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New Health Network Promotes Wellness

County residents can expect to hear more about this new program

The Klickitat Healthy People Action Network is a new health care association in Klickitat County.

The purpose of the network is to promote, encourage, and coordinate actions to enhance health and wellness in Klickitat County.

The role and scope of responsibilities include the focus areas identified by the Rural Healthy People 2010 federal program concept. These include access to health care, diabetes, heart disease and stroke, oral health, mental health and substance abuse, tobacco use, immunizations and prevention of injury and violence.

Current Network members include Klickitat Valley Health Services; Klickitat County Departments of Health, Senior Services, WSE/Extension and Skyline Hospital.

Additional members may be either organizations or persons and will be added next year.

The Klickitat Healthy People Action Network developed from an informal network that was started in 2002 to enhance services for persons with diabetes.

A $200,000 Federal Rural Health Outreach grant (renewable for two additional years) was obtained in July 2003 to develop a comprehensive diabetes program for Klickitat County.

Key elements of the diabetes program include public education and awareness, enhancing the skills for persons with diabetes to manage their health issues, and enhancing the capacity of the health care delivery system to provide better medical care for persons with diabetes.

This program and the informal network served as a model for expansion to the other chronic health problems which the Network will address. The network will assess the needs of the community and attempt to find resources to meet the needs.

County residents can expect to see and hear about the Klickitat Healthy People Action Network in the near future as the diabetes public education and awareness activities are implemented.

The network recently completed a baseline survey about diabetes knowledge and it will repeat the survey several times throughout the project.

Diabetes education classes are already available in Goldendale through Klickitat Valley Health Services and will be available at Skyline Hospital early next year.

A toll free number (800) 835-7554 and a website: www.kvhs.org/diabetes for diabetes concerns have been established.

Contact Jeff Teal at (509) 773-4017 for more information about the Klickitat Healthy People Action Network.

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