The eighth annual Champions of Health awards took place on Tuesday, October 25, 2011, at Tulsa Convention Center. Seven winners were honored for their efforts to improve the health of Oklahomans. The evening featured KOTV's Six in the Morning Anchor LeAnne Taylor as emcee and former First Lady Laura W. Bush as keynote speaker. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Oklahoma Commissioner of Health Terry L. Cline, Ph.D also spoke at the event.
Over 23 percent of the children in Oklahoma are living at or below poverty level. Based on this identified need, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma started the Food for Kids Backpack Program providing a weekly backpack full of food to elementary school-aged children at risk of going hungry over the weekend when federal free or reduced-price meals are unavailable. Children that may be experiencing hunger are identified by their teachers and counselors for the program. The backpacks distributed every Friday contain shelf stable food items that meet nutritional needs of growing children. Children receive these backpacks 42 weeks of the year, and during spring break and December holidays, additional food is provided. This program has grown from four schools in 2005 to 73 schools currently active in Tulsa County and 99 sites in 15 additional Food Bank service area counties. Teachers have reported improved attendance, performance and attention with the children in the program.
This two-time Oklahoma Certified Healthy Business isn't a corporate giant, but associates will tell you they are doing their part to create a culture of wellness. PBA leads the wellness journey for their 14 associates. As an insurance agency, PBA recognizes the impact of health care costs for their employees as well as their clients and leads by example by offering staff a robust wellness program. At no cost to employees, the program offers free biometric screenings, onsite weight loss programs and competitions, "breather" breaks, exercise balls for chairs, gym membership reimbursement, Weight Watchers reimbursement, free running shoes, points based incentives and incentives to participate in the Tulsa Run, kitchen stocked with healthy snacks, freshly brewed green tea, a Nutrition and Wellness Specialist and weekly recipes.
In 2006, Melton Truck Lines implemented an innovation wellness program for employees called iCare. iCare is an innovative health and wellness program that encourages healthy behaviors, provides health risk education and helps control health care costs for employees and for the group. Incentivizing through significant reductions in health insurance premiums for program participation has helped the program achieve continued success for over five years.
To support program goals, Melton offers support programs and resources including; a free on-site fitness facility staffed by a full-time wellness coordinator, company store that sells low fat, low calorie, easy to prepare meals and protein bars; vending machines that stock Fit Pick™ choices; a Fit While You Sit newsletter; on-site Wellness Registered Nurse; and free biometric screenings. In 2011, two near-site medical clinic locations have been added. Care provided at the clinics is free of charge to those enrolled in the group insurance plan.
The Well / Devon , Oklahoma City
Devon works hard to keep employees happy and healthy, and the company's industry-leading commitment attracts and retains quality employees at its Oklahoma City headquarters and hubs in Houston and Calgary. Devon's ultimate goal is healthy, happy, low-stress employees and one way to encourage this is by offering attractive membership incentives to The Well (the wellness center). Since The Well's January 2011 opening, it has signed up 1,060 members, and averages 215 weekly check-ins. The Well staff has completed 1,161 fitness assessments and health consultations, and 616 employees have earned membership reimbursement.
Shirley Harris, Restorative Dental Care , Oklahoma City
Under Shirley Harris' leadership, D-DENT has grown to become an office that coordinates the volunteer efforts of more than 450 dental professionals meeting the dental needs of Oklahoma's uninsured population. In 2011, D-Dent added Veterans as a targeted group, finding that many were in need. In 2011 D-DENT staff coordinated free comprehensive dental care for 803 new patients across the state of Oklahoma; and D-DENT volunteer dentists provided care through 2,682 appointments with a donated value of over $1.6 million of free dental procedures in order to restore the oral health of Oklahomans in need. Under Shirley Harris' leadership, D-DENT has grown to become an office that coordinates the volunteer efforts of over 450 dental professionals statewide meeting the dental needs of Oklahoma's uninsured population. To date, D-Dent has provided more than 30,000 dental visits and comprehensive dental care for over 9,800 people statewide. Over $8 million worth of donated dental-oriented goods and services have been provided by this life saving program.
The Heart Improvement Project , Tulsa
The Heart Improvement Project is a comprehensive cardiovascular risk reduction program for uninsured patients with increased risk for cardiovascular disease. The project is a collaboration involving the OU School of Community Medicine, Neighbor for Neighbor, the George Kaiser Family Foundation and other community partners. The Heart Improvement Project reflects a unique effort to address cardiovascular health disparities in our region.
The Jackson County Free Health Clinic began operating in January 2004. It is open twice a month inside the Jackson County Health Department (after business hours with no association to the health department). It is completely staffed by volunteers: physicians, nurses, pharmacy and clerical staff. It was established for the citizens of Jackson County who have limited or no access to health care; specifically for those who are not covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance and who do not have a primary care physician. Randall Sheets, M.D. and David Pickett, DPh, have been the leaders and champions of the Jackson County Free Health Clinic for the seven years the clinic has been in operation.
