United Lifestyles gives update to COGG members

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 11:49 am on Friday, February 22, 2013

GREENVILLE — Members of the Coalition of Greater Greenville (COGG) received a presentation Thursday on how Spectrum Health United Lifestyles is working toward making a healthier community.

During the regular COGG meeting, United Lifestyles Executive Director Jodie Faber gave a presentation on programs the facility offers to help make Greenville a better, healthier place to live.

Faber said the facility saw more than 16,000 unduplicated patients last year who used their programs.

“They have touched our lives,” Faber said of the patients.

Last year, United Lifestyles had an operating budget of $777,000 while receiving $210,000 in grant support.

About 10 years ago, the facility’s budget was under $300,000.

“We have done a good job expanding community support,” Faber said.

Four programs the United Lifestyles offers include education on diabetes, maternal and infant health, Project Save Our Children and Rural FitKids 360.

Through the diabetes program, United Lifestyles has seen an increase in patients from 472 in 2011 to 576 in 2012.

Patients who participate are asked to set goals and monitor them over time. Through United Lifestyles, patients make six out of seven goals 50 percent of the time or more.

“That is a really good number,” Faber said.

The maternal and infant health program is also seeing an increase in patients.

Faber said in the first quarter, out of 104 patients, 13 of them were in this program. That number rose in the second quarter with United Lifestyles seeing 19 patients.

“Why would a person be in this program,” asked Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Co-Director Candy Kerschen.

Although there are a variety of reason and programs that help direct patients to the maternal and infant health program, Faber said the program is designed to help those who are underserved.

“The case load in the county is over 300 between the infant and pregnant mom,” Faber said.

Many organizations are jumping on board to become part of Project Save Our Children.

This program partners with schools around the county to educate students on the effects of items such as driving and driving and texting and driving.

Faber said other counties and departments — like the Michigan State Police — are coming together to participate in or duplicate the program.

“It’s a great program with a lot of great things happening in that right now,” she said.

Rural FitKids 360 program was developed to address childhood obesity.

The program combines basic education about nutrition, behavior and exercise with a wide range of physical activities with a goal to provide an effective solution for overweight children who have been unable to make positive changes on their own.

In addition to these four programs, United Lifestyles is also starting Core Health Care, which is a chronic disease management program.

Faber said the program is designed to help all including underserved, offer free home visits, help diagnose patients with things like diabetes and heart failure and much more.

The program is a 12-month program that the hospital is paying for.

“We are trying to improve the health of the community,” Faber said. “I can’t say enough about (Spectrum Health United and Kelsey hospital’s president) Tine Freese-Decker. She is very involved with prevention.”

Overall, United Lifestyles is reaching out in the community to health those who are in need of receiving a healthier lifestyle.

“I think this is phenomenal,” Kerschen said of the programs at United Lifestyles. “There is very impressive stuff happening.”

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