Program Celebrates 5th Anniversary
April 22, 2015
Clients and providers of the STRIDES To Better Health program are celebrating the fifth anniversary of one of the most successful initiatives in Prairie North Health Region.
STRIDES aims to improve and maintain the health of individuals living with chronic health conditions such as heart or lung disease, arthritis, diabetes, health issues resulting from stroke, obesity and other chronic diseases.
“I believe STRIDES saved my life,” said Joanne Klima, one of the approximately 75 individuals currently participating in The Battlefords program.
“I used to be very active and enjoyed being outdoors, but my sickness really got to me. I forced myself to go to STRIDES. I didn't attend very often at the beginning, but I kept going and going,” Klima recounted. “The STRIDES team of professionals were all so kind and so good. They gave good advice on how to improve my life and how to improve my breathing. Things finally started to sink in.”
“Now, with STRIDES, there are no ifs or buts about it – I always go on Wednesdays and Thursdays. It makes me feel good to see people get better and better when they go through the program. It just invites me to go back over and over,”Klima stated.
“As its name indicates, STRIDES focuses on walking and exercise for strength and flexibility,” explained Charlotte Hamilton, Director of Primary Health Services which includes the STRIDES program. “STRIDES teaches participants how to live as healthily as possible with their chronic illness and offers self-management education around risk factors, diet and nutrition, stress management, and healthy lifestyles.”
STRIDES provides a safe, supportive environment for fun and practical exercise and learning, guided by a team of PNHR healthcare professionals, assisted by trained volunteers.
The program aids individuals in recovery from heart attack and stroke, and helps reduce the risk factors like high blood pressure or cholesterol that could lead to further illness, disease, hospitalization, or death.
STRIDES has been operating in PNHR since the spring of 2010. Sessions are held Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in The Battlefords, Lloydminster and Meadow Lake. Anywhere from 30 to 50 people attend each session.
Many are referred by their physician or other health professional. Individuals with chronic conditions can also refer themselves by contacting a PNHR Chronic Disease Nurse Educator. Acceptance into the program is determined by the individual's medical history and an assessment by STRIDES staff.
The next step for STRIDES is to continue to grow to meet the needs of the ever expanding number of clients with chronic health conditions.
For more information or to arrange interviews, contact:
Linda Lewis, PNHR Communications Officer 306-446-6625