Optima Health's Eating for Life Program Receives 2008 National Health Information Award
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Optima Health's Eating for Life Program Receives 2008 National Health Information Award 

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Virginia Beach, VA -- September 16, 2008 --Optima Health's Eating for Life program received the 2008 National Health Information Award at the Bronze level in the category Total Health Information Program, Hospital and Health Care Systems. The awards program, in its 15th year, is the most comprehensive competition of its kind and is organized by the Health Information Resource Center, a national clearinghouse for consumer health information programs and materials. More than 1,000 entries were submitted by a wide variety of leading organizations in the consumer health field. Entries included brochures, audio/video tapes, newspaper and magazine articles, books and other media from hospitals, publishers, ad agencies trade associations, etc. The materials that are awarded represent the best consumer health materials available for health professionals across the country.

The Eating for Life program is one of many health and wellness programs offered by Optima Health to its members. Program materials include a DVD and workbook for adults to learn about healthy eating and exercise. Examples of the DVD chapters include: healthy eating regarding fat, sodium, and sugar; exercise; eating away from home; and supermarket shopping. The objectives of the program include: participants will make healthy food choices with regard to fat, salt and sugar both at home and at restaurants; evaluate their daily caloric needs and expenditure; assess food labels; and develop improved exercise habits.

Optima Health's Health Educator for Health & Preventive Services, Joan B. Sechrist, PhD, RD, created the materials that include the script and overall content for the DVD as well as the custom-designed lunch box design. Participants receive an apple-shaped coaster, "A Healthier You" book, and a "Fast Food Facts" slide in a packet that is delivered to their home.

Year-to-date over 1,600 Sentara Healthcare employees, Optima Health employees and community members have participated in the program. Participants have responded that they have been eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains daily; avoiding salt and sugar; walking more and increasing their overall amount of exercise. Terrina Thomas, Optima Health's Director of Community Health and Prevention comments, "We're excited to receive recognition for a program that we have found to be very successful. Our goal is to improve the health of our members and the Eating for Life program does just that."

For more information about the 2008 National Health Information Awards, visit the Health Information Resource Center.

Learn more about the community health and prevention programs offered by Optima Health.

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