updated: 1/17/2006 12:30:01 PM

Bartholomew County Receives National Honor For Health Initiative

InsideIndianaBusiness.com Report

The Healthy Communities Initiative of Bartholomew County in Columbus has been named one of four national finalists for the 2005 Foster G. McGaw Prize.

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The award is considered one of the health care field's most prestigious honors for excellence in community service. The initiative, which was launched by the Columbus Regional Hospital, is a partnership to address the health needs of of the community through innovative programs.

Source: Inside INdiana Business

Press Release

CHICAGO, January 17, 2006 – In recognition of its broad-based community collaboration to address the county’s greatest health care needs, the Healthy Communities Initiative of Bartholomew County in Columbus, Ind. has been named a national finalist for the 2005 Foster G. McGaw Prize—one of the health care field’s most prestigious honors for excellence in community service. The Foster G. McGaw Prize is sponsored by the American Hospital Association (AHA), The Baxter International Foundation and the Cardinal Health Foundation. This is the second time in three years that the Healthy Communities Initiative has been named a national finalist for the award, and will receive a $10,000 award.

The Foster G. McGaw Prize, first awarded in 1986, recognizes health care organizations that demonstrate commitment to community service through a range of programs that demonstrate a passion and continuous commitment to making communities healthier and more vital. The Prize inspires hospitals, health systems and communities to assess and implement programs that improve their communities.

“Healthy Communities Initiative of Bartholomew County reaches beyond the traditional to become a healthy community where each member is valued and shares in the responsibility of making a difference,” said Susan Manilow, chair of the Foster G. McGaw Prize Committee. “It is a true working community collaboration model with a mission to improve the health and well-being of the people it serves.”

“Our success depends on a collaborative community effort to advocate and influence change at the root of some of our biggest challenges,” said Laura Hunt, co-chair of the Healthy Communities Initiative Council. “Some of the successes include the enactment of smoke-free workplaces and nearly two million dollars in free or reduced prescriptions for the uninsured every year.”

The Healthy Communities Initiative was formed in the early 1990s to create local solutions to many health care challenges. Launched by Columbus Regional Hospital, Healthy Communities partners with local schools, corporations, businesses, city government, public health agencies, churches and other health care providers to help address the needs of the community through innovative programs including:

-- Bartholomew County on the Move, a three-month lifestyle challenge that began in 2004 and seeks to address the county’s increasing rate of obesity. Teams of five compete for pounds lost or minutes of exercise activity, participating in monthly weigh-ins and education sessions on healthy living. In 2005, nearly 600 residents participated, losing more than 1,300 pounds. The program’s results have been shared in presentations to both state and national audiences.

-- Volunteers in Medicine Clinic, opened in 1996 to provide primary health care to residents without health insurance. The clinic is operated by volunteer physicians, nurses and dentists, and has served more than 7,000 patients. The clinic partners with the Healthy Communities’ Proyecto Salud Action Team to offer a Spanish language clinic once a week, which has served nearly 500 patients.

-- Period of Purple Crying, which helps parents cope with inconsolable crying, the most common precursor to violent shaking. Since the program’s launch in 2003, there have been no instances of shaken baby syndrome in Bartholomew County. The Period of Purple Crying is part of the Caring Parents Action Team, a volunteer-based home visitation program during a baby’s first year.

The winner of this year’s $100,000 Foster G. McGaw Prize is Venice Family Clinic of Venice, Calif. In addition to the Healthy Communities Initiative, other finalists include Franklin Community Health Network, in Farmington, Maine, and Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville, N.C.

“The Foster G. McGaw Prize recognizes health care organizations that demonstrate a passion and commitment to making their communities healthier and more vital,” said Manilow. “The truly inspiring work of the 2005 winner and finalists is a testament to this commitment in improving the health and quality of life of their communities. They provide excellent examples for others to follow.”

About The Foster G. McGaw Prize Sponsors

The American Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which includes almost 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 37,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA Web site at www.aha.org.

As the philanthropic arm of Baxter International Inc. (www.baxter.com), The Baxter International Foundation helps organizations increase access to health care in the United States and around the world. The foundation, established in 1981, began to focus exclusively on increasing access to health care in 2002 - particularly for the disadvantaged and underserved - in and near communities where Baxter employees live and work. Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, assists health care professionals and their patients with the treatment of complex medical conditions, including cancer, hemophilia, immune disorders, kidney disease and trauma. The company applies its expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to make a meaningful difference in patients' lives.
Supported by the global resources of Cardinal Health (www.cardinalhealth.com), including more than 55,000 employees around the world, the Cardinal Health Foundation is the focal point of the company’s community relations efforts. The Foundation’s mission is to advance and fund regional and national programs that improve access to and delivery of quality health care services. With annual revenues of nearly $75 billion and operations on six continents, Cardinal Health is the leading provider of products and services supporting the health care industry.

Source: 2005 Foster G. McGaw Prize

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