HeartSmartKids is proud to be the data collection tool for Teen Take Heart!
Teen Take Heart is an evidence-based cardiovascular (CV) program from Seattle University (SU) College of Nursing (CoN) Assistant Professor, Dr. Steven J. Palazzo, in partnership with the Hope Heart Institute. Teen Take Heart serves high school students at increased risk for cardiovascular disease in underserved communities where educational resources are scarce.
The program consists of a series of innovative and impactful in-class instructional web and kit-based lessons facilitated by high school teachers who receive curriculum training during a summer workshop.
The four learning modules incorporate the sciences of cardiovascular structure & function, physiology, disease pathology, nutrition and activity, and systematic inquiry into 18 interactive lessons designed to increase CV knowledge and promote heart-healthy lifestyle behaviors and attitudes. The curriculum is informed by the latest evidenced-based research and current best practice standards.
The lessons demonstrate how the Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core ideas of the NGSS can be integrated. Structure and Function are tied to homeostasis of the cardiac system while students ask questions and generate arguments about their health. The curriculum aligns with Washington State health standards.
Teen Take Heart compliments existing health promotion and disease prevention lessons and, if appropriate, can replace some lessons. The materials and teacher training are provided at no cost to participating high schools.
Furthermore, high school students are encouraged to serve as Healthy Heart Ambassadors to their community; organizing and leading community outreach events at the conclusion of the program that connect individuals and families to CV health-related resources. Exposure to health career options are embedded in the program and discussed throughout the students’ interactions with the program.
The Saint Vincent dePaul Society operates a free clinic near downtown Phoenix. One of the services offered at the clinic is Every Little Step Counts (ELSC), an innovative lifestyle program for pre-diabetic obese children. The HeartSmartKids system has been used in this program for over five years and is part of the 2015 expansion to include diabetes management and services for adults.
Nurse practitioners and nursing students use the HeartSmartKids system as part of standard well-child visits
The weight of pregnant women and mothers of young children has an effect on their childrens' risks for future obesity. We teamed up with the UCDenver School of Medicine's Pediatric Nutrition section to study a system-level change to address maternal weight at WIC centers in the San Luis Valley.
Every year at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, CO, HeartSmartKids conducts cardiovascular risk screenings in partnership with the Colorado AHEC (Area Health Education Center) and the health professions schools of UCDenver. For seven years we have teamed up with the wonderful faculty and students from the schools of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and public health to bring preventive health screenings to visitors of the iconic show.
One of the main problems that arises in preventing childhood obesity is that parents do not accurately perceive their child's weight status. This research project, conducted in a Head Start setting in Oklahoma, studied how parents' views of their child's weight status are incorrect and how they can be changed by discussion.
Denver Health’s School-Based Health Centers provide primary care, mental health, reproductive health education and insurance enrollment assistance services to Denver Public School students.
In partnership with a school nurse, Denver Health's medical professionals treat health conditions that affect school-aged children during the school year.
Health educators use the HeartSmartKids system when working with overweight and obese adolescents in school-based health centers.
The Culture of Wellness in Preschools is a partnership among many Colorado health organizations to decrease childhood obesity in Head Start. Led by the University of Colorado School of Public Health and funded by the Colorado Health Foundation, the initial effort in over thirty sites included using health promoters and HeartSmartKids risk summaries to counsel parents on healthy lviing and their childrens' weight status. Other partners included Cooking Matters, the Integrated Nutrition Education Project (INEP), I am Moving I am Learning (IMIL), and CREA Results.
Our longest-running project, we have been screening children at Kids First Health Care in Commerce City Colorado for more than seven years. The six clinics include both community clinics and school-based health clinics (SBHCs). Efforts in primary care are supplemented by training and an obesity intervention led by the UCDenver School of Medicine and funded by the Colorado Health Foundation. Nurse practitioners at the clinics use the HeartSmartKids system to screen at well-child visits. The HeartPrint risk summary forms an important part of their protocol for delivering a brief 'aural obesity vaccine' that has shown a significant effect on improving the weight trajectory of overweight children. The system also helps practitioners refer qualifying patients to an obesity intervention that is delivered nearby.
HeartsmartKids formed the screening and prevention arm of this effort to study the potential of doing obesity interventions in primary care. More than twenty clinics across the state of Colorado participated in the three year study. In many of these clinics the HSK system was used to screen, counsel, and refer patients.
As part of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) three-year study to investigate the impact of technology on primary care practice, the HSK system was installed in a dozen school-based health centers across the country. Clinics in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Michigan, North Carolina, and New York received training on Motivational Interviewing techniques and childhood obesity guidelines.