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Healthy Communities Grant

South Heartland District Health Department

Heartland Alliance for Healthy Schools as Healthy Workplaces

The Heartland Alliance for Healthy Schools as Healthy Workplaces project targets administrative, faculty and staff employees of public school districts within the South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) service area of Adams, Clay, Webster and Nuckolls Counties. The 2007-2008 Nebraska DHHS, Area Profile – SHDHD data reports 4.4 percent of South Heartland citizens over age 16 have coronary heart disease compared to the 3.7 percent state average; 35.2 percent have been told they have high cholesterol as compared to the state average of 31.9 percent. Thirty-four percent of students attending the Alliance Project pilot district schools have a Body Mass Index (BMI) indicating that they are overweight or obese.

SHDHD’s 2007 MAPP process stakeholders identified obesity and overweight, particularly in youth, as important health concerns for the service area. From 2000-2004, cardiovascular disease was the leading cause of death in the four-county South Heartland Health District (Nebraska Vital Statistics Report 2004). Compared to Nebraska as a whole, heart disease in South Heartland was associated with both a greater proportion of deaths (32 percent vs. 26.7 percent) and a substantially higher age-adjusted mortality rate (222.5 vs. 205.1/100,000) (Nebraska DHHS, Area Profile – South Heartland Health District, 2005).

The current project will build on and expand the success of previous projects through targeting the mentors of the children impacted in the previous project with a two-fold outcome: improving the health status of school staff builds and enhances healthy modeling for students by key adults which reinforces the student progress made in past projects. Secondly, improving the health status of staff increases productivity and retention, enhances staff morale and reduces absenteeism due to health conditions.

For more information, contact the NAFH staff at (402) 471-2101.

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