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Wagner Indian Health Service – Healthy Heart Project

Program Type: Local Effort - Programs and/or activities that have not been evaluated but are identified by local programs as producing positive results.

This project is funded by an SDPI (Special Diabetes for Indians) Grant. It is a special demonstration project to reduce cardiovascular disease in persons with diabetes. The annual goal is to recruit 50 persons to participate in a case management based approach to bring all target values to goal. The project strives to assist patients to achieve optimal cardiovascular health by improving lipid levels, glycemic levels, and blood pressure. Each participant is encouraged to adopt lifestyle changes such as 150 minutes of exercise/week along with an individualized nutritional plan. The case management visits feature behavioral health coaching utilizing motivational interviewing techniques. The Wagner Healthy Heart (HH) Project has taken Diabetes Self Management Education (DSME) Program to “Point-of-Care”. We strive to connect with each patient in routine diabetes clinics. The patients who participate in the Healthy Heart Project are given the choice of monthly visits/CVD risk reduction as the next step. A special registry is in place for our DSME Graduates. The HH staff has developed a new handout with ABC numbers for recruitment in clinic.

To recognize participants who have reached their health goals, we have developed a wall in clinic for “HEALTH HEROES”. Participants who are successful agree to share their stories and photos with everyone.

The project also offers Honoring the Gift of Heart Health (HGHH) classes. This curriculum was developed by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. It is a comprehensive culturally appropriate, user-friendly 10 lesson course on heart-health education for the American Indian community. The curriculum is filled with skill-building activities, reproducible handouts, and idea starters. The course is offered in a series of class sessions. Each session is repeated twice throughout the week. So a participant is able to complete all required classes by attending 2 full days or 4 half days. The HGHH curriculum is offered every quarter in this fashion.

We began a Healthy Heart monthly support group where project participants can share and learn more lessons in the HGHH curriculum. The group meets on a monthly basis. In addition to the HGHH the support group has featured 2 picnics by the lake, a discussion on foot care and humor as a therapeutic medium.

To make an old topic new, we have utilized the principle of Volumetrics to encourage intake of fruits/vegetables and other whole grains. An interactive display was created to aid in the instructive process. A very successful retention activity in held annually. A two day patient conference focuses on improving health through a balance of mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health. Guest speakers present stimulating approaches to draw on Native American traditions to deal with modern day stresses and chronic disease.

Since intensive activities began in January of 2006, 83 persons have agreed to participate in the program. The attached graphic illustrates improvements in cardiovascular risk factors for persons completing their first year of participation in the Healthy Heart Project. There is no cost for participation in this project.

Age Group(s):

Site Type(s):
Clinic/Health Center, Hospital

Health Indicator(s):
Cardiovascular Disease , Diabetes

Service Area:


Name: Colleen Permann, Diabetes Coordinator
Site or Location Name: Wagner Indian Health Service
111 Washington NW
Wagner, SD 57380
Phone: 605-384-3621