VALLEY CITY, N.D. (NewsDakota.com) – The Young People’s Healthy Heart Program, previously located at CHI Mercy Health will be fully operational inside the City County Health District office in Valley City starting July 1st.
The program originated in 1980 through a grant that Sharon Buhr, MPH, LRD, and director of the program, wrote to the North Dakota Department of Health related to heart health.
In the 1990s, Buhr invented test tube visuals which graphically show how much sugar, salt and fat are in commonly eaten foods. Funds from the sales of the tubes help support the program’s work in the community.
Buhr said, “Heart health continues to be a focus of the program today, with the mission of the program to reduce the rate of obesity and the risk of developing chronic disease (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, etc) in the residents of Barnes County and our state through programming, policy, systems,environmental change in the areas of nutrition and physical activity.”
Buhr said, “Young People’s Healthy Heart Program recognized the interest that other organizations have had in nutrition and physical activity, with the goal of keeping our citizens as healthy as possible. In 1998 the Young People’s Healthy Heart Program initiated ON THE MOVE which presently has 19 partners, all non-profit and governmental organizations.
CHI Mercy Health president Keith Heuser states that he is disappointed that Mercy had to make the decision to cease the operations of the Young People’s Healthy Heart Program at the hospital. Heuser notes, “these days in the healthcare environment it has become necessary for CHI to focus our resources on our core values of health care services.” He states that he is pleased that CCHD has decided to take the Young People’s Healthy Heart Program under its auspices, and to continue to provide these services in the area of prevention.
Theresa Will, MPH, RN and director of CCHD stated that she is excited to have the Young People’s Healthy Heart Program join the CCHD team. “The work that the Young People’s Healthy Heart Program does is helping people in our community prevent the top two causes of death (heart disease and cancer) as well as prevent strokes and diabetes”, continues Will. “This program will support us in our work at CCHD to help make Barnes County the healthiest county in our state.”
Dietitians in the program include Sharon Buhr, director, and Andrea Winter, community dietitian. Teresa Garrahy is the business manager. The staff assemble the test tube visuals include Carolyn Timm, Diane Oien, Shirley Bjornson, and Kay Bostrom.
“Good health is crucial to each of us, allowing us to have productive, healthy lives, and we at Young People’s Healthy Heart Program are dedicated to help everyone be as healthy as possible, ” states Buhr. The program will continue to offer the same programs as it did at CHI Mercy Health, and will remain the lead partner for ON THE MOVE.
For questions or more information, please contact Young People’s Healthy Heart Program at CCHD at 845-8518.
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