LSU HEALTH BRINGS DIABETES PREVENTION TO LOCAL HIGH SCHOOLS

New Orleans, LA – LSU Health New Orleans Department of Family Medicine is preparing to implement an innovative diabetes-prevention program at local schools during the upcoming school year. Funded by a $92,318 grant from the Humana Foundation to the LSU Health Foundation New Orleans, LSU Health New Orleans’ School-Based Health Interventions for Nutrition and Exercise (SHINE) Program is a comprehensive program to teach students about health and encourage healthy behaviors to prevent diabetes, obesity and related disorders in a generation of young people.

            Under the direction of Dr. Pamela Wiseman, Associate Professor of Clinical Family Medicine at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, students with diabetes risk factors at Riverdale Middle and High School and West Jefferson High School will have access to a number of services at their schools through existing school-based health centers served by LSU Health New Orleans Family Medicine faculty. Students will be paired with LSU Health New Orleans faculty and students, who will provide individualized health coaching, help students overcome barriers and monitor their progress. The LSU Ag Center will present group nutrition classes with demonstrations from a curriculum validated for teens. Fitbit activity monitors will be provided for each student participant. As well as obtaining a baseline physical activity level, Fitbits will enable documentation of improvements in physical activity given individual health goals. The team anticipates an increase in physical activity simply from using the Fitbit. School gardens will be established at each site and used for nutrition classes and food demos. The gardens will eventually be maintained by student groups to benefit the entire school community.

            “Adolescents generally have poorer access to health services than either younger children or adults because they are generally healthier so don’t have a regular doctor ” notes Dr. Pamela Wiseman, Associate Professor of Clinical Family Medicine at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine and SHINE Program Director. “Providing this type of program at school removes a host of barriers including transportation, the need for parents to take time off from work, and lack of access to places offering structured physical activities, particularly for students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.”

            LSU Health Family Medicine conducted a SHINE pilot at Riverdale High School during the 2015-16 school year. Qualitative feedback from both the high school student participants and the LSU Health New Orleans student participants was very positive.

            “We believe these services will have a lifelong impact on these children’s health, and we are extremely grateful to the Humana Foundation for providing the funds for this program,” concludes Dr. Wiseman.

            The LSU Health Foundation New Orleans, which provides support for LSU Health New Orleans, was instrumental in securing the donation.

            “The Humana Foundation is proud to support the LSU Health Sciences Center’s SHINE program and their wonderful work providing students access to quality preventive health care in the school setting,” said Virginia Kelly Judd, Executive Director of the Humana Foundation. “By removing barriers to the care they need, students now will have an opportunity to improve their health and well-being, which has been shown to lead to greater success in school and life.”

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LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans educates Louisiana’s health care professionals. The state’s most comprehensive health sciences university,, LSU Health New Orleans includes a School of Medicine, the state’s only School of Dentistry, Louisiana’s only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSU Health New Orleans faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region. In the vanguard of biosciences research in a number of areas in a worldwide arena, the LSU Health New Orleans research enterprise generates jobs and enormous economic impact. LSU Health New Orleans faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment, or cure disease. To learn more, visit http://www.lsuhsc.edu, http://www.twitter.com/LSUHealthNO or http://www.facebook.com/LSUHSC.

                                                                

The mission of LSU Health Foundation New Orleans is to provide support to the six professional schools and Centers of Excellence comprising the LSU Health Sciences Center. We are dedicated to supporting the most critical medical center in Louisiana by supporting the professionals that care for so many of the citizens of Louisiana.      

 

The Humana Foundation was established in 1981 as the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc., one of the nation's leading health and well-being companies. Located in Louisville, KY, the Foundation seeks to improve community health and well-being through support of nonprofit partners that promote healthy behaviors, health education, and access to health services.