Innovation on the part of local groups and businesses is a central focus of the Steps Initiative. Secretary Thompson recently recognized eight organizations, in seven separate categories, for their creativity in helping Americans stay healthy in one or more of the following areas: asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke, obesity, physical activity, poor nutrition, and tobacco use. These eight Innovation Award recipients have modeled the Department’s ideals of partnership and individual action, and serve as examples for other groups and organizations:
Faith Based Organization--The Church Health Center (Memphis, TN) was recognized for reaching more than 5,000 people each month, in its efforts to provide health care for the uninsured and prevention services to the community at large.
Health Care Delivery System—The Southeast Kentucky Community Access Program [SKYCAP] (Hazard, KY) was recognized for its innovative “patient navigators” program, which trains local residents to be advocates for the care and rehabilitation of individuals suffering from chronic diseases and other health conditions.
Healthy Workplace/Small Employer---The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District Worksite Wellness Training Program (Waco, TX) was recognized for supporting and encouraging employees to set personal fitness goals and to establish flexible exercise routines. The program offers workers paid time to exercise and record their progress, which has resulted in greater physical activity, lower body weight and improved health statistics for participants.
Healthy Workplace/Large Employer— The Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, NJ) was recognized for the success of its health and wellness program, which integrates disabilities management, employee assistance and occupational health into a comprehensive wellness approach that has reduced health risk among employees and saves approximately $9 million annually in medical expenses and administrative costs.
Healthy Workplace/Large Employer—The Union Pacific Railroad (Omaha, NB) was recognized for its Health Index and Health Track programs. These comprehensive programs provide at-risk employees and work groups with opportunities to establish health goals and to monitor their progress toward improving their health.
Schools (K-12)—The American Cancer Society’s Healthy Kids Network was recognized for its success in educating and mobilizing parents on how to promote healthier habits among children. Their efforts have brought about changes in school policies and educational materials, as well as improved the quality of school health programs in 19 States.
Public Sector—The Seattle-King County Healthy Homes Project (Seattle, WA) was recognized for its success in using community health workers to educate families on how to maintain “asthma-friendly” homes, as well as to educate public housing officials and builders on how to reduce “asthma triggers” in public housing and new construction.
Non-Profit—The Campuses Organized & United for Good Health [COUGH], California Youth Advocacy Network [CYAN] (Sacramento, CA) was recognized for its success in fostering a campaign to establish healthy environments for students, ultimately making it possible for State Universities to create 20-foot no smoking zones around buildings and entrances.
For more information: http://www.healthierus.gov/steps