From the annual summer fitness series to healthy cooking classes, the Forest Park WeTHRIVE! team is always looking out for the health of their community. Last year, the team began hosting quarterly Know Your Numbers health screening events at the Forest Park Kroger, reaching an average of 40 people each time.
“We want to make sure that our residents know their numbers – blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose,” said Rosalind Moore, a nurse, WeTHRIVE! team member and Forest Park councilmember.
These health numbers are key indicators of overall health. “When they’re above normal, you’re at higher risk for heart disease and other health issues,” explained Kim Chelf, health educator with Hamilton County Public Health and a member of Forest Park’s WeTHRIVE! team. “The good thing is that once you know what your numbers are, you can work to control them with diet and exercise.”
Everyone who is screened gets a card with their numbers and materials explaining what they mean. “If the numbers are not within normal limits, we recommend that they follow up with their primary care provider,” Rosalind said. “When people are more informed and have an understanding of their numbers, then they can have those conversations with their physician.”
Rosalind finds it encouraging that some people are keeping up with these important health indicators on their own. “When people walk by at Kroger, we’ll ask, ‘do you know your numbers?’ and many people do. So it’s good. They’re going to their physicians and they’re getting it.”
The power of partnerships
In addition to quarterly Know Your Numbers events, the Forest Park WeTHRIVE! team provides weekly blood pressure screenings at the Forest Park Senior Center, reaching about 30 older adults each week. Every spring, the team does screenings at the Greenhills-Forest Park Kiwanis Safety Fair (they tested 40 people in 2019). In April, they’ll be at Quinn Chapel AME Church in Forest Park to support their health fair.
Rosalind says it takes lots of volunteers to be able to offer these screenings. That’s where the networking and collaborations done over the years by the WeTHRIVE! team pays off. “We have a combination of partners so that we can tap into those resources and have enough volunteers to sustain our work.”
For example, the Cincinnati chapter of Chi Eta Phi (a professional nursing sorority) has provided nurse volunteers for Know Your Numbers screening sessions. “Kim Morris, the district nurse from Winton Woods City Schools, and Lula Whitehead, a volunteer nurse from Mercy Health Fairfield Hospital, have also come out to help us,” Rosalind said.
Other partners who provide volunteers and support include:
- Forest Park fire & police
- Interact for Health ( a WeTHRIVE! partner)
- Buckeye Health Plan Ohio
- Winton Woods City School District (a WeTHRIVE! school district)
- Forest Chapel United Methodist Church
- Mercy Health Systems (a WeTHRIVE! partner)
“The Forest Park WeTHRIVE! team always does a good job finding partners to help them,” Kim added. “They know that they can’t do everything themselves, so they never hesitate to look for partners.”
Screenings for a healthier Forest Park
As a nurse, Rosalind wants to make sure residents have access to health screenings like Know Your Numbers.
“I think the main benefit is educating the community regarding knowing your numbers, because when people are more informed and have an understanding of their numbers, there’s a better chance that it will improve health care outcomes.”
Learn more about WeTHRIVE! in Forest Park here.
Upcoming Forest Park WeTHRIVE! Events
(All dates are tentative due to COVID-19. Follow Forest Park on Facebook for details & up-to-date information.)
Produce Pop Ups (Forest Chapel United Methodist Church)
April 7, 2020
May 5, 2020
June 2, 2020
June 26, 2020
ODH Stepping On Fall Prevention Program
April 16-May 28, 2020 (every Thursday for seven weeks)
Forest Park Senior Center
Greenhills-Forest Park Kiwanis Safety Fair
May 30, 2020
Sickle Cell 5K
August 30, 2020