How Can We Get People to Take Charge of Their Health?

“I became more involved in my own personal care. I finally called the doctor about a problem that’s been going on for a while, and insisted on more care for my foot. Now, I’m going to have surgery and a new brace to correct the problem.” Why did Carrie become more involved? According to Carrie, the “It’s Your Health…TAKE CHARGE!” presentation moved her to take action and become an engaged patient.

On behalf of AF4Q – South Central PA, the Health Literacy Task Force of the Healthy York County Coalition is stepping inside workplaces, senior citizens centers, support group meetings, and many other organizations to encourage people to take charge of their health.

“Educating people what quality care is, and helping them make sense of it, is key to changing the care in our community,” Robin Rohrbaugh, Executive Director of Healthy York County Coalition said.

During the 60 to 90 minute “It’s Your Health…TAKE CHARGE!” presentation, attendees learn among many other things: how they can assess high-quality care; how to communicate with their doctors; how to best make use of their time with the doctor; and, the tools and skills to use in these different situations. The materials given to the attendees are available in Spanish also.

“The patient plays the most important role within the health care team because the patient knows the most about him or herself,” Robin explained. The facilitators interact with the audience asking questions, and find that once someone starts talking, more and more ideas are shared within the group. They discuss what they can do at their next visit, or how to better prepare themselves, according to Robin.

Prior to the presentation, a pre-test is given to the audience to determine their level of engagement with their care. Three months after the presentation, the facilitators contact attendees to learn if improvements have been made. Through evaluations, the task force has happily learned that many individuals are positively changing the way they approach their care.

Now, it’s your turn! Aligning Forces wants to help more people take charge of their health. Program facilitators are also needed. Contact Kathy at 717-801-4843 or khutcheson4@wellspan.org to help your employees, volunteers, or friends and family take charge of their health!

 

If you're interested in being a facilitator, please call Jenn Kuska at 717-801-4830 or jkuska@wellspan.org.

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