By Rob Cox Daily News
Greensburg Daily News
---- — GREENSBURG — In March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics invited the country to “Enjoy the Taste of Easting Right,” through the academy’s annual observance of National Nutrition Month.
Decatur County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) dietician Holly Pray and Marketing & Communications manager Lynzee McDowell were all too happy to accept that invitation and extend it to both hospital employees and to the community at large.
In a recent interview, McDowell told the Daily News, “DCMH offers several programs throughout the year that focus on all types of wellness: physical, financial, environmental and more. As we (DCMH) celebrate National Nutrition Month, we see March as an opportunity to highlight the many nutrition-related programs and services we offer our community.”
Among the initiatives Pray and McDowell worked and promoted in March is DCMH’s just-concluded “LiveWELL” program. LiveWELL, Pray explained was created in 2012 as a way to promote a healthy lifestyle at DCMH and in Decatur County at large.
DCMH Family Practice physician Jennifer Fletcher, MD, has participated in LiveWell and achieved impressive results.
The 2014 edition, Pray explained, started in January and ran continuously through March 31.
LiveWELL focuses on four elements of Living Well, including nutrition, fitness, physiological well-being and technology.
Participants in the program met with Pray one-on-one every other week throughout the three-month period to consult on a number of health-related measures, including activity levels, amount of sleep and sleep efficiency, and weight levels.
Each participant, Pray said, was provided with a BodyMedia Armband to wear during the program, the same device used on TV’s “The Biggest Loser.” According to the BodyMedia website, (http://www.bodymedia.com) the armband is a biometric device that provides round-the-clock data regarding calories eaten and burned, sleep and sleep quality, and activity and fitness levels. Pray used the biometric data to help continually customize each LiveWELL participant’s program.
The 2014 LiveWELL group – which included a diverse mix of ages, lifestyles and occupations – also met with Pray as a group every other week during the three-month program. The program concluded last night at DCMH with a 5k run/walk, which was open to all LiveWELL participants.
The LiveWELL program doesn’t completely end with the conclusion of the three-month period, Pray stressed. DCMH also maintains a LiveWELL support group graduates can attend for “continued support, motivation and education.”
DCMH’s ReCharge program also kicked off in March and recently finished its run at Greensburg Elementary School and the Decatur County Family YMCA. In April, the program moves to North Decatur Elementary School and St. Mary’s.
ReCharge, McDowell explained, is an after-school program “designed to help students learn about and practice good nutrition and physical activities through fun, team-based strategies.”
McDowell also touted the fact that DCMH’s Dietary staff recently ranked in the 99 percentile among area hospitals on Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction scores. According to the company website, Press Ganey Associates is a healthcare consulting firm based in South Bend that works with healthcare institutions around the county “to improve the quality of care they provide and their financial performance.”
McDowell and Pray both lauded DCMH’s cafeteria wellness initiatives, which implement focus groups and surveys to improve the hospital’s food and make it healthier.
DCMH is also unique, Pray explained, in that dietary aids from the kitchens regularly consult with all patients regarding food and meal preferences.
The hospital also held a “Weight Loss Panel” for its employees throughout March, wherein employees could listen to other employees tell stories in the hospital conference room about successful weight loss, McDowell said.
“It’s our job as the community hospital to be proactive,” she added. “So much of health and wellness relies on the individual making the right choices, that if we can be there as a guide and offer them ample resources and opportunities, then maybe individuals, couples, families and more will find is easier to start focusing on their overall wellness.”
Contact: Rob Cox 812-663-3111 x7011; firstname.lastname@example.org