Video

Weighing in on the Impact of Obesity Interventions

Measuring obesity in an individual person is relatively simple: get out the tape measure, step on the scale, calculate body mass index.

Measuring the impact of interventions that aim to reduce rates of obesity? Not so easy.

For all the attention directed toward combating the obesity epidemic in the United States, policymakers, researchers, advocates, and public health practitioners struggle to develop and agree upon measures that indicate whether a particular intervention is working, and even more, whether it is scalable and generalizable.

Compounding this issue is that different stakeholders have different evidence needs. Some are not convinced that an intervention is working unless they see rigorous data collected from a randomized controlled trial – considered to be the “gold standard.” Others may set the bar lower, knowing that we may never get perfect evidence, because obesity prevention involves a complex web of social, economic, environmental and behavioral factors.

These were some of the issues raised in a session at AcademyHealth’s 2014 National Health Policy Conference titled, “Obesity Prevention: How Much Evidence Do We Need to Act?”

In this session, a diverse set of stakeholders – Jeff Levi, Executive Director, Trust for America’s Health; Bill Hoagland, Senior Vice President, Bipartisan Policy Center; Linda Belheimer, Assistant Director of Health and Human Resources, Congressional Budget Office; and Shiriki Kumanyika, Professor, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine –– discussed the myriad of issues surrounding obesity prevention measurement, and offered some clear steps for moving forward.

“There was strong agreement that the obesity epidemic is real and that we need to be thinking about how to address it,” said panel moderator Murray Ross, vice president, Kaiser Permanente, and director, Institute for Health Policy. “”It will have–and is already having–major implications for Americans’ health and America’s health care spending.”

In this short clip, Ross gives us the highlights of this important and timely conversation.

Note: Panelist Linda Bilheimer’s comments are not included in this video, but you can view her full presentation slides online.

Join the Walking Revolution!

Regular visitors to the Center for Total Health — or this blog — know that we are big fans of walking.  Our friends at Every Body Walk! have produced fantastic videos about our favorite mode of active transportation, and this one is definitely worth sharing. A 30-minute documentary film that’s guaranteed to get you walking, The Walking Revolution explores the tremendous changes a regular walking routine can make in your life and your community.

Spreading Health: Reducing heart attacks and strokes with those at highest risk.

What if there were a simple treatment that was proven to prevent heart attacks and strokes in people with diabetes?

In truth, this isn’t a “what if” scenario.  This exists right now.

In fact, Kaiser Permanente is furthering its reach to low-income populations with this simple treatment that has been preventing thousands of heart attacks and strokes in diabetic patients.

The organization released a video (posted above) to 55 community clinics across the country to help patients understand the significance of a treatment that could save their lives. The video (also available in Spanish) explains about a program – called “ALL/PHASE” – that includes the use of three low-cost medications to reduce heart attacks and strokes.

Since 2007, more than 60 of Kaiser Permanente’s community partners in California, the Northwest, Mid-Atlantic States and Colorado have implemented ALL/PHASE, improving the health of nearly 100,000 low-income diabetic patients.

To learn more about the benefits of the program and community outreach, we reached out to Kaiser Permanente’s Jim Dudl, MD, diabetes clinical lead, Care Management Institute, and Winston Wong, MD, medical director and community benefit director, Disparities Improvement and Quality Initiatives.

How did Kaiser Permanente’s ALL/PHASE program come about?

Dr. Dudl: “The ALL (Aspirin, Lisinopril, and a lipid-lowering medication) initiative was developed by Kaiser Permanente in 2003 to reduce cardiovascular disease among our diabetic patients over age 50 by prescribing the ALL triad of medications. It was critical to us because heart disease and stroke was – and still is – the leading cause of death and disability in the United States and the world. People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke and 65 percent of those will die from one of those events. But it can be prevented with this very simple and cost effective treatment.

There have a few regional variations to the program over the years to include the promotion of healthy lifestyle changes. Northern California added PHASE (which stands for Preventing Heart Attacks and Strokes Everyday). In Southern California, we have ALL HEART (Heart Smart Diet, Exercise, Alcohol Limits, Rx Medicine Compliance, and Tobacco Cessation Aspirin Lisinopril and Lipid lowering). Whether it’s ALL/PHASE or ALL HEART, the central component is the same, which is the use of the three medications.

What benefits did this program have on Kaiser Permanente members?

Dr. Dudl:  We found that over a three year period, 70,000  Kaiser Permanente members who took both the Lisinopril and the lipid lowering pills lowered their incidence of heart attacks and strokes by more than 60%. The evaluation also proved that if administered to the entire Kaiser Permanente diabetic population, ALL/PHASE would prevent more than 8,000 hospitalizations for heart attacks and strokes each year.

