Inspiring Work from Your Peers
In January, H.E.R.E. began a 3-part series about the Healthy Living Collaborative of Southwest Washington (HLC). The HLC recruited 23 “natural helpers” from three communities with high health disparities across Southwest Washington to become community health workers (CHW). At this point, the CHWs have completed 90 hours of training!
This month, the HLC gave us an exclusive interview with 12 of these CHWs. This group actively works within their communities to provide health education, connect people to services and advocate for community members in need. They are 360-degree cultural translators who build capacity in their communities and represent the authentic voice of their communities when working with the HLC.
In their eyes, this is the role of Community Health Workers:
What inspired them to become Community Health Workers?
What are they passionate about?
Advice they would give a person who wants to make a difference in his or her community:
Special thanks to the following hard-working Community Health Workers for sharing their experiences with H.E.R.E: Matti, Sandy, Heather, Dan, Adena, Heather, Brandi, Danelle, Jean, Bill, Vahe and Barbara. Keep up the great work in Rose Village, South Kelso and Wahkiakum!
Today in Public Health: A note about social marketing.
No, not social media, social marketing. The application of commercial marketing strategies to change behavior.
Social marketing has touched all of our lives. Public health campaigns have improved the health and safety of millions by addressing topics like:
- Highway safety enforcement (Click it or Ticket and Drive High Get a DUI)
- Disease prevention (WashYourHandsington)
- Tobacco use prevention (Left Swipe Dat)
- Physical activity (Play 60 and Let's Move!)
Many of us use social marketing strategies in our work every day—some of us might not even realize it! H.E.R.E. encourages you to explore our Social Marketing section under Professional Resources. If you are interested in getting more involved in the social marketing community, check out the Pacific Northwest Social Marketing Association. They host Quarterly Forums as a way to spotlight work throughout the region and learn from colleagues and experts in the field. At the next forum, you’ll learn about Seattle Children’s safe gun storage campaign.
Family Health History: Genetics & Health
Certain health conditions are passed from generation to generation. Knowing one’s family health history can help healthcare providers manage risks and determine screening recommendations.
There are some new resources that can help start a conversation about family health history and genetics.
- The Department of Health recently created a factsheet that includes information about genetic counseling. The factsheet is available in both English and Spanish.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a free, online tool where people can create their own family health portrait.
- Genes in Life offers free family health history booklets, with an option to send one to a family member.
What’s Happening at Department of Health?
An Exciting Investment in the Nutrition of Washington Families & Children
Imagine you’re a shopper on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps).
And, imagine you live in an area in Washington State that has high rates of poverty, which usually translates into high rates of food insecurity and poor nutrition since poverty makes it hard to consistently afford high-quality foods.
Now, imagine you found:
- Farmers markets that matched your fruits and vegetables purchases so you can go home with more for your money.
- Grocery stores that gave you discounts at check-out on a large variety of fruits and vegetables.
- A healthcare provider who would write you a prescription for fruits and vegetables that you could redeem at participating farmers markets and Safeway supermarkets.
That sounds pretty great, right? Well, it’s coming to Washington State and it’s called the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Project.
Sixty multi-sector partners worked with the Washington State Department of Health to create this vision of improved nutrition and access to healthy foods for Washingtonians on SNAP. They are pooling resources to match a $5.86 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Partners who have never worked together are sitting at the same table and communities are jumping in with investments. This is something unique, something new and something exciting.
H.E.R.E. looks forward to sharing more about FINI as it rolls out apples, oranges, and beets into our communities and into family meals. Stay tuned for more to come.
Something to Think About: Blue Zones
A researcher named Dan Buettner travelled around the world to places where people live the longest and experience a higher quality of life. The purpose of Dan’s travels was to uncover what makes these places unique. We can apply what Dan found to improving both the health of a community and our own lives.
Lessons for longevity and happiness:
- Put family first: Honor your elders, be connected.
- Stay active naturally: Make physical activity part of your daily life.
- Know your purpose: Live each day for a reason.
- Eat well: Focus on plants and stop eating when you’re 80 percent full.
- Have faith: Spirituality is a common thread throughout all Blue Zones.
- Take time off: Make time for family, friends and community.
What can we learn from Blue Zones?
Blue Zones projects use evidence-based public health practice to make changes to the built environment, increase social networking and build community. Minnesota, California, Iowa, Hawaii and Texas have initiated Blue Zones projects. If you’d like to see more Blue Zones in your community, watch Dan Buettner’s TED talk on Blue Zones and learn more about Blue Zones' work.
New Events on H.E.R.E.
Check out the upcoming events we added to the H.E.R.E. site since our last newsletter:
Advanced Summer Institute: Demonstrating Impact Using Mixed-Program Evaluation (June 4-5, 2015) Baltimore, Maryland
Using a Social Marketing Approach to Increase Safe Gun Storage (June 9, 2015) Seattle, Washington
2015 National School-Based Health Care Coordination (June 16-19, 2015) Austin, Texas
8th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference (June 29-July 2, 2015) San Diego, California
The 2015 NAMI National Convention (July 6-9, 2015) San Francisco, California
Envisioning the Future: Creating Our Path (July 7-9, 2015) Kansas City, Missouri
2015 Healthy Aging Summit (July 27-28, 2015) Washington D.C.
For a complete list of trainings, conferences, and webinars check out our Trainings and Events page.
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