SFMC receives grant to enhance ‘medical consumerism’

St. Francis Medical Center (SFMC) was awarded a $95,000 grant from Anthem Blue Cross Foundation to enhance the medical consumerism skills of the patients that SFMC serves.

The grant allows the Lynwood hospital to augment its existing community wellness program, Vida Sana, with a patient empowerment module entitled Health Options for Patient Empowerment (HOPE). The module focuses on improving patient communication skills with physicians and on helping them understand how to navigate the health care system for optimal and appropriate utilization of medical resources.

Today there are many resources for training medical professionals on cultural awareness and improving communication and the patient experience. However, there are little to no resources that provide similar training to patients --- the ultimate consumers of medical services. The HOPE medical consumerism module helps people develop the skills needed to take informed action in the determination of their medical care decisions.

“With so many people entering the health insurance system for the first time in 2014, it’s important that we help give patients the knowledge of how to make the best use of health care,” said Mark Morgan, chief operating officer for Anthem Blue Cross. “The Anthem Blue Cross Foundation is thrilled to support St. Francis Medical Center’s Vida Sana program so together, we can transform health care with trusted and caring solutions.”

HOPE is being rolled out through the hospital’s Vida Sana promotoras, or community health promoters, and has been integrated into the 12-week health and wellness program at seven of the Vida Sana sites in Southeast Los Angeles. The program includes diabetes and healthy lifestyle courses, along with the added patient empowerment module which addresses the following:

---Taking responsibility for your medical care decisions and health.

---Improving communication skills with physicians.

---Understanding options for appropriate utilization of medical services.

---Setting health-related goals.

---Collaborating with others who have a vested interest in your health.

---Becoming smart medical consumers.

---Staying safe in the health care environment.

---Adhering to health care decisions jointly derived by you, your health care team, and family.

As part of the HOPE module, Vida Sana participants take a pre- and post-program survey to assess specific Patient Activation Measures. The surveys evaluate the degree to which individuals are engaged in their own health. At specific intervals throughout the 12-week session, participants also measure their biometric indicators for diabetes, including glucose and cholesterol levels, blood pressure and body mass index. The biometric results are used to determine the effectiveness of the HOPE module on decreasing a participant’s diabetes risk factors.

“Measuring biometric indicators for diabetes is important because one of the most significant and preventable challenges facing our community is the rapidly growing incidence of this disease, particularly among our Latino population,” said Gilda Acosta, St. Francis Medical Center director of Healthy Community Initiatives and the Vida Sana Program.

“The most effective countermeasure is patient empowerment,” she continued. “Managing your own health and understanding how to best utilize available health care resources can have a tremendous positive impact on your health and well-being, as well as provide a sense of control over your own life.”

Currently 840 Vida Sana members participate in the HOPE module. The goal is to educate 1,400 participants within a 12-month time period; however, HOPE’s reach and lasting effects have the potential to be much greater.

“We’ve found that when participants receive understandable and usable information, they share what they’ve learned with family and friends,” stated Acosta.  “We anticipate that, once learned, managing your own health and your family’s health will be a lifelong practice.”

Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Association promotes Anthem Blue Cross’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that the company serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges.

St. Francis Medical Center (SFMC) is a member of the Daughters of Charity Health System, dedicated to serving those who are sick and living in poverty.  For more information visit www.stfrancismedicalcenter.org.


Voices

Seeking the face of God in the Scriptures

Archbishop José H. Gomez

Prayer is seeking the face of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church recalls the story of how St. John Vianney once found a peasant praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. The saint asked him what he was doing, and the man replied: “I look at him and he looks at me.”

Events

February 2016
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

February 14, 2016

  • Sunday, February 14

    Mother Cabrini Library and Chapel Open House, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., 3801 Scott Road, Burbank. The event is hosted by the Los Angeles Region.

     

    Italian Catholic Club of SCV Valentine's Day Dinner Dance, 7 p.m., Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Parish Hall), 23233 Lyons Ave., Newhall. Come enjoy a delicious gourmet buffet dinner and dance the night away to the music of Linda Pippin. Wear your favorite red dress, shirt and/or tie. All adults (single or married) are welcome. Tickets are $35 each (prepaid), or $45 at the door. Please call Anna Riggs at (661) 645-7877 to reserve your spot by Feb. 10.

     

    Stations of the Cross, 2 p.m. Calvary Cemetery, 4201 Whittier Boulevard, East Los Angeles. Continuing each Sunday of Lent. For more info, please call Calvary Cemetery: 323-261-3106.

     

    Year of Mercy Mass and Pilgrimage in The Shrine of St. John Paul II, 3 p.m., Our Lady of the Bright Mount Church, 3424 W. Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles.  Mass celebrated in English with Fr. John Paul Gonzalez of Christ the King Church.  Mass will be followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and confession, with Divine Mercy Chaplet.  The closing prayer will be a blessing and veneration of the 1st class relic of St. John Paul II.  

    South Bay Catholic Co-ed Adult Softball League Pre-Season Practice Games, McMaster Park, 3624 Artesia Blvd., Torrance.  Must RSVP to Fred Lawler (League Commissioner) at (310) 504-0271 or fredlawler@hotmail.com.

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