Center for Total Health

construction meeting

What’s New with CTHNext

Progress continues on the renovations here at the Center for Total Health, with our re-opening just a month away. It’s hard to believe we’re in the home stretch of this project, and we’re all excited to see the end result.

Already this month, we have hit several big and visible milestones in the project: refinished floors, delivery of new technology and audio-visual equipment, and completion of new dry wall. Delivery of the various components our new exhibits will begin soon as well, culminating in the delivery of our life-sized sculptures at the end of the month.

Knowledge Briefing Center demolition begins...

Knowledge Briefing Center demolition begins…

and continues...

and continues…

...and the wall is GONE!

…and the wall is GONE!

We’re at the point in construction that feels like it’s impossible for everything to get done in the short time remaining, but our awesome contractors and architects assure us it will. Stay tuned for updates on the final product. As always, we’re sharing more frequent updates via twitter (@kptotalhealth).

Progress Toward #CTHNext

Three weeks into construction at the Center for Total Health, we’re seeing real progress!


 

Lounge - Before Construction

Lounge – Before Construction

Lounge - During Construction

Lounge – During Construction

Back Hall - Before

Back Hall – Before Construction

Back Hall - During Demolition

Back Hall – During Demolition

 


Be sure to follow us on Twitter — @kptotalhealth — for more updates.

Demo Begins for #CTHNext

Today, the Center for Total Health team took the ceremonial first swings of demolition as construction began. Click on the images to see us in action.
 

Keith Montgomery, executive director

Keith Montgomery, executive director

Ted Eytan, MD, medical director

Ted Eytan, MD, medical director

Yen Greene

Yen Greene

Erin Meade

Erin Meade

 
There’s no turning back now! Stay tuned for more updates on construction progress in the coming weeks.

Coming This Fall….

Health care is changing at an amazing pace.  Here at the Center for Total Health, we’re changing too. The center is closed through September 8, 2015, for its first full-scale renovation since opening in 2011.

Before: Empty and ready for (some light) demolition!

The Before: empty and ready for (some) demolition!

We’re re-imaging our space to reflect the future of total health, and to better engage our guests in the journey. Some of you may have participated in the designing of the new exhibits. We’re excited for the new, improved center to open and for all of you to come see it.

As construction moves along this summer, we’ll periodically provide updates here on our blog and give you a sneak peak of things to come. You can get more frequent updates by following the center and our construction hashtag – #CTHNext – on Twitter.

If you haven’t seen our new multimedia wall, the theme of “Total Health Across America” sets the stage of things to come in new exhibits. The new exhibits will be anchored by several personae – a young millennial, a couple expecting their first child, an office worker who spends a little too much time at his desk. Perhaps one (or maybe a few) of these personae will ring a bell with you, or remind you of a friend or family member.

As always, we’ll feature cutting-edge technology and highlight innovations leading the way in improving the health of Americans — whether the initiatives are led by Kaiser Permanente or other industry leaders.  Our hope is that you will continue to be inspired and learn from the many events and exhibits hosted at the Center for Total Health. We look forward to seeing you this fall!

Four Years Flew By…

CTH team's most recent photo

CTH team’s most recent photo (2015)

Earlier this month, the Center for Total Health team celebrated its fourth birthday. Fittingly, this year the Center’s birthday (April 11) fell on a Saturday, so we each got to celebrate by exercising our own total health.

Five of the original Rosies visit the CTH

Six of the original Rosies visit the CTH (2014)

Four years is a long time, but also not long at all. The number and variety of people the Center has hosted and learned from in that time is absolutely staggering. We’ve had more than 7,500 visitors and hosted more than 600 events and tours. Those guests range from the Surgeon General to five original Rosies; from international health leaders to local students; from White House chefs to authors.

Each one of these guests and events has taught us so much – not just about health, but also about planning, flexibility, and new ways to use our space. With that knowledge, we will shortly begin the first significant renovations to the Center since it opened. On May 25, the doors will close for about three months and construction crews

One of many walking meetings led by CTH team (2013)

One of many walking meetings led by CTH team (2013)

will descend upon us. We will reopen in September, with new content and improved meeting space, but the same goal: sharing, developing, and accelerating ideas that improve total health around the world.

You can find four years worth of total health photos here. Special thanks to Ted Eytan, MD, for taking so many of them, and inspiring the rest of us to take more, too!

