Optimizing Health and Primary/Preventive Health
Community based interventions to improve health by promoting health supportive behaviors for all ages, ethnicities and geographic areas of the region. Programs highlighted below represent examples of our population health interventions. This is not an exhaustive list of all Community Health and Wellness Programs.
In 2012 Tahoe Forest Health System began collaborating with Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD) to improve immunization rates in response to poor kindergarten immunization rates and the whooping cough epidemic in Nevada County. This collaboration became known as the Truckee North Tahoe Immunization Coalition. The initial goal is to increase kindergarten immunization rates and 7th grade T-DAP immunization rates in TTUSD and improve adult T-DAP immunization booster rates. As a direct result of program interventions:
- Kindergarten immunization rates have increased;
- Tahoe Forest Hospital outpatient clinics are enrolled in the California Immunization Registry (CAIR);
- Immunization updates are integrated into the outpatient Electronic Health Record (Epic); and
- Communication and collaboration between TFHS, local medical providers, TTUSD and county health departments has greatly improved.
“We envision a community that supports optimal dental health where all children develop healthy dental habits, are pain-free, cavity-free and have access to regular, preventive and therapeutic dental services including oral health education.”
Dental health was identified as a significant community need in the TFHD Community Health Needs Assessments (2011 and 2014) and the Truckee North Tahoe Youth Health Assessment (2014). In response to this, a group of medical, dental and public health professionals convened to improve oral health in our region. Facilitated by the Wellness Neighborhood, the Truckee North Tahoe Dental Coalition started in the spring of 2016. Our strategies to improve youth dental health include:
- Community outreach and education including implementing dental curriculum in early childcare centers/preschools
- Engaging pediatric medical providers to apply Fl varnish to baby teeth during well-child checkups
- Place-based screenings and treatment (e.g. school-based screenings and Fluoride varnish application)
For additional helpful information, go to cavityfreekids.org.
The Wellness Neighborhood conducts Cancer Prevention and Cancer Screening Community Outreach using evidence-based national guidelines and interventions on behalf of TFHD Cancer Center. Current initiatives include the HPV Vaccine is Cancer Prevention Campaign, Kick Nicotine- Smoking Cessation Program, Every Woman Counts- Affordable Mammograms and Pap Smears, and Colorectal Cancer Screenings.
Affordable Lab Screenings and Blood Pressure Education
The Wellness Neighborhood supports monthly affordable lab screenings in Truckee and Incline Village. In 2015, the Wellness Neighborhood Team began offering education as well. While community members are waiting for their lab draw they can have their blood pressure screened and have access to an array of community health news including information on immunizations, nutrition and upcoming events.
ReThink Healthy! consists of prevention education including community outreach events, presentations and classes plus magazine, newsletter and email articles with a rotating focus. It also includes long-term projects such as seeking the American Heart Association's Fit and Friendly Workplace Certification, the HPV Vaccine is Cancer Prevention Campaign and promoting Mental Health in the Mountains in collaboration with the Suicide Prevention Coalition.
Check out our ReThink Healthy! Programs and Services:
Nutrition Coalition and Harvest of the Month
The Truckee Tahoe Nutrition Coalition and Harvest of the Month began in 2006 to increase knowledge, access and preference for fresh fruits and vegetables for the children and families of our community. Harvest of the Month activities include monthly tastings of in-season fruits or vegetables and yearly farmer visits.
To date: over 2,000 students per month have explored and tasted an in-season fruit or vegetable since 2007. Teachers and parent volunteers report increased interest and preference for fruits and vegetables. This program is financially supported by school Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs).
Be Fit in Tahoe (B-FIT) began in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District in 2011 to provide additional physical activity, in the form of "activity bursts" in the classroom, to elementary school youth. Physical activity provides many benefits that can positively affect children's health, their mental and social well-being, and their performance in the classroom. It plays an important role in combating the growing epidemics of obesity and diabetes, it is an important antidote to depression and low self-esteem, it can reduce the effects of stress, and it stimulates brain activity and increases the ability to concentrate. Reducing stress can make it easier for children to develop physically, mentally, intellectually and socially. Ultimately, this may help them perform better in the classroom. Finally, engaging in physical activity during childhood increases the chance of remaining physically active as an adult.
Truckee North Tahoe (TNT) Youth Health Initiative
The TNT Youth Health Initiative's mission is to build a sustainable, integrated continuum of health supports and services for adolescents in the Truckee-North Tahoe area through the partnership of community organizations committed to leveraging and expanding existing community and school-based programming and resources. Initiative Partners include the Wellness Neighborhood of Tahoe Forest Health System, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, Placer County Health and Human Services, Nevada County Health and Human Services and the Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee. The four key strategies of the Initiative are:
- Create a cohesive Wellness Network that links youth with local health and wellness services and includes a school-linked Youth Health Navigator to help coordinate care for adolescents.
- Increase access to confidential reproductive health services through the expansion of education and clinic services.
- Increase access to behavioral health and alcohol and other drug services through school-based therapists, expanded peer mentoring and strengthening substance use services.
- Increase access to oral health services and education through the creation of a Dental Coalition, including pediatricians, dentists, school nurses, volunteers and community health professionals.