January 16, 2007
State public health director announces grants to help improve women’s health
$50,000 awarded statewide for three health improvement programs
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In continued efforts to help improve women’s health in Illinois, Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, announced today at the Lee County Health Department $50,000 in grants to 15 local health departments and health organizations. The Lee County Health Department is receiving a grant for $3,500 for a women’s walking program. The grants, ranging from $3,000 to $4,000 each, will be used for one of three programs: Women’s Health Awareness Events, Women Out Walking (WOW) Campaign and Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program (AFEP).
“The mission of the Illinois Department of Public Health Office of Women’s Health is to improve the health of women and girls throughout their life by helping them change behaviors that can lead to a healthier lifestyle,” said Dr. Whitaker. “Grants for the Women’s Health Awareness Events, Women Out Walking and Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program will encourage women to stay active and exercise as well as educate them about health issues, such as heart disease and osteoporosis, so they can live longer, happier lives.”
Women’s Health Awareness Events involve statewide seminars addressing women’s health issues such as heart disease, obesity/overweight, nutrition, physical activity, stress management, depression, osteoporosis, menopause, sexual health, diabetes, breast and cervical cancer and others. The seminars provide educational sessions and resources with an emphasis on goal setting and motivation related to women’s health issues.
Grants to the Women Out Walking (WOW) Campaign will support a community walking campaign, including walking events and education for women and their families. Grant recipients must design, publicize and sponsor a community walking campaign aimed at women.
The Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program is a community-based, non-clinical group exercise program designed to help those who have joint and/or muscle problems achieve improved mobility, muscle strength and endurance in order to improve the performance of their daily activities. This program, offered by certified instructors in partnership with their local Arthritis Foundation chapter, is offered two to three times a week for eight weeks or can be offered as an on-going class. The program consists of four main elements: exercise, arthritis education, movement activities and relaxation.
“The last time the Lee County Health Department implemented the Women Out Walking Campaign we doubled our goal for the number of women participating in the program and actually had to cut it off at 120 women,” said Lee County Health Department Administrator Cathy Ferguson. “Women love the group camaraderie and WOW is a great way to be active without having to pay a membership fee – all they invest is their time. The program also encourages others to be more active when they see these groups of women out walking in their WOW shirts.”
The following organizations are receiving grants.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Office of Women’s Health administers numerous grants awarded to organizations to implement programs that provide guidance on issues related to women’s nutrition, exercise, risk assessment, treatment options and prevention strategies. This fiscal year IDPH awarded $1.6 million in Women’s Health Initiative Grants, which include:
Information on women’s health issues and programs can be found on the IDPH web site, www.idph.state.il.us or by calling the Women’s Health-Line at 888-522-1282 or for TTY (hearing impaired use only), 800-547-0466.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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