FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wellness coalition’s ‘Health Ambassador’ internship program recognized with regional health award
LiveWell Kershaw Coalition receives Award from Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society
Camden, S.C. — Dec. 9, 2019 — LiveWell Kershaw (LWK), a coalition that works to improve healthcare access and encourage residents of Kershaw County to take ownership of community health, was recognized with a 2019 Golden Tusk Award from Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society (CHPRMS) for their student “Health Ambassador” program. The annual award spotlights excellent health and wellness promotion campaigns produced by CHPRMS member organizations.
Using grant funding from the Duke Endowment’s Healthy People Healthy Carolinas initiative, LWK opted to focus on Kershaw County’s future leaders by creating a “Healthy Lifestyles for Youth” initiative. As part of an initial needs assessment, LWK invited students from all Kershaw County high schools to participate in focus groups. From these groups, LWK leadership identified an opportunity to empower students to take ownership of health in their communities.
The outgrowth of this was the Health Ambassador program. Through the program, first implemented in the summer of 2018, one high school student from each Kershaw County high school was selected to co-design an evidence-based intervention plan to implement in their schools.
With support from LWK leadership, each school’s trained Health Ambassadors were tasked with creating and implementing a student-led organization within their high schools by September of 2018. Students created an action plan to improve school health and wellness policies and then identified, tracked, and measured desired outcomes for each school’s improvement plan through a data tracking system.
Some of the Health Ambassadors’ accomplishments included:
developing a district-wide “Brain Break” program designed to improve learning and wellness by giving the students time to stretch, play a game, or interact with their peers;
introducing a “De-Stress Day” in May at Lugoff-Elgin High School to help students relax before exams;
implementing a fruit cart at North Central High School for students to have healthy snacks after school;
partnering with the Kiwanis Club to create a “Story Walk” in a local park;
introducing “Stress Baskets” for teachers at Camden High School to have calming resources available for students; and
creating an anti-vaping campaign at North Central High School.
The results of LWK’s Health Ambassador program are ongoing. To date, two groups of interns have completed the program.
“We are honored to receive the Golden Tusk Award in recognition of how we designed the Health Ambassadors program,” said Kathryn Johnson, director of LWK. “When we empower students with the right tools and leadership skills, they really can make a huge impact in their community.”
About Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society
Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society provides resources to its membership of employees who work in the ever-changing and dynamic healthcare industry. Membership is spread throughout the Carolinas and consists of organizations from academic medical centers to independent physician practices.
About LiveWell Kershaw
The LiveWell Kershaw Coalition (http://livewellkershaw.org) uses data to guide action aimed at addressing the health issues faced by the residents of Kershaw County and works to foster collaboration between citizens and public and private sector organizations and schools to increase community awareness of health issues.
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