By Janie Crane and Laura Moroney.
The importance of community health is undeniable. Community health is intricately tied to individual wellness. In other words, the health of a community is only as good as the health of its individual members. “Community health impacts everything – educational achievement, safety and crime, people’s ability to work and be financially healthy, life expectancy, happiness and more,” says Thomas Bognanno, President and CEO of Community Health Charities. One study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that 80% of health outcomes are attributable to factors other than clinical care – social and economic status, physical environment, and health behaviors.[i]
As a community hospital, Island Hospital believes community health should be a top priority. Therefore, Island Hospital offers a robust community education program of free and low-cost health screenings such as: blood-pressure checks, cholesterol screening, and vitamin D tests. Educational classes on topics like nutrition, childbirth, understanding Medicare, caring for our mental health, and tips for aging are offered as well.
The current hospital space where the Community Education department and the Health Resource Center is located is no longer able to accommodate the fast growing and highly effective community health and wellness program. In order to expand offerings and provide additional free and low-cost services to the community – including an increased volume of classes, screenings, support groups, and health events, both in person and remote – Island Hospital will assume occupancy of a building on Commercial Avenue across from the main hospital campus to create a new Health & Wellness Center!
A significant amount of capital funding is needed to complete building renovations for the new Health & Wellness Center before it can open to the public. The Island Hospital Foundation will be raising funds this spring in support of the facility renovations and expansion of Island Hospital’s community health programs. As a precursor to the completed Health & Wellness Center, the Foundation will be hosting a spring fund drive May 16 – 22 that will incorporate free online educational classes, live panel discussions with Island Hospital providers, testimonials from community health program beneficiaries and more. A schedule of events can be found at www.myihf.org/events.
Once renovated, the new Health & Wellness Center will deliver additional offerings including the following:
- State of the art kitchen for cooking demonstrations and nutrition classes
- Leading-edge technology to accommodate in-person and remote participation
- Space for support groups and behavioral-health group therapy
- Expanded class offerings with topics like women’s health, naturopathic medicine, and diabetes management
- Doc Talks from Island Hospital providers
- Fitness classes
- Expanded health screenings for skin cancer, bone density, memory, glucose and more
Transforming the health of our community will require a community-wide effort. Every penny raised for the new Health & Wellness Center will translate into opportunities to inspire better health for you, your loved ones, and neighbors. To participate in Island Hospital Foundation’s spring fund drive offerings or to make a donation, go to www.myihf.org/events. With your help, the expansion of community health programs will improve the health and wellness of many.
“Beyond the Hospitals Wall.” Accordant Philanthropy. (February 19, 2021.) https://www.accordantphilanthropy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/infographic-improve-community-health-with-strategic-partnerships-1.pdf