Community health provides programs to help manage health

A report released by Trust for America’s Health in July 2008 found that a small strategic investment in disease prevention could result in significant savings in U.S. health care costs. TFAH concluded that an investment of $10 per person per year in community-based programs to increase physical activity, improve nutrition, and prevent smoking and other tobacco use could save the country more than $16 billion annually within five years. This is a return of $5.60 for every $1.

Many effective prevention programs cost less than $10 per person, and these programs deliver results in lowering rates of diseases that are related to physical activity, nutrition, and smoking. The evidence shows that implementing these programs in communities reduce rates of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure by 5 percent within 2 years; reduce heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke by 5 percent within 5 years; and reduce some forms of cancer, arthritis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by 2.5 percent within 10 to 20 years, claims the research of the New York Academy of Medicine.

Addressing healthy living and chronic disease prevention at the community level is designed to bring the greatest health benefits to the greatest number of people in need. In addition, it aims to target efforts that can reach groups experiencing a greater burden as a result of disparities, including social, economic, and geographic determinants of health.

Alpena Regional Medical Center’s Community Health Education Department is leading the way serving as the bridge from the community to the hospital; programming is based on community need for preventing and managing chronic disease.

Chronic diseases are a leading cause of death and disability in the United States:

Half of all adults in the United States have a chronic disease ( Diabetes, Arthritis, Obesity, Heart/ Vascular Disease).

* 1 in 3 Americans has high blood pressure.

* 2 million heart attacks and strokes occur each year.

* 7 out of 10 deaths among Americans are caused by chronic illness.

* Of our $2.5 trillion annual health care spending, 75 percent is focused on chronic disease.

Local Offerings for Improving your Health:

* Quit Smoking Program (cost- variable) – weekly smoking cessation program meets every Monday – enroll at any time.

* Walking with Ease (FREE)-Evidence-based program for improved health and fitness through a guided walking program (work book included) for those with arthritis or other chronic health concerns

* Community Health Walks (FREE)- Walk with a Doc community walks. Walk side-by-side with area physicians for a 1- or 2-mile walk and gain valuable health information; ask questions, get a free blood pressure check and enjoy a healthy snack.

* Healthy Living Series (cost-variable)-Program specific for workplace or an organized community group who are looking for sustainable healthy behavior change; face to face and online component.

* Health Screenings (cost- variable)- Heart Healthy, Prostate and Diabetes Screening

* American Heart Association CPR classes cost- variable) – American Heart Association training center with full menu of courses from advanced to community CPR

* Flu Vaccines (cost- variable) – Worksite and community offered Flu vaccines

* Safe Sitter cost- variable) – Safe sitting course that provides certification for ages 11-16

* Diabetes Center (cost-variable) – Certified Diabetes program that offers comprehensive diabetes self management training for group and individual

For more information about community health programs at Alpena Regional Medical Center call 356-8106.