Lighting the Pathway to Health for Vulnerable Citizens of Lackawanna County

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The Exercise Program targets underserved individuals through the Leahy Community Health and Family Center (LCHFC).  Our goal is to decrease cardiovascular health risk in program participants. The program includes a menu of activities that participants can choose to complete and is designed to promote individual wellness challenges to encourage behavior change.  Participants are encouraged to complete more than one program option with the goal of retaining participants throughout the program.  This exercise science and community health education student- and faculty-led program incorporates health risk assessment, health education resources, nutrition and physical activity guidance with onsite individual fitness testing, interpretation and explanation of testing results, guided resistance training regimens and goal-setting sessions. 

In addition to exercise and nutrition, the Leahy Clinic nurse navigator will coordinate services to encourage healthy habits among the whole family to prevent disease and illness, decrease medication expenses, maintain routine heart-healthy exercise and avoid workplace injuries that lead to loss of employment and income. The nurse navigator will promote evidence-based, culturally relevant care for those in our community who have low literacy and cannot self-manage the health care system. And, the role of the nurse navigator will expand to include screening and prevention services offered to uninsured patients, and increasing screening rates for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and breast, cervical and colorectal cancers among disparate populations.

Creative competition allows community participants the opportunity to win goal prizes and a grand prize for a membership to a local gym at the completion of each semester to continue toward new exercise and health goals.

The program is currently funded by the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics and the CVS Foundation Grant.