Monday, April 9, 2012

Loyola to Celebrate 10th Anniversary of School-Based Health Center

Faculty and staff to hold open house at Proviso East High School

MAYWOOD, Ill. -- The School-based Health Center at Proviso East High School will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Wednesday, April 11, and on Thursday, April 12. Faculty and students at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON) opened the health center a decade ago to educate teens about health and to provide primary health care, mental health and nutrition services to keep young people well, so they can succeed in school.

“Ten years ago, we saw a need to help students in the community make informed choices about their health. These teens were dealing with poor access to primary health care and lack of knowledge about positive life style choices. Having a full-service health center staffed by nurse practitioners, physicians, social workers and dietitians within the school allows students to get health care when they need it instead of missing school for appointments,” said Diana Hackbarth, RN, PhD, FAAN, professor and program director, MNSON. “Since then, we have expanded health promotion programs in classrooms, after school, and in neighboring elementary schools, helping thousands of students live healthier lives through the center.”

Faculty, students and staff will celebrate the anniversary at an open house from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11, and Thursday, April 12, in the School-based Health Center at 807 S. First Ave., Maywood, Ill. This will take place in conjunction with the annual health fair, which is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on both days in Memorial Hall. Healthy eating, violence prevention and avoiding drugs, alcohol and other risky behaviors will be among the topics Loyola faculty, students and community partners will address at the health fair.

The School-Based Health Center, which is supported by federal, state and private foundation funding, provides easy access to health-care services for students. The center’s nutrition programs include education, counseling, weight-loss guidance, healthy lunch groups and junk-food free zones where students can eat nutritional snacks. These efforts intend to enhance school performance, fight obesity and improve the health of students. The programs also increase dietary variety and offer tips for healthy meals that students can share with their families.

“Our students fuel their bodies with healthy food and information, making them more likely to thrive in and outside of the classroom,” said Joanne Kouba, PhD, RD, LDN, assistant professor and director of the dietetic intern program, MNSON.  “We look forward to continuing to serve the community and to offering a healthy environment for teens in this underserved area.”

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), located on a 61-acre campus in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (GMH), on a 36-acre campus in Melrose Park, and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. At the heart of LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital that houses the Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, a burn center, a children's hospital, Loyola Outpatient Center, and Loyola Oral Health Center. The campus also is home to Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. The GMH campus includes a 254-licensed-bed community hospital, a Professional Office Building with 150 private practice clinics, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 22 states from coast to coast with 93 hospitals, and 120 continuing care locations — including home care, hospice, PACE and senior living facilities — that provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually.