Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Heart To Heart Truth

In April 2009 WISEWOMAN trained a group of women in White Cloud, MI to be “Heart to Heart Truth Lay Health Educators.” These lay health educators spread the word about leading a heart healthy lifestyle to their friends, families, and other women in the community. The experience gave them marketable presentation skills, and as an added bonus, they made some extra money! (We paid them for every time they delivered the message.)

The project was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office on Women’s Health, Region V. It took place in Newaygo County Michigan. Newaygo County is a primarily rural county north of Grand Rapids. To make this work, we collaborated with Cheryl Griffin in District Health Department #10. Cheryl did a great job recruiting and supporting the lay health educators. We also worked with Kellie Owens, an intern from Michigan State University. Kellie did the post project interviews and helped out with evaluation.

In the end, five lay health educators provided healthy heart education sessions to 131 women in Newaygo County between April and June 2009! They delivered the sessions one-on-one and in group settings. They worked with their families, friends and colleagues, and they reached out to other groups of women in their community with the heart health message using an adapted version of the Heart Truth Campaign. It was a little like a heart healthy Tupperware party!

After finishing up the project, we talked to the lay health educators about the project. They said it felt good to share information that could inspire their friends and family to be healthier. All of them were excited about being teachers and motivators, and they were proud of their roles in the program. Overall, the project was quite positive for their self esteem.

We asked the lay health educators what surprised them about the project. They were shocked by the heart health statistics and by how many risk factors they had personally. They did not realize heart disease kills so many women.

As a result of the project, the lay health educators made healthy changes in their lives. They also saw changes in their family’s health behaviors. They and their families have started eating healthier meals and have become more physically active.

By teaching five women a lesson on heart health, the Heart to Heart Truth Lay Health Educators project made a positive impact on the lives of each of these educators and their families, as well as 131 women in the community who had the chance to hear the message.

You can view some photos from the training on our facebook site.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Top 10 List

10. WISEWOMAN has a facebook page
9. Entrepreneurial Gardening Project
8. WISEWOMAN helps women get healthy in the real world
7. Market Fresh coupons for participants to buy Michigan fruits and vegetables
6. Heart to Heart Truth Lay Health Educator Project
5. Family Life Intervention Component
4. Awesome Lifestyle Counselors!
3. National Women's Health Week Projects
2. Partnership with Michigan State University Extension

and the number 1 reason to support WISEWOMAN . . . . .

WISEWOMAN is a cool name

Stay tuned to this blog spot to find out about these projects and more!