CHW is partnering with Rady Children’s Hospital Center for Healthier Communities to bring health, safety, and literacy education to residents in many of our San Diego communities.
The Rady Children’s Hospital Center for Healthier Communities Health Stars program is a new model to help address the root causes of health disparity. Research indicates that education and income are the most powerful contributors to health. The Health Stars program provides low-income families with children up to age five with information about children’s health directly from a pediatrician.
Health Stars promotes early literacy and healthy behaviors by partnering with families and giving caregivers the tools to become health advocates in their own homes and communities. Participants learn healthy habits during a series of five one-hour reading and play sessions, each focused on a specific health topic, including sleep, safety, behavior, and nutrition. Each session opens with a pediatric practitioner leading the group in reading a fun book related to the session’s topic. Following the book reading, parents and their children participate in an interactive activity related to the topic. The sessions conclude with the opportunity for parents to ask questions with the pediatric clinician. Each week, the families takes home the featured book so they may continue to read at home.
Dr. Wendy Hunter, a pediatrician at Rady Children’s Hospital Emergency Department, developed the Health Stars program, along with partner Kristi Westphaln, NP, a nurse practitioner at Children’s Primary Care Medical Group (CPCMG). Dr. Hunter says:
“We often can’t spend as much time as we would like getting to know our patients and their families. Teaching these sessions has given me insight into the challenges my patients face and helps me to provide better care for them.”
The Rady Children’s Hospital Center for Healthier Communities will be providing the Health Stars program at six CHW communities this year. The partnership will provide classes across our San Diego communities this year. CHW is thankful for partners like Rady’s, who improve the lives of residents in our communities.