A Visit from George Washington University Nursing Students

Last week, the Center for Total Health — along with Lu Casa, MSN, CRNP, CTTS — welcomed accelerated students from George Washington University School of Nursing (@gwNURSING). As always, we enjoyed hosting the future leaders of health, and hearing their ideas and questions about health care delivery. You can read more about the visit here.

GWU Nursing Students visit the CTH.

GWU Nursing Students visit the CTH

To see more pictures of their visit, click here.

What Exactly IS the Trail Modeling & Assessment Platform, and Why Do We Care?

Our guest blogger today is Tracy Hadden Loh with the Rails to Trails Conservancy.

Tracy Hadden Loh (right) and colleague with the pedestrian counter outside the CTH.

Tracy Hadden Loh (right) and colleague with the pedestrian counter outside the CTH. The counter was installed on one of the coldest days of this winter (high of 10 degrees!).

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a national membership-based nonprofit dedicated to creating a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people. We serve as the national voice for more than 160,000 members/supporters, 30,000 miles of rail and multi-use trails, and over 8,000 miles of potential trail. When RTC was founded in 1986, there were less than 250 miles of rail-trail in the United States. Today, there are more than 21,000 miles of trails of serving some tens of millions of people each year.

However, that mileage number is about all we’ve measured with any precision. We don’t actually know how many people in the United States use trails each year. We know that these miles of trail are a great way to create healthier places and healthier people – for example, a recent meta-analysis of published research on the cost-effectiveness of population-level interventions to promote physical activity found that a rail-trail was the #1 most effective intervention. On the basis of similar evidence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognize trails as a proven strategy that works to increase physical activity, reduce risk of chronic disease, and improve mental health and wellness. So we know we’re on to something good – but how good? When it comes time to make room for trails in the budget, can we show a dollars-and-cents return on investment?

To that end, RTC has launched the Trail Modeling and Assessment Platform (T-MAP), a three-year research initiative to measure, model, and value trail use in the United States. The first phase of this project involves establishing a national network of trail traffic monitoring stations, so that we can continuously measure trail use across the different climactic zones of the US. We’ll use these data to develop two tools: a trail use demand forecasting model to estimate traffic volumes on existing trails or predict volumes on future trails; and a health impact assessment calculator for estimating health care costs avoided due to physical activity on trails.

Taken literally, RTC’s focus on “health” means that there are times when our mission overlaps with that of hospitals and health care systems. Under the Affordable Care Act, non-profit hospitals are now faced with a requirement to assess the health needs of the community, and based on that assessment draw up an implementation plan. We see that as an opportunity to make the case for trails!

Our partners at the Kaiser Permanante Center for Total Health already get it. Located in the heart of downtown Washington, DC right on the Metropolitan Branch Trail, the CTH is helping us implement T-MAP through the installation and maintenance of their very own trail traffic monitoring station, contributing critical data to the project from a unique trail location that is co-located with an urban sidewalk, and dominated by pedestrians. As they learn about how the trail relates to their facility, we’re learning about the trail and collecting the data necessary to accurately estimate the true magnitude of trail use in the United States, and what it’s worth.

 

Data from the CTH Pedestrian Counter

Data from the CTH Pedestrian Counter | February 15, 2015

You Too Can Have Healthy Meetings!

Panel discussion featuring, from left:  Kathy Gerwig, Marilyn Chow, Kelly Kearney, and Erin Meade.

Panel discussion featuring, from left: Kathy Gerwig, Marilyn Chow, Kelly Kearney, and Erin Meade.

On Monday, February 2nd, our friends at Kaiser Permanante’s Garfield Innovation Center hosted a great event focusing on delicious, healthy food. “A Taste of the Garfield Center” featured local Bay Area caterers to showcase menus that adhere to Kaiser Permanente’s “Healthy Picks” policy, along with a few presentations on healthy meeting and working practices.

I was certainly humbled to be on a panel with Kathy Gerwig, Marilyn Chow, both of Kaiser Permanente, and Kelly Kearney of Pacific Fine Foods (a favorite at the Garfield Center) – three incredible women. I was inspired that 100 Kaiser Permanente employees made time in their busy schedules to attend the event so that they could go back to the office with a better understanding of healthy picks to share with their teams. The audience included administrative assistants, lawyers, nurses, designers; many expressed trepidation about trying to change habits from their relatively junior positions. “After all,” said one assistant, “we aren’t all vice presidents.” Marilyn’s answer – sincere, honest, and inspiring – was simply, “We all lead from where we are.”

