Methodist Hospitals Provides Local High School Students Information About Making Healthy Life Choices - March 19, 2015

What: Gary School Corporation, Workforce Development Services (WDS) Group, and Methodist Hospitals have partnered to bring a healthy living discussion to high school students at Roosevelt High School.  For five weeks students have been participating in sessions with clinical staff to address high profile health issues in the teenage population.  Making Healthy Life Choices is the theme, and the issues of safe behavior in their activities and relationships are the focus.  Major topics in confronting safe relationship behaviors include abstaining from sex, bullying, trauma through texting and driving, domestic violence, conflict resolution, substance abuse through drugs and alcohol, and infectious diseases.

A variety of methods are utilized to engage the teenage population in these relevant public health issues.

  • Classroom sizes are 30 to 40 high school students.
  • Students are engaged in workshops, discussions, and games to approach these subjects.
  • Clinical staff, class facilitators, and students are prepared for open dialog.
  • Safe, prevention awareness materials increase the students’ knowledge on healthy life choices.
  • Currently participating schools are West Side High School and Roosevelt Academy.

The Gary School Corporation has been one of the many sites for a national in-school youth program, Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG). Formulated to focus on the graduation rates of urban and rural areas throughout America, this program has not only impacted graduation rates, but also after high school graduation achievement.

JAG is offered in participating high schools for sophomore, junior and senior students as an elective. Working with school counselors, students, and JAG Specialists, located at each participating school; students receive an academic and career readiness curriculum.  The teams assist teachers in working with academic connects and address challenges students may be facing as well as providing access to college tours, vocational preparation, and career readiness. Governor Pence has presented several awards to the Gary School Corporation – JAG program – due to a 97% graduation rate, and successful matriculation into the world of work and higher learning.  WDS Group is the provider of work driven strategies, servicing early learning development to in-school and out of school students and families. WDS is the JAG provider at participating high school sites throughout Lake County.  Center of Workforce Innovations is the funding source for the JAG initiative through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).

Who: Methodist clinicians that have been involved in this program include Jennifer Mullen, RN, Trauma Coordinator, Andrea Davies, RN, Post-Partum Unit, Kimberly Sausman, RN, Lactation Consultant, and Hope Nalls, Manager of Behavioral Health   

When: The last session is scheduled on Thursday, March 19, 2015, at 10:35 a.m.

Where: Roosevelt High School, 730 West 25th Avenue, Gary

About Methodist Hospitals: The Methodist Hospitals is a not for profit, with two full service acute care community based facilities, in Gary and Merrillville.  In developing a stronger community outreach health awareness mission, Methodist has broadened its scope to healthy living, including health education awareness on prevention and maintenance.  As hospitals have reviewed the data of public health issues within their immediate footprints, the disparities in many of the urban and rural teenage populations remain disproportionately high, especially when economics becomes a factor.  Methodist Hospitals, as the first Level 3 Trauma Designated Center in NWI, has seen the effects of younger incidents of trauma, higher infectious disease rates, and increased substance abuse practices. The ability to begin the discussions of healthcare as making knowledgeable decisions in caring for yourself at an early point in life, through prevention, maintenance, and compliance, is personal responsibility. A Methodist Hospitals partnership with communities is to effect change in the quality of life by bringing public health awareness outreach to the forefront.