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Project Two - Project Co-N-E-C-T

Just a few of the hundreds who participated in the project.

2A. Briefly describe the second main project (Project Two) of the three projects that has significantly impacted the community since 1996.

Five thousand residents, 5% of the population, are having their health assessed and are being connected to needed services under a unique project sponsored by Griffin Hospital in partnership with HV2000 and sixteen community organizations. Project Co-N-E-C-T is a Valley-wide effort to assess the Community’s Need for Evaluation, Care and Treatment and Co-N-E-C-T people to needed services. The goal is to improve the health of residents by identifying and lowering the risk of preventable illness through improved access to needed services, health education, prevention and wellness programs. The project includes a cross section of residents. A target group is the community’s medically underserved population. Health Risk Assessments produce a personal and community health profile of individuals surveyed. Each person surveyed and their doctor receives a report which identifies their health and lifestyle status and needs. An aggregated report will guide future program development. A component is to identify people without a family doctor or primary care source and people with medical risks and connect them to services. Need categories are: lack of a primary care source, mammography and cervical cancer screening, colon and prostrate cancer screening, childhood immunizations, alcohol/drugs/tobacco education and treatment. There is no charge for the program.

2B. What prompted the community to undertake this project?

Three of the six Valley towns have been designated as medically underserved by the federal government. A Community Health Profile identified the following health problems as being worse than the state rates: youth substance abuse, lung and colon cancer in men, ovarian, uterine and cervical cancer in women, non-medical deaths and mammography screening. For example only 20% of Medicare covered women have had mammograms and ovarian and uterine cancer rates are 25% and 9% above state rates. Additional data showed unusually high use of the Griffin Hospital Emergency Department and 30% of residents without a primary care doctor or source. This project was adopted to respond to the research and the problems identified. Resources were identified to undertake the project as well as a network of health and human services that could meet the needs of people identified with problems even if they lacked financial resources to pay for services. Additionally there was consensus that the best outcome would come from connecting people not receiving primary care services to those services. Community leadership concluded that the project can reduce illness and save lives and make the community a healthier place

2C. What attempts were made to involve the citizens directly affected by the projects in program development and to what extent were they successful? How were diverse segments of the population involved in the decision-making process? What general difficulties were encountered?

Because the project is an effort that originated from the Stakeholders of HV2000 there was grassroots involvement in selecting the project and progress is reported and discussed at Stakeholder meetings. Additionally the sixteen partner agencies represent different constituencies. Examples are: anti-poverty agency, mental health agency, visiting nurses, community minority agency and the Health Department. Each agency discusses the program design and plan with their respective staffs which results in broad input. There are three sub-committees overseeing components of the project, Communications, Education and Evaluation. The Valley Parish Nurse Program piloted the program for nine months in both church settings and in neighborhood door-to-door outreach efforts reaching over 900 people. We believe the process and model that has resulted is a high quality effort that will achieve the program goals. There have been no major difficulties other than the pressure of the process and development time with everyone anxious to get the project running and fulfilling its mission. Cooperation has been high with additional partner agencies requesting to be part of the project.

2D. What significant impacts has this project had on the community? Include quantifiable results as well as changes in the way the community confronts critical local issues.

This is the largest community project ever undertaken by the health community. It has required trust, collaboration and commitment. It involves 16 organizations as equal partners who are committing in-kind resources to do the health assessments. A community foundation provided a $37,500 grant for materials and a part-time coordinator. Estimates are that each assessment will take 40 minutes, or 3,300 hours to complete the 5,000 assessments. Based on a $25/hour salary cost, in-kind services are valued at $82,500. Agency staff and volunteers are doing the health assessments as part of their normal duties. Additional in-kind services include public relations, printing and clerical. A Community Health Resource Guide was published and distributed. The Valley Parish Nurse Program has made more than 900 house calls in a neighborhood outreach program. Over 2,200 assessment have been completed. More than 500 people have been referred to health and human service agencies. Survey results are provided to the individual and their personal physician who provides follow-up care. Aggregate survey results show community residents to be above the nation’s ideal weight, needing education and screening regarding blood pressure and prostate cancer, but better than national averages for many categories.

2E. For Project 2, list up to five principal groups and organizations involved. Summarize their contribution to the project.

Name Contribution

Griffin Hospital Project development,management & in-kind services to do assessments

Valley Parish Nurse Project development and in-kind services to do assessments

VNA of Southern Ct. "

Volunteer Action Center "

VNA of Ct. "


2F. For Project 2, identify three individuals who were active leaders. (Include leaders from the public, private and non-profit sectors).

Name/Title Organization/Address Telephone

Meher Shulman, Project Coordinator Healthy Valley 2000 203/735-3942

75 Liberty St., Ansonia, Ct. 06401

Dr. David Katz

Assoc. Dir. Preventive Medicine Griffin Hospital 203/735-7421

130 Division St., Derby, Ct. 06418

Daun Barrett, Coordinator Valley Parish Nurse Program 203/732-7589

c/o Griffin Hospital

130 Division St., Derby, Ct. 06418

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