Based on this great success, we knew we wanted to share ALL/PHASE more broadly.

Why did you reach out to community clinics specifically?

Dr. Wong:  Kaiser Permanente is committed to its partnerships with the institutions that serve on the front lines of health care for the uninsured and underserved. These relationships are critical to fulfilling our mission, which is to provide affordable, high quality healthcare services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We do this by investing in quality improvement and population health and support efforts which will transform care and improve health care access for our most vulnerable populations. Sharing our ALL/PHASE initiative is a perfect example of how we can do that. Read More

The Next Total Health Focus at CTH: Connecting Patients & Social Support for Better Health

Posted by | Care Delivery, Center for Total Health, Community Health Initiatives, Experts, Health Innovation, Healthy Communities, Live Chat, Video | No Comments

Bookmark this post in your browser and return January 23 (3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern, noon to 1 p.m. Pacific) to watch the webcast live.

 

On January 23, the Center for Total Health will host the next Total Health and Technology Focus, this time looking at tools to support the social needs of patients.

Total health is about the mind, body and spirit. but there are other influences on our health — such as the community a person lives in, the environment that surrounds them and all their relationships that influence healthier behaviors.  Unrecognized needs such as support for housing, food/nutrition or other psycho-social stressors also have an impact on health.  Clinicians often feel unable or unprepared to address these needs.

Our January 23 event will feature Healthify and Health Leads, two organizations with innovative models that help people with unmet social needs connect to available community services.  Join us for a discussion on how clinicians can be part of a health system solution.

About the Organizations
Healthify  is:

  • a dynamic screening tool that identifies and quantifies the social and behavioral needs of your patients
  • a matching algorithm that finds, refers, and texts patients about the best resources for their needs
  • a dashboard to allow staff to search for resources and gain insight into their population

Health Leads works with clinics to connect patients to basic resources, improving health outcomes and patient satisfaction while lowering the cost of care. Health Leads enables doctors and other healthcare providers to “prescribe” basic resources like food and heat just as they do medication. The organization recruits and trains college students to “fill” these prescriptions by working side by side with patients to connect them with the basic resources they need to be healthy.

REGISTER HERE.

Please note that Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the products featured in these discussions.

 

Personal Stories of Diabetes Diagnosis, Management

In honor of American Diabetes Month, Kaiser Permanente’s popular Care Stories blog is highlighting patients’ stories of their diagnosis and learning to manage their disease.

Terry McMaster shares his experience of being surprised at his diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. Initially, he didn’t pay much attention to what it might mean. After attending an educational class and learning the debilitating effects diabetes can have on the kidneys, eyes, brain and limbs, he began taking it very seriously. Hear more of McMaster’s story, including how he learned to manage his disease and be a real presence in his grandchildren’s lives, in the video below.

More on McMaster’s story can be found on the Care Stories site.

Staying Healthy in Space: How do Astronauts Work Out?

If you have ever wondered what astronauts do to stay fit and healthy, you are not alone. At Kaiser Permanente, we are passionate supporters of the Every Body Walk! campaign, and being at this NASA event today, we can’t help but wonder what you can do in space to maintain strength.

As it turns out, Every Body Walks…even in space! According to this video, astronauts walk and run while at the International Space Station via a specially-rigged treadmill. Check it out.

Interested in the day-to-day life of astronauts? You can follow the current round of astronauts at the International Space Station on Twitter. See their handles in the graphic below.

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Imagining Care Anywhere — Really! Anywhere

If you ever wonder when your everyday life — including health and health care — will finally start resembling Jetsons-level technology and convenience, you are not alone.

Kaiser Permanente just released its latest video illustrating its vision of “Imagining Care Anywhere.” It’s all about tools and systems that enable real-time, personalized care — and access to personal health information — anywhere and at any time.

Besides the fact that the capabilities the video proposes are just plain cool, these sort of, “What if…” videos further promote imagination and innovation in the health space. It’s not the first of its kind; Kaiser Permanente has released a similar video in the past.

What do you think — and what would you like to see when it comes to the future of your own personalized care?

