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April 11, 2006 > Washington Hospital Programs Work to Promote Healthier Living

Washington Hospital Programs Work to Promote Healthier Living

National Public Health Week Focuses on Designing Healthy Communities

National Public Health Week, observed the second week in April, is intended to spotlight public health programs and services that help ensure the health and safety of people in our communities. Washington Hospital has developed several health care initiatives that take into account the physical, social and environmental health and wellness issues that affect the residents in our community and is committed to making sure a strong health care safety net is available to all of its citizens.

One of the ways that Washington Hospital promotes healthy living is through a successful Health & Wellness seminar program.

"Our mission is to improve the quality of life and wellness for residents of the hospital district," says Deborah Garcia, R.N., Manager of Health Promotion at Washington Hospital. "We have been offering Health & Wellness seminars for over 15 years, targeting some of the most common health problems in the Tri-City area, including obesity, diabetes, coronary artery disease and stroke, as well as lung, breast and prostate cancer. Our objective is to provide people with useful, easy-to-understand information that will help people become better guardians of their own health."

Washington Hospital in partnership with the Hospital Council engages the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) in putting together a community needs assessment. From the needs assessment, Washington Hospital Healthcare System identifies programs and services to provide to the community, notes Ruth Traylor, Washington Hospital's Directory of Community Outreach. "One of our efforts to meet the critical need for more local detection and prevention services is the Washington on Wheels (W.O.W.) Mobile Health Clinic," she explains. "W.O.W. travels throughout the Tri-City area providing essential health care services to uninsured and underserved District residents. This program enables us to provide diabetes screenings and other health care services to those in need."

W.O.W. diabetes screenings are open to all residents of the Tri-City area, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. W.O.W. is funded and supported by Washington Hospital and the Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation.

"We collaborate with medical service providers such as Washington Hospital, as well as with other county departments, city agencies, community-based organizations, schools, civic groups, foundations, religious organizations, families and individuals to address various health issues," says ACPHD Public Information Officer Sherri Willis. "The hallmark of the public health department is prevention. ACPHD continues to gather and analyze data on health inequities, and the social conditions that impact those inequities. In fact, the department's County Health Status Report 2006 - which looks at an assortment of health indicators - is due out in April."

For more information regarding Health & Wellness seminars, including topics, dates, times and locations, or to register for a seminar, please call Washington Hospital's Health Connection at (800) 963-7070.

For more information regarding the W.O.W. clinic's schedule for visits to your city, please call (510) 608-3203 or visit the Washington Hospital Web site at, click on "For Our Community" and select "W.O.W. Mobile Health Clinic" from the drop-down menu.

For more information about the services provided by ACPHD, please call their main number at (510) 267-8000. Their Public Health Clearinghouse for physician, dentist and health plan referrals is (888) 604-4636. Other commonly called numbers include communicable diseases, (510) 267-3200; restaurant inspections (to report food contamination questions), (510) 567-6700; and birth/death certificates, (510) 272-6363.

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