Erie-GAINS improves health and wellness in Erie area


Erie-GAINS works together with Erie Vital Signs, United Way and Erie Together to help to improve health and wellness in the Erie area.
Their main goals include improving wellness and nutrition in children as well as providing access to health care services.
According to Erie Vital signs, the overweight and obesity rate is almost 35 percent of Erie children in grades 7-12. This brings them to the first program called “Club Fit” in East and Strong Vincent high schools. East started Club Fit in 2012 and was funded by Hamot Health Foundation, Metz Food Service, Lincoln Metals and Erie Community Foundation.
The results were surprising, said Erika Ramalho, Gannon University’s director of community and government relations.
“After Club Fit, more females began to participate in athletics,” Ramalho said.
Club Fit takes place during the offseason for sports. After the 10-week program there was a 62 percent increase in female participation in athletics. Ninety-five percent of females who participated in the program lost or maintained their weight compared to one-third of the control group who did not participate and gained weight.
Erie-GAINS also works to improve the health of adults in the Erie area. Health services are made accessible by the Nursing Center at the John E. Horan Garden Apartments. There are about 400 annual encounters at this health clinic. During 2013 there were 175 physicals, 69 Hgb screenings, more than 100 influenza vaccinations, 10 EPSDT home visits and screenings as well as more than 1,500 clinical services.
Compared to similarly sized cities, Erie rates higher for reported fair or poor health.
Ashley Geohring, a junior undeclared health sciences major and erieite, said that she never heard of any programs like this growing up.
“I have noticed recently that there are a lot more programs to help out the people of the Erie community,” Geohring said.
Information for health services can be found at The Gannon University Online Human Service Directory had over 14,000 page views within the first five months.

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