Ephraim McDowell Health’s Community Services Department received a Community Impact Award at the annual Danville-Boyle County Chamber Celebration. The Community Impact Award is given to individuals or organizations for responding to an identified need and who initiated actions or programs that affect people in the community in significant or profound ways.
The Community Service Department received this award for providing important health screenings and preventive care in Boyle and surrounding counties that was based upon a community health needs assessment. The work of Ephraim McDowell Health’s Community Service Department focuses on four health initiatives — faith community nursing and health ministry programs, integrated school health programs, nutrition/physical activity education for young children and health screenings for those at risk for cancer, obesity and heart disease.
“We are extremely proud to have received this award,” says Audrey Powell, R.N., executive director of community service department at Ephraim McDowell Health. “Our department’s work has taken us into area stockyards, feed stores and lumber yards to provide important health screenings to people that typically do not receive preventive care.”
The department also collaborates with area health departments to provide free pap smears, mammograms and other health screenings to uninsured and under-insured women. Working with local schools, the department offers school-based programs to teach children the importance of healthy lifestyles, including physical activity, through walking programs, Zumba classes and jump rope clubs. One of the more unique programs the department offers is the High School Artist Project, which has involved nearly 100 students from local high schools. In the area of faith community nursing, the department has established health ministries in more than 49 area churches, relying on volunteers at each church to provide support for chronically-ill individuals within their congregation as well as periodic health screenings.
In 2010, the Community Service Department conducted 59 community health events at 42 sites, serving 1,600 adults and performed 13,066 screening tests.