Last month, we started a series of articles to present some of the activities of the Washington County Health Department. We continue with this series by highlighting one program that has already made a difference in the lives of a few individuals in Washington County, but with the potential to make a difference among many more.
Among its many functions, Public Health is Prevention and Wellness. The Washington County Health Department is public health and does focus on prevention and wellness programs as part of its activities made available to the residents of Washington County.
The Creating Healthy Communities initiative is a large part of that effort and has developed activities for the entire county. Court Witschey is the coordinator for CHC. One of the programs that has been conducted recently as a pilot program in Washington County is the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP). For more than 20 years, CHIP has helped more than 50,000 people rediscover their health by preventing and arresting chronic disease. CHIP is an engaging, science-based journey into the causes and consequences of our present "state of health."
Piloted in communities throughout North America and beyond, and with results published in several medical journals, CHIP is making a difference. CHIP will not only show us WHY we need to make better lifestyle choices, but also HOW to stop the "good life" from killing us. CHIP establishes the principle of health as an absolute necessity rather than a trendy option. It is not natural to suffer from obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, constipation, heartburn, angina, and heart disease.
Washington County's first CHIP class graduated on November 12 with significant results! Of the 15 graduates in Washington County's pilot class,
15 lowered their total cholesterol an average of 22 mg/dl
15 lowered their LDL (bad) cholesterol an average of 18 mg/dl
9 lowered their fasting blood sugar an average of 11 mg/dl
15 dropped their systolic blood pressure an average of 14 points
15 dropped their diastolic blood pressure an average of 4 points
15 dropped their resting heart rate an average of 8 beats per minutes
15 lost an average of 13 pounds
The CHIP graduates earned these results in just four weeks! They also reported improved sleep, less fatigue, improved regularity, more energy, less heart burn, and improved attitude, which is consistent with previously reported CHIP results in other communities. Two graduates were even directed, by their physicians, to reduce their medication dosages in the first four-weeks, thanks to the lifestyle changes they made through CHIP. Graduates can expect further improvement as they adapt CHIP more into their daily lives.
CHIP can deliver the proven results and priceless benefits needed for individuals to start feeling better! CHIP teaches how to be healthy by choice...not by chance! For more information on CHIP classes in Washington County, contact Court Witschey at the Washington County Health Department at 374-2782.
A note on one of the continuing prevention activities of WCHD: Flu season is just starting, but it is not too late for individuals to receive flu vaccine. A recent news release described the importance of pregnant women receiving the vaccine. One local employers has provided flu shots through WCHD for its employees over the past ten years. This employer has monitored its attendance since instituting the policy of flu shots for employees and found that the days of absenteeism during flu season has been drastically reduced in the past ten years. Immunization clinics will offer flu vaccine on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through November. WCHD will close at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 21 and re-open on Monday, Nov. 26. The next immunization clinic following the Thanksgiving break will be Wednesday, Nov. 28.
Kathleen Meckstroth is Washington County health commissioner and executive director of the Washington County Health Department, 342 Muskingum Drive, Marietta.