Community Health Education

By: Judy Rycombel, Health Committee

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Back in 2015, some members of Christ Lutheran Church (CLC) in Palatine were searching for a health educator to give a presentation about managing diabetes to its members, but had no luck – until Chaplain Sam Martinez said that Good Shepherd Hospital would not only do a program about diabetes but could do a series of health programs for the church and community. She was the answer to our prayers!  And thus began the partnership between Christ Lutheran Church and Good Shepherd Hospital

To help determine the various health topics that would be of interest to the church members, Chaplain Sam helped us create a survey that was given to the members. We chose our topics based on the survey results. Good Shepherd Hospital gave four presentations in 2016 at CLC on topics dealing with healthy aging, healthy eating, managing stress, and preventing falls. 

Many of the attendees commented about how much they enjoyed and learned from all of the programs and presenters. One especially enjoyable program was “Eating Healthy & Having Fun.” The presenter, a registered dietitian, explained the difference between monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Then the participants actually made healthy and tasty salad vinaigrettes, which they then took home. Some of the participants said they never knew making a salad dressing from scratch could be so simple yet delicious – and healthy. Many said they learned the difference between good and bad oils and would only be using olive oil in their salad dressings in the future.

As the saying goes, “One thing leads to another.” Good Shepherd has had a big influence on the church members in trying to get healthy. Now there’s a health committee, chair yoga, and blood pressure screenings. Fruit and cheese are now served before each church service on Sundays. 

Many CLC members have been asking when Good Shepherd will start doing programs again in 2017. The next program will be on May 16th and will deal with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related disorders. People are signing up now, and the event will be open to the people in the community as well.  

Many thanks to Chaplain Sam for her excellent work, dedication, encouragement, and willingness to partner with Christ Lutheran Church.