Huntington Hospital Develops Health Program for Students, Families in Three Counties

April 17, 2001

To ensure that science-based information about cardiovascular disease (CVD) reaches people in low-income and minority communities, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health today announced a partnership with six community-based organizations, including St. Mary's Hospital in Huntington.  

In collaboration with the West Virginia Department of Education, the state Health Department and American Heart Association chapter, the hospital is developing a school-based intervention for 8,000 third, fourth, and fifth graders, their families, and school staff in 45 public schools in a three-county area in West Virginia.  

The intervention, called Helping Educators Attack Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors Together (HEART), will enhance the local public school curriculum to provide information about healthy lifestyles and expand physical education programs to promote personal fitness and aerobic conditioning. It also will improve school meals and provide in-service training programs for teachers to increase their effectiveness in teaching health-related school subjects. Outreach to parents will also be conducted to promote the same attitudes, knowledge, and behavior. Children and families with CVD risk factors will be identified, and referrals will be made for treatment.

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