SoonerEnroll , Oklahoma City
In the fall of 2009, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) implemented SoonerEnroll, an innovative plan to create a statewide infrastructure for outreach and enrollment for uninsured but qualified children. Outreach efforts range from providing benefit and enrollment information to assisting members of the community with an online application. With more than 500 community partners and an increase in SoonerCare enrollment, SoonerEnroll is a successful model of a state agency and local community partners working together to for a healthy Oklahoma.
Miki Farris, Infant Crisis Services, Inc. , Oklahoma City
Miki Farris and Infant Crisis Services have grown together over the past 27 years, offering a safe haven for families and providing formula, food, diapers and other basic necessities to more than 152,000 babies and toddlers in crisis.
Emergency Infant Services , Tulsa
Emergency Infant Services (EIS) works to provide the basic needs of infants and children through age five. Families experiencing a financial emergency, such as unemployment or underemployment, illness or injury, spousal/child abandonment, or the loss of a home can get access to life essentials needed to care for their infant and/or child the same day that they come to EIS. EIS strives for children in poverty to sleep or ride in safety, to be dressed to withstand the elements and to be fed when hungry.
Global Gardens , Tulsa
Global Gardens is a non-profit, that serves 1,100 Title I students in Tulsa, OK through enrichment during the school day and free after school and summer programs for students Pre-K through eighth grade. Committed to the values of inquiry-science and peace education, Global Gardens creates student-led garden spaces that become the venues for learning and empowering students to ask questions and seek solutions. Global Gardens creates a space where students are not only growing organic food, but also learning how to establish a healthy relationship with themselves, their community and the environment.
LIFE Senior Services , Tulsa
As part of their mission, LIFE Senior Services promotes independence, quality of life and dignity for seniors as caregivers through adult day services, case management, SeniorLine information and referral, caregiver support services, senior centers and affordable housing. They coordinate with numerous government and non-profit organizations to obtain needed services for the Tulsa area seniors. LIFE helps to fill the gap on services needed, as well as help to keep the seniors active and social, in a safe and friendly environment. They also offer educational opportunities for the seniors and caregivers alike to navigate the sometimes crazy and confusing paperwork required for some of their needs to be met.
Geriatric Dentistry Outreach Initiative, OU College of Dentistry , Oklahoma City
Dental and dental hygiene students at the OU College of Dentistry participated in a collaboration that involved five senior living facilities located in Ardmore, Bartlesville, Weatherford and Oklahoma City. The project was designed to raise awareness and improve access to dental services in nursing homes, senior centers, and retirement villages. The oral health-outreach initiative included education about the links between oral and systemic health, screenings, toothbrush prophylaxes, denture care, and referral services at local clinics. The Geriatric Dentistry outreach initiative was a huge success.
Mark Bravo, Momentum for Oklahoma Seniors' Health, Edmond
Mark Bravo focuses his life on helping Oklahoma seniors regain their health, vitality, vision, self-confidence and purpose. There are countless Oklahoma seniors who owe their lives and health to his personal training, the inspiring tenets of his book, and his efforts with seniors corporately and individually.
TeleStroke Program , Sallisaw
Sequoyah Memorial Hospital's region ranks number one in the nation for the incidence of stroke among residents. This knowledge drove Sequoyah Memorial to break into the field of telemedicine, providing residents with immediate access to life-saving health care. The equipment obtained by Sequoyah Memorial will be used not only for strike intervention and treatment, but also for other specialties and will provide critical medial support and access to specialists in urban areas. A stroke team was identified and is made up of physicians, nurses, pharmacy technicians, lab and radiology technologists, clerical staff, and information technology staff.
Oklahoma Mission of Mercy, Oklahoma Dental Association , Oklahoma City
The mission is to treat oral health disease with preventive care, restorative care, surgical care and educational services. In two days, the program offers free treatment, with no criteria - everyone can be seen. It represents thousands of volunteers, dental and lay people, coming together to serve thousands of people in need of quality oral health care. It provides a lasting reward by touching lives, turning dreams into realities and offering life changing experiences.
Free Nurses Clinic , Tulsa
For 23 years, the Free Nurses Clinic of the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless has been providing access to basic health care and education for people who are homeless, uninsured and underinsured. The Free Nurses Clinic is an integral part of Tulsa Safety Net providers and is the only clinic in the Tulsa Free Clinic Coalition that has an onsite five bed infirmary. The Tulsa Day Center's Free Nurses Clinic contributes much to improve the health care environment for the medically indigent of Tulsa Oklahoma by providing low barrier access to medical services, reducing emergency room visits and coordinating with hospitals, medical schools and area agencies to reduce or eliminate duplication of services.