Kelly and the Pacific Fine Foods Team (showing off their VERY delicious kale chips)

Kelly and the Pacific Fine Foods Team

The Center for Total Health was one of the earliest adapters of the Healthy Picks guidelines, about a year ahead of schedule. As a team, we love helping our guests explore healthy AND delicious menus (ideally paired with some physical activity) for their meetings and events, and we are lucky to get to work with colleagues from inside and outside of the organization.

Now, I’m going to challenge YOU to make your next meeting healthier! Here are some tips and tools to help you start:

1. Get agreement for the concept of healthy meetings as a concept before introducing it for a specific meeting. Then hold people to it (especially the boss and other leaders).
2. Ease in! You don’t have to do a 180 degree change overnight. Try making healthy substitutions (lowfat yogurt, leaner meats, more fruits and vegetables) to start.
3. Healthy food can be tasty and fun – look for menu items with herbs and spices instead of sauces, and consider interactive options like a build your own salad bar to get people engaged in (and excited about) what they’re eating. Bonus: no one can complain about what’s in their salad!
4. If you’re ordering from a large chain, they are legally required to provide nutrition information on their menus. Use it! If you aren’t sure what is best, try consulting the USDA’s Healthy Plate guidelines or Kaiser Permanante’s own Healthy Picks guidelines. You might also like our Healthy Meetings Essentials toolkit, which has information about menus, activity, sustainability and more!

We’d love to hear more suggestions from you, and let us know if you’re working on making your meetings (or work environment) healthier!

Total Health Includes CPR Training

Today, the Center for Total Health team renewed our CPR certification. Most people will never have to preform CPR, but it’s an important skill to have. According the American Heart Association, 70 percent of Americans may feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed. Add to that the fact that about 88 percent of cardiac arrests occur at home, and you can see why we should all be trained – the life you have to save may well be that of a loved one.

CTH team, recertified

CTH team, recertified

Doubt that CPR can save a life, or that your loved ones will ever need it? Check out this story about a triathlete whose life was saved by CPR during a road race.

If you aren’t CPR certified, or you don’t feel confident that you would know what to do in an emergency, you can find a course here.

When it Comes to Health Care, What Matters Most to Consumers?

Introduction from Bernadette Loftus, MD

Introduction from Bernadette Loftus, MD

Anyone who has had to choose a health insurance plan knows how confusing the process can be, even with the help of a friendly human resources professional. For the millions of Americans purchasing their coverage through exchanges, the process can be even more daunting.

Many consumers struggle to determine which plan is going to provide the best value – the coverage they need at a price they can afford. Dozens of organizations and publications – from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) to Consumer Reports – rate health care plans each year. Some of these rankings are meant for the average consumer, but many are for industry insiders – laden with clinical terminology and detailed beyond what most people want to know.

On October 28, the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group and the Center for Total Health hosted what we hope to be the first in a series of events examining how we can translate these often technical ratings into something more consumer-friendly and how best we can get those ratings into the hands of the consumers.

Helen Burstin, MD, MPH, FACP, from The National Quality Forum, and Margaret O’Kane, from NCQA, set the tone for the day, reminding us that the patient must be at the center of all the industry does – not just care delivery. We must seek to provide our patients with the information they want in a way that is meaningful and accessible for them, while remembering that health care is a personal experience and much of what matters most cannot be measured. Dr. Burstin reminded us: Not everything that counts can be counted; not everything that can be counted counts.

Consumer Voices Panel

Consumer Voices Panel

Kaiser Permanente’s own Bernadette Loftus moderated a panel to understand what counts for consumers. Doris Peter, PhD, of Consumer Reports, emphasized that people can handle data.

“Just look at ESPN,” she reminded the audience, daring them to find a website with more data collected.

Dr. Peter and her co-panelists, Tina Reed of the Washington Business Journal, and consumer Iris Molotsky, agreed that uniform, consumer friendly terminology is a key step to making quality ratings more accessible for consumers. Ms. Molotsky, the president of Dupont Circle Village, a neighborhood association in Washington, DC, emphasized that “even well-educated, well-read, well-traveled” members of her community are confused by the complexities of standard health care language.

This sentiment was echoed by the last panel of the day, featuring the chief health officers of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, as they lead their populations and health departments in the second open enrollment on the exchanges.

Great connections were made during the Mad Tea Party

Great connections were made during the Mad Tea Party

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