Survey Finds Pattern of Silence and Inaction Around Domestic Violence in the United States

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Sobering news leading up to October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month: The study “NO MORE Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Survey of Attitudes and Experiences of Teens and Adults” (conducted by GfK Public Affairs & Corporate Communications and commissioned by the Avon Foundation for Women) shows an urgent need for increased awareness, conversation and education around domestic violence and sexual assault, with an emphasis on what bystanders can do to prevent violence and help victims before it is too late. A few of the key findings include:

  • 60% of Americans know a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault
  • Three out of four (73%) parents with children under the age of 18 said that they have not had a conversation about domestic violence or sexual assault with their children.
  • 67% of Americans say they have not talked about domestic violence with their friends; even more, 73% have not discussed sexual assault.
  • Even though 75% of Americans say that they would step in and help a stranger being abused, the reality is most people do not help.
  • For example, among the 70% of women who experienced domestic violence and then told someone about it, more than half (58%) said that no one helped them.
  • But 64% of Americans say if we talk more about domestic violence and sexual assault, it would make it easier to help someone.

The full data report can be seen at nomore.org/nomorestudy.

Directly addressing the findings of this study, the NO MORE campaign — launched earlier this year and supported in part by Kaiser Permanente — this week released a series of PSAs aimed at raising awareness and engaging bystanders to get involved if they know someone in danger due to domestic violence. The PSAs were directed by actor and advocate Mariska Hargitay, who is the president and founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation, which spearheaded the campaign.

The NO MORE PSAs are available at no cost to non-profit organizations, universities and corporations across the country to co-brand and increase support in their local communities for domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and services.  Read more about the campaign and this news here.

We’ve featured one of the video PSAs below, but you can see them all at www.nomore.org/psas. People are encouraged to join the conversation on Twitter at hashtag #NOMOREexcuses, where celebrities, experts and advocates will promote and share updates on the PSA launch.

How entertainment can facilitate difficult health conversations with teens

Sometimes the best way to broach sensitive health topics with young people is through an unconventional avenue – such as Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program, as mentioned in yesterday’s post.

The great thing about live theatre, according to Hannah Cordero of Kaiser Permanente, is that you can take a very difficult subject, like HIV/AIDS, and make it relevant and approachable to teens.

Cordero is part of Northern California’s Educational Theatre Program, which among many educational performances offers “Secrets,” a production that uses the power of live theatre to communicate the facts and dispel the myths about HIV/AIDS and sexual transmitted infections. The characters in the performance model effective negotiation skills and encourage young people to discuss difficult topics with their partners, friends, and adults in their lives. Since it’s inception in 1985, over 1.5 million people have seen “Secrets” throughout Northern California.

In this video, Cordero talks about how they’ve make “Secrets” relevant to students over the years. She adds that while students are now more aware about HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, their program helps aid students in communicating skills.

ETP is offered to schools and communities free of charge in each of Kaiser Permanente’s eight regions.  The program covers important health topics, such as healthy eating, physical activity, diversity, peer pressure, conflict management, bullying prevention, domestic violence, dealing with grief and loss, depression, sexually transmitted diseases, literacy promotion, and drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse.  Check out their work and educational productions here.

Tough Topics and Kids: Using Theatre to Talk HIV/AIDS

Even after more than three decades since the first diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, Dr. Richard Tharp, PhD of Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program in the MidAtantic States, said it is still a very controversial subject to talk about with students.

“We hear from some school districts who tell us that their kids aren’t sexually active, so they feel there’s no reason for a show like this,” Tharp said. “But the schools who have seen our production, “Secrets,” understand the value behind it. Throughout the show we use a lot of irony, humor and music, while at the same time we are giving them valuable information, so they can make the right choices. Additionally, through the magic of theatre, we are able to approach a very serious topic and begin critical conversations with students.”

This year, Kaiser Permanente’s Mid-Atlantic Educational Theatre Program celebrates 20 years of performing “Secrets,” a play for high school students that unmasks the reality behind HIV/AIDS. Students explore resisting peer pressure, positive decision-making, abstinence, parent-teen communications and resource building.

In this video, Dr.Tharp of the Mid-Atlantic Educational Theatre Program talks about how the production has changed over the last 20 years and how, through the art of theatre, they’ve been able to discuss this critical health topic with teens.

Kaiser Permanente’s ETP departments are committed to working with schools and nonprofit organizations to pinpoint issues and customize services specific to their needs. Each of Kaiser Permanente’s eight regions has its own ETP program which provides multiple interventions into the community. The programs are developed by theatre professionals in collaboration with health educators, community advisory committees and Kaiser Permanente physicians. The performances cover important health topics, such as healthy eating, physical activity, diversity, peer pressure, conflict management, bullying prevention, domestic violence, dealing with grief and loss, depression, sexually transmitted diseases, literacy promotion, and drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse.

 

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