Caring for the Community

Caring for the Community

When you think about your local hospital, your mind focuses on the illnesses that might cause you to become a patient. Fortunately, metro Atlanta hospitals provide exceptional service to those who are sick and need the best medical treatment available. Yet, they also do so much more. In fact, the area’s exceptional healthcare facilities actually place great emphasis on wellness and strive to help local residents enjoy a true sense of overall health and well-being. Through an array of community outreach programs, they get people of all ages thinking about disease prevention, healthy living and building strong communities, among many other topics. Check out these examples of how some of the most prominent names on the metro Atlanta healthcare scene truly have your best interests at heart.

Northside Hospital: Across the Board Commitment

Community stewardship is more than just a concept for Northside Hospital—it is a quantifiable initiative. For instance, during the course of one year, more than 4,250 employees donated 30,000 hours of time to over 100 service projects through the Northside Community Connection Employee Volunteer Program. They participated in area walks and runs, managed food and clothing collection drives, played bingo with local seniors and more. And those types of efforts go well beyond individual employees.

Northside Hospital boasts myriad partnerships that are designed to promote wellness, from working with the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance to raise funds for research to collaborating with the March of Dimes to help reduce the number of early elective deliveries throughout Georgia to collecting gently used suitcases for children in foster care with Georgia Cancer Specialists and Georgia DFCS during the Totes 2 Tots campaign. The hospital also offers health screenings (often free or at low cost to those who qualify), classes and other events throughout the year that cover everything from breast cancer, heart disease and diabetes to pregnancy, mental health awareness and weight loss. Furthermore, the Northside Foundation collects donations and offers a host of community-based services, including mammograms for underinsured women, rides to treatment for cancer patients and more.

Additionally, Northside boasts a strong commitment to local area schools through its Partners in Education and Healthcare Explorers programs. With Partners in Education, the hospital sponsors more than 100 schools seven metro area counties, providing clinic supplies, participating in fundraisers, supporting career days and investing in student programs that promote health and wellness. The Healthcare Explorers program introduces high school sophomores, juniors and seniors to careers in the healthcare industry and even provides some hands-on training in various departments.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta: A Strong Effort

Offering specialized treatment for little ones has made Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) the go-to provider for parents throughout the metro area. Yet, one of the main goals for this collection of pediatric medical facilities is actually to keep children out of the hospital. And one way to achieve this is through the Strong4Life initiative, which features an array of programs that provide education, awareness and support to the community-at-large, focusing on everything from obesity prevention to healthy habits.

[caption id="attachment_11278" align="aligncenter" width="960"]Strong4Life by CHOA Photo courtesy Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Strong4Life program.[/caption]

In addition to community events like health fairs, 5K walks/runs, festivals and more, the Strong4Life initiative has a set of programs in place for both parents and children. Camp Strong4Life is a clinical treatment program for overweight and obese children and their families, focusing on rising fourth through sixth graders with a BMI above the 85th percentile; the overnight camp brings together physicians, dieticians, exercise physiologists, child psychologists and other professionals to help participants learn to adopt healthy living habits while having fun. That concept is brought into schools with the Strong4Life Challenge, a school-based program that teaches elementary students about good nutrition and physical activity. After a school-wide pep rally, the Strong4Life team visits the cafeteria and PE classes to promote the program’s messages; in 2017, 33 local elementary schools participated, and the program reached more than 160,000 youngsters. And to round out the initiative, there’s the Strong4Life Wellness Blueprint Program, which is designed to support youth organizations by providing their leaders with a written set of standards for promoting health and wellness to the children those programs reach. CHOA currently works with organizations like the City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation, Roswell Parks and Recreation, Gwinnet County Parks and Recreation, Camp Twin Lakes and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta to increase access to healthy foods, provide opportunities for physical activity and offer healthy role models to children of all ages.

WellStar Health System: It’s All Good          

Getting older may be inevitable, but there’s no reason to give up healthy habits as the years go by. That’s what WellStar Health System wants to convey with The Good Life Club, a program specifically for people 50 and older who want to learn how to live healthy and stay active. To promote wellness, the program offers services like physical activities (such as yoga in the park, nature walks and fitness classes), free health screening events and advanced care planning classes. Yet, it goes above the basics with an array of additional offerings to members, including a 10 percent discount on programs offered by WellStar Community Education & Outreach, another 10 percent discount on services offered by the WellStar Nutrition Network and 50 percent off the enrollment fee at WellStar Health Place (a fitness center that specializes in weight management).

Disseminating valuable information is equally important, so members of The Good Life Club also receive a bi-monthly newsletter and access to a variety of health education opportunities, from quarterly seminars about healthy aging and women’s well-being to free monthly presentations about certain health topics. What’s more, the program strives to emphasize the social aspect of a healthy life and has partnered with organizations like Grand American Tours, Leisure Time Tours and Collette Vacations to offer excellent prices on social and travel opportunities. It also offers Good Life Club Perks, a website that provides access to more than 30,000 merchants and discounts on airfare, car rentals, hotels, restaurants, entertainment and much more—proving that membership really does have its perks.