Improving access to care in medically underserved communities reduces health disparities and stems rising healthcare costs caused by preventable and treatable diseases. In 2018, White Plains Hospital collaborated with diverse community partners to create its Healthy Community Initiative 12 Weeks to Wellness pilot program to promote healthy eating and physical activity for the underserved population in its community.
Initially, a survey was distributed at a community center to determine the population’s top health priorities. Lower blood pressure, weight loss and becoming more physically active were identified as the most significant. Eighteen individuals took part in the 12 Weeks to Wellness pilot program designed to educate participants on these key health concerns. Clinicians provided health screenings at the beginning and end of the program to evaluate success. The goals of the program were to have 15 individuals attend at least 75% of the sessions and that at least 50% of participants would lower their systolic blood pressure by at least 10 points. An additional objective was that a minimum of 75% of the participants would lose weight. Throughout the program, participants worked with a “partner in health” who kept them accountable for attending sessions and committed to changing their lifestyle.
At the conclusion of the program, 92% of participants decreased their systolic blood pressure by more than 10 points. Sixty-two percent lost weight, 69% reduced their waist size and 54% decreased their body mass index. In aggregate, 74% participated in education sessions and 69% attended more than seven sessions.
For more information, contact Jamie Bocchino, community relations and events manager, at
(914) 681-2628 or firstname.lastname@example.org.