activity. This report was released in March by the GENYOUth Foundation, National Dairy Council, American College of Sports Medicine, and the American School Health Association. In addition to explaining why healthy students are better learners, it reports on new brain imaging research that shows a child’s cognitive function and academic success improves after only 20 minutes of physical activity. The report also addresses:
- The current status of school wellness.
- Various costs of cutting or ignoring school wellness.
- What schools and everyone can do to create a culture of wellness.
- Benefits of a school breakfast program.
- Success stories.
- Resource that can help.
Read the full report or visit the program webpage (scroll to “The Learning Connection: Breakfast and Physical Activity” section) for more information. Visit the Department of Health School Health and Safety webpage for other helpful information.
School Breakfast Scorecard
The Food Research and Action Center is a leading national nonprofit organization working to improve public policies and public-private partnerships to eradicate hunger and under-nutrition in the United States. A recent report shared a big milestone around school breakfasts. For the first time nationally, more than half of all low-income students who participated in school lunch also participated in school breakfast. Also, more than 90 percent of schools that operate the National School Lunch Program also offered the School Breakfast Program. Partners at the federal, state, and local levels made this happen by:
- Reaching out to students.
- Eliminating barriers.
- Streamlining administrative processes.
- Launching breakfast in the classroom programs.
Overall, more than 10.5 million children received a free or reduced-price breakfast each school day during the 2011-2012 school year; an increase of 738,869 children from the previous year. Every state contributed to this growth, and ten states recorded double-digit increases from the previous year. To read more: http://frac.org/pdf/Scorecard_SY2011-2012.pdf
Material Spotlight: A Healthy Home—Simple steps to make your home a safer and healthier place
The Washington State Department of Health Division of Environmental Public Health created this new brochure to educate families about a safe and healthy indoor environment. It lists and explains seven general steps for keeping a healthy home, as well as how to:
- Improve indoor air quality.
- Reduce asthma, allergen, and irritants.
- Use products safely.
- Protect children from lead poisoning.
- Prevent unintentional injuries.
Children’s safety is a focus of the brochure because they are smaller, have not fully developed, and are more at risk of the negative effects. Download and print the 8.5x14 brochure in English and Spanish to give to parents and home owners/renters in your community. The brochure (publication #300-016) is also available to order in limited quantity.
For more information on healthy homes, visit the Department of Health Healthy Homes webpage.
Healthy Food Access Portal
The Healthy Food Access Portal has lots of helpful information around healthy food access. The Food Trust, PolicyLink, and The Reinvestment Fund support it. It is the first comprehensive site of its kind in the nation. Resources include information to:
- Improve healthy food access in communities.
- Build local economies.
- Enhance public health.
- Foster communication and learning through an online network.
- Connect people to healthy foods through retail strategies.
- Understand health policies throughout the nation.
- Find funding.
- Improve public health capacity through training opportunities.
Events, webinars, and news are also covered. Check out this helpful site at: http://healthyfoodaccess.org/home?destination=home
Top 10 Downloaded Materials on the Health Education Resource Exchange (H.E.R.E.)
New Upcoming Trainings
Below are upcoming events that have been added to the H.E.R.E. website since the last newsletter was released. Visit the Training & Events page to view more trainings by month, as well as free online trainings that are available. To promote your own health education or health promotion related training, visit the new Submit a Training page.
- Financially Sustainable Health Departments: Business Planning Made Easy (April 30, 2013) - Webinar
- Current Research Priorities for Understanding the U.S. Public Health System (May 29, 2013) - Webinar
- PRECEDE - PROCEED Down the Yellow Brick Road: Using the model for optimal program planning, implementation and evaluation (May 30, 2013) - Seattle, Washington
- Collective Impact Strategies to Achieve Systemic and Sustainable Health Improvement (June 4, 2013) - Webinar
- Motivational Interviewing (June 13-14, 2013) - Seattle, Washington
- 2013 Washington Behavioral Healthcare Conference (June 19-21, 2013) - Yakima, Washington
- 2013 International Making Cities Livable Conference (June 23-27, 2013) - Portland, Oregon
- 2013 Community-Based Participatory Research Institute (June 24-28, 2013) - San Francisco, California
- Solve the Looming Crises: Leadership and Management Succession Planning (July 17, 2013) - Webinar
- Motivational Interviewing (September 19-20) - Seattle, Washington
- 27th Annual Healthy Worksite Summit (October 2-3, 2013) - Lynwood, Washington