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Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center


Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
By Kevin S. Abel, Social Media Manager, Charleston VAMC
Friday, September 16, 2011

There has been a lot of research and attention in recent years on the best ways to maintain health and well-being. With so many Veterans with chronic diseases and the number only increasing, Veterans Affairs wants to concentrate on preventative care in the primary care setting using health promotion.

The Health Promotion and Disease Prevention program supports caregivers with resources and training that help motivate and educate Veterans on how to live healthier lifestyles while becoming better at managing their own health.

 “It’s about getting a Veteran to understand their barriers,” said Donna Pittman, HPDP Program Manager. “My focus of the pro-gram is working with the primary care staff and the Patient Alliance Care Team to offer resources to them.”

Behaviors such as poor food choices, un-healthy weight and lack of physical activity lead to health problems.

The HPDP program reduces unhealthy daily living, which will lead to significant health benefits and decreases in chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and cancer.

“It allows them to see that unhealthy choices will lead to medical problems and diseases in the future,” said Pittman.

The major goals of these courses are to identifying concerns, needs and preferences are critical to patient-centered care. These communications techniques have proven to increase patient involvement in healthcare, increased responsibility for health behaviors, improve patient outcomes and patient and staff satisfaction.

The foundation of the HPDP program is to provide assistance for Veterans to focus on living a healthier life.

The HPDP program is part of a national VA Veteran-centered care initiative. The VA’s focus is to partner with Veterans to empower them to live a happier healthier life.


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