Internationally Recognized South Bronx Health Leader to Speak at U.S. Congressional Briefing
First congressional briefing for the prevention project
Source Newsroom: Health People
Newswise — New York, September 9, 2013 -- Chris Norwood, founder and executive director of Health People, the pioneering community based health organization (CBO) in the South Bronx, will make a special presentation at a Congressional briefing in the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, September 10 from 2 to 5 p.m.
Ms. Norwood will present “The Win-Win-Win of Local Preventive Health: Creating Jobs that Improve Health While Saving Public Money” as part of the Prevention Project’s briefing to promote governmental adoption of a “Prevention Model” for reducing costs and budget deficits while benefiting society.
This represents the first Congressional briefing hosted by the Prevention Project, a new national coalition urging governments to focus on cost-saving prevention strategies across a range of government services -- to have governments at all levels focus just as much on preventing problems as solving them.
As founder of the Bronx's largest peer health education program, originally aimed at women and families with HIV/AIDS, Norwood will address the cost savings and health improvements well-documented by training local residents of poor communities to become community educators for chronic disease prevention and self-care.
"We are in a unique situation to make substantial progress on reversing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS and asthma, which have overwhelmed poor communities. It is so well proven that direct self-care and prevention education slash the number of disease cases while also slashing costs. What we have now---if we use it---is a win-win-win. As Health People has done for years, organizations in poor communities can rapidly train local residents to provide very effective health education.”
“For example,” Norwood explained, “Teaching people with high blood sugar the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Diabetes Prevention Course significantly decreases their prospects of developing diabetes by 60%. This education is actually twice as effective as medication in preventing diabetes. Similarly teaching parents of children with asthma good self-care for their kids over and over brings down emergency room visits by 50% or more and self-care education for people with HIV/AIDS lowers costs substantially.”
Norwood’s Health People demonstrates that by training residents of poor communities to do this work themselves, you increase employment in areas with terrible unemployment, develop community knowledge and enthusiasm for greatly improved health --- and save the taxpayers substantial money.
“A true win-win-win we need to recognize and fight for,” said Norwood.
Other presentations at the Congressional Briefing will focus on the preventive value and public savings of early childhood education, violence prevention, disaster prevention and mental health services.
About Health People
Health People is a groundbreaking peer education, prevention and support organization in the South Bronx whose mission is to train and empower residents of communities overwhelmed by chronic disease and AIDS to become leaders and educators in effectively preventing ill health, hospitalization, and unnecessary death.
Established in 1990 as a women’s AIDS prevention and support program, Health People has grown, using its peer-education model, to provide a full range of HIV/AIDS services for men, women and families. It also has conducted community asthma programs, New York’s first diabetes peer-educators program, and a community smoking cessation program. Health People’s Junior Peer program, Kids-Helping-Kids includes teens who are mentors for younger children with sick or missing parents.
For more information, please visit www.healthpeople.org..
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