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Format: 04/17/2014
Format: 04/17/2014


AGH—Suburban Campus Honored for Community Programming

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Allegheny General Hospital—Suburban Campus was awarded the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania’s (HAP) Achievement Award for excellence in community education.

The Hospital’s Community Health and Wellness Program was designed to meet specific needs identified by community members and the Bellevue Initiative for Growth and Revitalization (BIGr). The community education effort kicked off with the popular Twenty Week Challenge interactive lecture series which encourages participants to gradually change their eating and exercise habits over 20 weeks and adopt a sustainable healthier lifestyle.

AGH—Suburban Campus was among 18 HAP Achievement Award winners chosen from 168 applicants in Pennsylvania.

"These programs are examples of the commitment hospitals and health systems make-every day, in good times and bad-to their patients, communities, and employees," said HAP President and CEO Carolyn F. Scanlan. "The 18 awardees are among the most innovative and creative in the health care field, and we salute their accomplishments."

Seminars on a variety of topics including stress management and relaxation, nutritional guidelines and tips for forging new habits, composing a good exercise regimen, and staying motivated, drew more than 100 participants when the AGH—Suburban launched the Twenty Week Challenge.

“The goal of the program is to teach people about behaviors that need to be part of their life forever,” said Kathy Ferri, program coordinator and Manager of Health Promotion at AGH-Suburban.

Participants in the Twenty Week Challenge recorded their measurements during an initial session and at other points throughout the program to help them document the impact of their lifestyle changes over the duration of the workshop.

“It’s not a weight loss program, but the idea is, if you do these things for 20 weeks, you’re likely to lose a few pounds and supposing a patient is on medication for high blood pressure, we would like to see an improvement in blood pressure,” Ferri said.

Approximately 74 percent of participants who completed the challenge demonstrated improvement in one or more vital statistics measurement areas, Ferri said. Additionally, those who completed each lecture and weigh-in session were rewarded with a complimentary three month membership at the North Boroughs YMCA so they could continue forging healthy habits.

The success of the Twenty Week Challenge and subsequent community programs spurred AGH-Suburban to develop a new lecture series which will launch this fall. Pathways to Wellness uses simple ideas and practical advice to help participants start making healthy choices right away.  The goal of the program is to help participants gain insight into the obstacles that prevent them from making healthy lifestyle choices and explore strategies that will lead to sustained change in behaviors.

The program is free to and open to the public. Pathways to Wellness begins October 18, 2011 and will run through May. Registration is available by calling 412.DOCTORS (362-8677). 

HAP's Achievement Awards program began in 1978 as a way to recognize the innovation of Pennsylvania's health care organizations. The 2011 Achievement Award entries were evaluated by a 15-judge panel representing the public and private sectors, health care and business organizations, the media, and for-profit and nonprofit entities.

HAP awards are given in five different categories, spotlighting programs that benefit workplaces, communities, patient safety, patient care and operational excellence. Allegheny General Hospital—Suburban Campus was recognized in the “Community Benefit” category.
HAP is a statewide organization that advocates for nearly 250 Pennsylvania acute and specialty care, primary care, subacute care, long-term care, home health, and hospice providers, as well as the patients and communities they serve.

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