Healthy Weight Initiative
- Biggest Loser Contest – Biggest Loser (BL) has been one of the Network’s most successful programs. Biggest Loser 2022 was the 10th Anniversary as it kicked off on February 7th. BL is a FREE, 16-week contest open to all Greene County residents over the age of 18. Our job is to provide participants with a set of activities to help them succeed – the contest consists of friendly competition and group support, weight-loss strategies, weight-loss tips, exercise and nutrition classes, and we encourage participants to talk to their primary care physician about weight-loss counseling. Over the past 10 years, tens of thousands of weight-loss and healthy weight ads have been run on all media platforms and recent registrations have reached over 500!
- Greene Walks – Greene Walks was created to encourage physical activity throughout Greene County. It produced the first ever-comprehensive map of all walking and biking trails in the County and has welcomed thousands of participants. A new dimension was added in 2020, when healthy challenges were added to the program. This addition further demonstrated the Network’s commitment to promoting well-being through both healthy eating and exercise.
- And More… In addition to Biggest Loser and Greene Walks we have encouraged restaurants in the County to offer healthier meals, promoted farmer’s markets and road side stands, and have worked with local schools to improve nutrition, exercise, and weight-loss among students.
Medication Drop – Boxes – People with prescription drugs in their homes could be unwittingly serving as a “drug supplier” to family or relatives. We continue to promote the 7 medication drop boxes we have purchased and located throughout the County; Greene County has one of the highest numbers of drop boxes of any county in the State due to our efforts. These boxes are available to people who want to get rid of expired or unwanted prescription medications. The boxes are an effective means for helping address opioid abuse and have been extremely successful. We also help to promote the DEA’s National Take Back Day which takes place each year in April and October. To promote the availability of the boxes, we have run thousands of TV, radio and social media ads.
Reducing Stigma – One of the biggest reasons people who are addicted to alcohol and drugs do not seek treatment is because of the stigma associated with these chronic diseases. The goal of our yearly campaign is to improve public and patient understanding of alcohol and drug addictions as a chronic disease, show that recovery is possible, and that people can lead normal, productive lives. Thus, people with these problems will be more prone to seek counseling. To promote the availability of the boxes, we have run thousands of TV, radio and social media ads.
Mini-Grant Program – Since 1996, the GCRHN has enriched the Greene County community by distributing millions of dollars in grants to projects that support its mission to improve the health of Greene County residents. Each year, we award a total of $10,000 to help organizations promote programs that are consistent with the Network’s mission as part of our Mini-Grant program. Some of our most recent awards were to Cairo Public Library to provide Yoga for Seniors; Community Action of Greene County, Inc., to purchase “Good & Cheap” healthy recipe books; Heermance Public Library to purchase ingredients for healthy eating kits and Mountain Top Library to provide chair yoga and a mental wellness field trip to students of Hunter Tannersville middle/high school.
Improving Compliance with Health Screening Guidelines – Identifying health conditions early means that treatment can be provided early, which reduces human suffering and medical costs. One of our goals is to constantly improve compliance with the various screening guidelines. We have sponsored thousands of TV, radio and social media ads, distributed personal checklists that contain screening guidelines for an entire family, and sponsored several health screening fairs. Compliance levels with many screening guidelines are high and have been improving, but we still need to encourage a notable portion of the public to obtain these tests given their huge impact on improving health status and lowering medical costs.
School-Based Mental Health Counseling – Our schools are an excellent resource for screening adolescents and pre-adolescents for behavioral health problems. The Network, in partnership with our County Mental Health Center, established a screening and counseling program available in three school districts. This program provided counseling to schoolchildren and their families right at the school the child attended.
Prevention Education and Outreach in the Community and Schools. We contracted with Twin County Recovery Services to schedule, develop, participate, and host events and activities throughout the County for the purpose of helping to prevent and reduce the incidence of alcohol and substance abuse problems. During the contracted period, the program was involved in multiple community events and interacted with thousands of students and hundreds of adults.
Paramedic Program – This important emergency resource was started in 2000 with financial assistance from the Rural Health Network. Over a ten-year period, the Network provided nearly $1 million to support this program. With the help of the Network, this program has become a self-sufficient asset to Greene County and now answers 3000 calls/year. The Paramedic program was named “Rural Program of the Year” in 2010 by the New York State Association of Rural Health.
EMS Electronic Reports – The RHN funded the adoption of the Electronic Patient Care Report, now covering more than 100% of all the annual emergency medical service calls in the county. Few counties in the state have such a high percentage.
Mobile Dental Health Van – The Network funded this dental treatment service to schools, health care centers, and other sites throughout Greene County. They filled cavities, extracted teeth and performed other services for about 100 children and 100 adults every year. Dental treatment services were provided to about 1,500 children and adults during the time the Network provided funding.
Dental Sealants – During the period 2003-2016, approximately 7,500 grade school children were educated on oral hygiene, and nearly 3,000 children were provided sealants and fluoride applications.
Practitioner Placement Program – According to Federal guidelines, our County needs the equivalent of about 15 primary care doctors. About 20 years ago there were 6 and now due to the recruitment and support of the Network, the County has well over the recommended 15.
Greene County Rural Health Network has also provided funding to:
- Upgrade medical communications systems and train volunteer ambulance squads.
- Purchase asthma supplies for school children.
- Expand kidney dialysis services.
- Increase diabetes education and services.
- Improve the detection of breast cancer.
- Improve services for sexual assault victims.
- Raised awareness about the Federal Affordable Care Act.
- Promoted health care providers throughout the county.
- Funded staff to help children and adults obtain health coverage.