The seventh annual Champions of Health awards took place on Monday, October 18, 2010, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Five winners were honored for their efforts to improve the health of Oklahomans. The evening featured KWTV News 9 sports anchor Toby Rowland as emcee and former Dallas Cowboys running back and the NFL's all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith as keynote speaker.
The Dr. Rodney L. Huey Memorial Champion of Oklahoma Health Award was named in memory of Dr. Rodney Huey, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma's first physician president. His name was added to the award in 2008. Huey passed away in December 2007.
Farm to You , Stillwater
Farm to You was the 2010 Champion of Children’s Health and recipient of the Dr. Rodney Huey Memorial Champion of Oklahoma Health award, the highest award of the Champions of Health program.
Coordinated by the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service (OCES), Farm to You is an example of partnership between state agencies and community partners with the mission of delivering research-based information and programs to help Oklahoma youth deal with major health concerns that impact their lives. These concerns include rising rates of obesity, limited physical activity, low intake of fruits and vegetables, high prevalence of tooth decay and a high rate of tobacco use among adolescents and teens. The educational program is designed to raise awareness of the relationships between agriculture, food and health.
Prague Turning Point Coalition , Prague
The Prague Turning Point Coalition promotes health and wellness through education and prevention in the Prague community. These efforts focus mainly on Prague youth, with a special emphasis on prevention and increasing parental knowledge about the dangers of substance abuse.
Debbie Blankenship, Special Help! , Edmond
Debbie Blankenship saw a need to give caregivers of special needs children a resource to find support. As a result, Debbie developed Special Help!, a resource directory and website designed to get information about service providers, activities and support groups into the hands of those who need it most. Debbie spoke with professionals and poured over phone books and online resources for hours, compiling the information. The site provides more than 200 resources under 30 groupings online – all without the support of paid advertising.
Rylyn Meacham Center , Bethany
The Rylyn Meacham Center is a non-profit, community-based program designed to give free therapy resources for those with neurological conditions, such as strokes and brain injuries, as well as other illnesses or injuries. Assistance is given to Oklahoma residents who have used up insurance benefits and are not receiving services from some other source. Services include occupational and physical therapy, speech-language pathology, prosthetic/orthotic consultation, equipment evaluation, supply and equipment issue, resource education and referral services.
Tres Savage, Remote Area Medical, Oklahoma City
Tres Savage spent two years planning a three-day free health care clinic in Oklahoma City. The event brought dental, medical, vision and pharmacy services to the area, while on-site services were available to counsel patients about follow-up care and the resources available to them in their hometowns. The clinic was achieved through the assistance of Remote Area Medical.
Health for Friends , Norman
Years ago, there was no access to low cost, affordable or free dental care in the Norman community. In response, Health for Friends began a weekly evening dental extraction clinic staffed by local dentists and dental students to provide access to treatment for Norman's low-income citizens.
Oklahoma Area Health Education Centers at the Center for Rural Health , Oklahoma State University (OSU) Center for Health Sciences, Tulsa
Cancer patients in rural areas traditionally have fewer opportunities to access cancer information in their own communities than those who live in urban areas. In response, and with funding from the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the Oklahoma Area Health Education Centers (OKAHEC) developed the Cancer Survivorship Education Program to provide local access to cancer resources in rural Oklahoma communities. The program is implemented through community-based, grassroots workshops in areas throughout Oklahoma. Rural health care providers are targeted with state and local cancer information and patients are provided referral information.
Tulsa Community Pharmacy Partners, Tulsa
The Tulsa Community Pharmacy partners include five local private and independent pharmacies that collaborate to provide affordable medications for any referred patient. These pharmacies include Couch Pharmacy, Drug Warehouse, Freeland-Brown Pharmacy, T. Roy Barnes Drugry and Spoon Drug. The purpose of this collaboration is to insure the Oklahoma University (OU) Bedlam Clinic Systems are viable clinical enterprises by providing access to affordable prescription medicine to patients.
Abba's Family, Tulsa
Abba's Family is a faith-based non-profit organization that helps faith communities find ways to serve the homeless population. The Mental Health Association of Tulsa worked with Abba’s Family to create an aggressive housing acquisition program designed to create enough affordable housing to end chronic homelessness in Tulsa. Through a collaborative effort, the Housing Faith Alliance was formed. The Housing Faith Alliance addresses the health needs of the homeless community, providing housing, physical or mental health care and a place to worship.
RSVP of Central Oklahoma , Oklahoma City
Many senior citizens do not have routine medical checkups or necessary medical treatments, simply because they do not have transportation. For senior citizens on a fixed income, transportation to the doctor may force them to choose between paying for a taxi and buying groceries. RSVP’s Provide-A-Ride eliminates that concern by providing free transportation to medical appointments for individuals over the age of 60, with the target population of low-to-moderate-income seniors. The service is provided by peer volunteers—other able-bodied seniors driving their own vehicles. These volunteers provide transportation on their own time and at no cost to other seniors in need.
OU Physicians Health @ Work Program, part of the OU Physicians Department of Family Medicine in Tulsa, is working to improve the health status and economic impact of optimal health on community groups. Recently OU physicians partnered with the Tulsa Area Agency on Aging to provide a variety of health promotion services to older adults in medically underserved areas. Activities include a chronic disease self-management program, a medical management program that identifies drug therapy problems, a health fair and continuing health promotion program providing health screenings and ongoing cholesterol and glucose screenings.
Cynthia McGough is a public information officer and health educator for the Oklahoma State Department of Health and currently serves in Blaine, Canadian, Kingfisher, Lincoln and Logan counties. Cynthia began a 12-week Tai Chi program for seniors, consisting of one-hour classes given twice a week. Classes focus on body alignment, weight shifts, hip and ankle rotations and stepping motions. The results from the pre-tests and post-tests showed improved physical results and seniors participating reported an increased alertness, better mental outlook and greater confidence.
OU Physicians, the clinical practice component of the OU College of Medicine on the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Campus in Oklahoma City, implemented a comprehensive health program for employees called OU Fit. In addition they created a counterpart program, Live to Give, to encourage employees to become involved in projects that benefit the community. OU Fit offers incentives to encourage employees to invest in their own health, including the potential earned incentive of $200 a year for participating in wellness activities and community service. Over the course of the program, participation has doubled and employees have as a group lost more than 2,000 pounds.
Chesapeake Energy Corporation , Oklahoma City
Chesapeake realized that many employees were not aware of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) the company offered, and they decided to promote awareness of these available services. To educate employees, Chesapeake created the "Your Life Matters" campaign. The program distributed information throughout Chesapeake’s employee population, resulting in a major increase in the utilization of EAP resources. This increased the number of employees willing to speak openly regarding mental and addictive disorders.
The Holmes Organisation , Tulsa
The Holmes Organisation developed an employee wellness program focused on preventive care. Using coaching methodologies and adapting teaching practices to the local, small-medium business community, the Holmes Organisation provides on-site wellness programs to promote better health and lifestyle management to their employees.