2014 Global Vision Award Winners

The WHA Foundation announces the selection of the "Live It! Real Life Nutrition for Teens" program, nominated by Columbus Community Hospital; and the "NEW Community Clinic Dental Clinic" program, nominated by Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) - Green Bay, as recipients of the 2014 Global Vision Community Partnership Award.

As a result of the community health needs assessment conducted by Columbus Community Hospital (CCH), the "Live It! Real Life Nutrition for Teens" program was implemented in 2012 for middle school students in four schools in the Columbus and Fall River areas. The needs assessment revealed a high obesity rate in Columbia County, which led to the formation of The Food for Thought Coalition to tackle this issue. In addition to the hospital, the Coalition includes Columbus Community Hospital Foundation, Inc., the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) Department of Nutritional Sciences, the UW Department of Food Science, Columbus Middle School, Fall River Middle School, Zion Lutheran School, St. Jerome Catholic School, and the Medical College of Wisconsin. The Coalition implemented the Live It! Program, designed to target and combat childhood obesity at the source, with a goal of improving youth eating and physical activity habits and create long-term retention of the benefits of eating nutrient-rich foods and engaging in physical activity. Originating from the Oregon Dairy Council, the Live It! Program consists of an engaging 14-lesson curriculum presented throughout the school year. Physical activity lessons are taught by CCH’s education staff manager, a former physical education teacher, while the nutrition lessons are taught by CCH registered dietitian staff or UW dietetic students. Each lesson is presented within the health curriculum or class at each of the middle schools, requiring not additional time or travel for participating students or parents. Each class accumulates points based on students completing in-class and take-home activities, with the grand prize of a healthy cooking class led by CCH’s executive chef each semester. Outcomes are measured by pre- and post-surveys of the students and abbreviated fitness testing and BMI measurements collected for future trend analysis.

The NEW Community Clinic Dental Clinic, located on the campus of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) in Green Bay, exists through the collaboration of St. Mary’s and St. Vincent Hospitals, both part of the Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) Eastern Wisconsin Division; NWTC; and the NEW Community Clinic, a federally-qualified health center. The dental clinic is part of a medical clinic on the NWTC campus, allowing real-life training experience for NWTC students who provide dental hygiene services to Medicaid and uninsured patients when classes are in session, serving patients who don’t need a higher level of services. While the NEW Community Clinic has had a dentist on staff since 2011, it was clearly not enough to address the growing number of patients presenting at Green Bay hospital emergency departments for dental problems. Over 2,000 patients are seen in Green Bay hospital EDs annually for a preventable dental condition, and the 2012 Brown County community health needs assessment identified oral health as one of the top three health focus areas for Brown County. In 2012, St. Mary’s and St. Vincent Hospitals provided needed funds to open a six-chair operatory in space donated and remodeled by NWTC, an additional dentist was hired, and the new dental clinic was opened in April 2013. In addition to services provided by the two dentists and the NWTC dental hygiene students, beginning early this month, two Green Bay-based oral surgery groups have voluntarily started to see patients a half day each week, with the hopes of eventually bringing oral surgery students to the clinic. The dental clinic had over 4,000 visits in 2013, and between January and May 2014, had nearly 2,200 visits, with the vast majority of these patients on Medicaid. These numbers do not include patient visits to NWTC dental hygiene students during the school year. Clinic collaborators are monitoring hospital ED data via WHAIC data sets and indicate fourth quarter of 2013 data showed a drop in visits for preventable dental conditions that was one standard deviation below the running average.

The WHA Foundation’s Global Vision Community Partnership Award is a competitive grant award created in 1995 to recognize the efforts of WHA members in meeting the documented health needs in their communities through creativity, innovation, partnership, and collaboration. To date, the Award has honored 38 innovative programs in communities throughout Wisconsin.