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WVSOM Healthy Behavior Outreach Program

According to the West Virginia Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, West Virginia ranked 1st in the nation, for the prevalence of poor physical health, poor mental health, and activity limitations due to poor physical or mental health. West Virginia is also 1st in the nation in the occurrence of obesity and cardiovascular disease. West Virginia ranks 2nd highest nationally in the incidence of diabetes. When considering healthcare, West Virginia ranks first or second in poor health care. West Virginia has the highest age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving opioids in the country. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in 2017, there were 833 drug overdose deaths involving opioids in West Virginia, a rate of 49.6 deaths per 100,000 persons. The mission of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) is the educate students from diverse backgrounds as lifelong learners in osteopathic medicine and complementary health related programs; to support and develop graduate medical education training; to advance scientific knowledge through academic, clinical and basic science research; and to promote patient-centered, evidence based medicine. WVSOM is dedicated to serve, first and foremost, the state of West Virginia and the health care needs of its residents, emphasizing primary care in rural areas. WVSOM accomplishes these goals both through education of future physicians and through outreach programs to educate the community. Educating the community about healthy lifestyles and drug abuse has proven to increase awareness of these community concerns. Our goal is to provide education to 4th-grade students (ages 9-10) and their teachers on one or more of the following topics: opioids, growing vegetables, the benefits of drinking more water, having a balanced food plate, and/or the benefits of eating more vegetables. We will highlight some of the National Library of Medicine websites including MedlinePlus and also use programs provided by the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. Our objective is to provide a virtual program for all 4th-grade students in West Virginia and provide a CEU opportunity for their teachers as well as all secondary education teachers throughout West Virginia. We would provide health education by creating a partnership with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM), James R. Stookey Library, WVSOM Healthy Children’s Initiative, and the West Virginia Board of Education. There are 55 counties in West Virginia. Many of the schools in West Virginia are in rural areas. WVSOM will provide the programming through the Healthy Children’s Initiative. The James R. Stookey Library will provide the training using one or more of the NLM databases as their source on health care and the dangers of illicit drug use. The health behavior program for the children will consist of topics such as, opioids, exercise, eating more vegetables, the benefits of drinking more water or how to grow a garden. Students will receive information and activities that include these topics. In addition to offering valuable education to our students, we will also offer a CEU opportunity for all West Virginia secondary education teachers that will focus on how to approach the opioid epidemic in the classroom. All elementary schools in West Virginia will be provided DVDs and the curriculum needed to continue educating their students on good health behaviors. Representatives from WVSOM library will have an opportunity to speak to the students and teachers and help them locate information from the National Institute of Health such as MedLine Plus.
Identify any specific population(s) this project will serve: 
Adults
Children
Rural
Behavioral/Social Determinants of Health
Opioids
African Americans or Black
Latino or Hispanic
Identify roles of participants this project will serve: 
Educator, K-12
Student, K-12
Project Lead:
Heather Bladen
Funding Source: 
SEA
Project Funding:
Federal Fiscal Year: 
2020
Funding Amount: 
$15000
Funding Period:
Dec 11, 2020 to Apr 30, 2021
Project Status:
Awarded