Teaching teenagers in the community how to live healthy and happy lives, helping them to reach their full potential in mind, body and spirit are goals of a new pilot program between two hospitals —AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center Hinsdale and AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center La Grange —and Hinsdale Adventist Academy, a pre-kindergarten through grade 12 school in Hinsdale, Ill.
In September, seven registered nurses trained in CREATION Health began teaching the curriculum to 60 academy students. The nurses will meet with students monthly for 45 minutes through May 2019. Four of the 60 students have been selected as champions for this program.
CREATION Health is a faith-based lifestyle transformation program that is part of the Seventh-day Adventist mission. Based on biblical principles and supported by science, this wellness program is designed to help people live a full life through the eight precepts of whole person health. These principles are based on God’s plan for living as seen in the Bible's creation story.
“This is an exciting opportunity to share CREATION Health with the youth at the academy,” said Mary Murphy, vice president and chief nursing officer. “We are committed to the mission of Adventist Health System and view this as an opportunity to reach young adults outside the walls of our hospital.”
The curriculum, developed by Adventist Health System, includes topics covering: choice, rest, environment, activity, trust, interpersonal relationships, outlook and nutrition. Each session also includes prayers, song and a reflection from the Hinsdale Adventist Academy pastor.
Wellness is much more than the absence of disease. Wellness is the fulfillment of our God-given potential and can be enhanced regardless of our challenges, stage of life or health status. The nursing teams at the hospitals believe in their responsibility to be part of the community and promote health and wellness.
“We often think of nursing as only caring for those who are ill,” said Susan Herrmann, Magnet nursing director. “It’s part of our mission to care for the whole person —mentally, physically and spiritually —and this program allows us to do that in the community.”
Herrmann said the program will benefit young adults because high school is a prime time for making choices that influence life outcomes. The seven nurses, under the direction of Herrmann, volunteered for the program as part of the hospitals’ clinical ladder program for professional development and outreach to its community.
“The academy partners with the hospital on other initiatives,” Murphy said, so it was a natural next step to pilot the CREATION Health community training there. “The chance to help younger people understand and incorporate this program into their lives is an investment in their future,” Murphy said.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to fulfill our mission by reaching young adults and helping them to make good choices to stay healthy and live life to the fullest,” said Ismael Gama, senior vice president and chief mission officer.
Cover photo – Students participated in hands-on activities to learn more about the principles of CREATION Health.