The Texas Cardiovascular Health Promotion Awards recognizes community-based programs, schools, worksites, and health care entities that promote innovative and effective programs and policies for prevention and/or awareness of CVD and/or stroke in Texas communities. For more information, contact Council on CVD and Stroke Support Staff.
Increases in the rates of physical inactivity, poor dietarychoices, diabetes, high blood cholesterol and obesity, as well as the continued high prevalence of hypertension and the use of tobacco contribute to these diseases each year. Community-based programs are often our first lineof defense, helping to inform, educate, and provide resources and assistance to the people of Texas in addressing the reduction of these major risk factors.To that end, the Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke, in conjunction with the CVD & StrokeProgram of the Texas Department of State Health Services, is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’sTexas Cardiovascular Health Promotion Awards. This award is designed to recognize outstanding cardiovascular health promotion programs in Texas, especially those using evidence-based practices.
Winners for 2011 (awarded in Spring 2012)
City of Austin Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Program
The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department’s (A/TCHHSD) Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Program works with community partners to implement evidence-based interventions in a variety of settings to maximize the reach to those populations in Travis County who suffer disproportionately from cardiovascular disease.
The Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Coalition, the Austin Tobacco Prevention and Control Coalition and the Central Texas Diabetes Coalition are comprised of diverse agencies and community partners, all dedicated to reducing the health consequences of chronic disease and its risk factors through policy, systems and environmental changes.
Through the work of these partners, A/TCHHSD has successfully increased the number of persons covered by tobacco-free campus policies in multiple settings, increased cessation services, and implemented clinical systems changes to assess everyone for tobacco use. Also, these efforts have promoted physical activity, and implemented healthy food policies in Travis County.
Denton County Healthy Communities Initiative
The Denton County Health Department (DCHD) works to positively influence lifestyle behaviors associated with cardiovascular disease through a Healthy Communities Initiative that involves aligning community-based public health prevention techniques with strong community collaborations. The effective initiative raises awareness and brings attention to a broad range of cardiovascular health issues with special emphasis on advocating for expanded physical activity programs, full disclosure of nutrition information and establishing stronger smoking ordinances.
During 2010, successful activities included facilitating the Denton County Healthy Communities Coalition, the Take the First Step 5K/1M Fun Run/Walk, earning the Silver Award from the Heart and Stroke Healthy City Recognition Program, advocating for and strengthening tobacco ordinances, expanding the City of Denton Heart Healthy Dining Guide and hosting the Denton County Healthy Communities Summit. The Denton County Healthy Communities Initiative plays an essential role in influencing positive behaviors in Denton County.
A to Z: Heart Aware Reach Rural Populations (HARRP), Holland, Granger and Rogers, Texas
The Heart Aware Reaching Rural Populations (HARRP) program aims to reduce health disparities in rural communities through providing multi-dimensional program that consists of three main components: the Heart Aware Program, the Rural Advocacy Program, and the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP). Rural communities face higher rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD) related events than their non-rural counterpart and face high barriers to utilization of healthcare resources. Heart Aware has partnered with the communities’ schools to provide free screening and treatment for CVD risk factors.
The advocacy program involves community members as mentors paired with first year medical students; the CDSMP utilizes lay-leaders in the community to help community members better understand and implement changes to reduce the sequlae of chronic illness. The program has seen over 160 participants and was able to meet the medication needs of 10 participants who were unable to cover the costs of their medications or testing.
Medical Center Health System (Odessa and Permian Basin)
Patients suffering from stroke need immediate medical attention. Stroke has been historically under recognized and undertreated. Patients arriving rapidly to the hospital may be eligible to receive thrombolytics (tPA/Activase), which may significantly reduce the effects of stroke. Many health care professionals do not know how to recognize stroke or care for the patients properly and rapidly. In addition, patients in our large rural and frontier area have limited access to stroke treatment due to long distances, access to medications and testing, and availability of trained professionals to care for them. Medical Center Health System (MCHS) has been working to improve access of care to stroke victims in the Permian Basin and surrounding areas. Systems have been put in place to recognize stroke rapidly and obtain needed treatments. Education has been done with health care professionals and the public. As a result, t-PA usage has increased by greater than 5 times at MCHS from 2009 to 2011.
Lyford High School “Wellness Works” Employee Wellness Program
Lyford High School “Wellness Works” Employee Wellness Program was established in an effort to address diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and obesity. By providing health and wellness information to staff members on various topics such as nutrition, physical activity, ways to decrease risk of chronic diseases, and other information for ealthy living, staff members increase their knowledge level for a healthy lifestyle. By increasing their knowledge level, staff members are encouraged to make lifestyle changes to benefit their health. Currently 23% of campus staff members have chronic illnesses that include Diabetes, Hypertension and High Cholesterol. Through written media, 100% of staff members receive monthly health promotion information, in addition to awareness campaigns and special events. Periodic wellness screenings provide opportunity for early identification of possible chronic illnesses.
ETSI - Stroke, Heart and Vascular Disease – A New Paradigm
Initiated in late 2008, the East Texas Stroke Initiative goals were to elevate the quality of stroke care for the residents of Angelina County, and surrounding counties, and to create a ripple effect across the East Texas Region. Specific goals included; Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center Certification, increased t-PA administration, widespread community education, and decreased length of stay for all stroke patients.
All stated goals have been met, the time frame has been extended by 2 years, and roughly one million dollars has been returned to the foundation. Primary Stroke Center Certification was attained in August 2010, and re-certification is slated for August, 2012. The year ending 2011, saw a 7% t-PA administration rate. Length of stay for all stroke patients was reduced by a little more than 1 day, and the community education outreach program has logged over 13,000 people.
This program has greatly enhanced awareness of stroke prevention, signs and symptoms, and treatment of stroke in the community. Spring-boarding from that initiative, we now endeavor to establish a new paradigm for stroke, heart and vascular disease, for the patients across the East Texas Region, and replicate our efforts in stroke, in the heart and vascular arena. Our training, clinical practices, education and outreach work in concert, where advancements in one area will inform and accelerate progress in the other.
¡Por Vida! A Better Choice For Life (San Antonio Healthy Restaurants Coalition)
Bexar County, San Antonio contains high rates of obesity and diabetes. Research has shown that regardless of income level, Bexar County residents dine out at least once a week. Helping consumers make healthier choices while dining in restaurants can be an important step in the fight to reduce chronic disease. In 2010, the San Antonio Healthy Restaurants Coalition (HRC) developed the ¡Por Vida! Program, a menu labeling and recognition program for food service establishments that offer healthy menu items.
Compared to other menu labeling efforts across the country, the ¡Por Vida! Program differs in that it is voluntary, and it only requires restaurants to label the specific menu items that meet set nutritional criteria. The cornerstone of the ¡Por Vida! Program is the solid nutritional criteria, which is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and sets clear limits for calories, total fat, saturated fat, transfat, and sodium..
Interested in applying for recognition status?
Information and applications will be available in Fall 2012. For more information, contact Council on CVD and Stroke Support Staff.
We know that there are many excellent cardiovascular health promotion programs in Texas. Thank you for your work in making your communities healthier!