Prevention, intervention and education lead to health and wellness
The Heart of Illinois United Way is focused on ensuring the people of central Illinois have access to quality, affordable health care. The health and well-being of our citizens is a strong indicator of the health of our community.
United Way funds distributed to the Health Impact Area support programs focused on health education/prevention and health treatment/services, including:
- Community Clinics
- Physical Fitness
- Home Health Care
- Dental and Vision Care
United Way funded health programs provide . . .
- Nutrition, physical fitness and substance abuse education that improve healthy choices
- Medical, vision and oral health screenings and treatment that improve overall health
- Mental health screenings and intervention that improve individual and family stability
Here are just a few ways Heart of Illinois United Way funded programs are positively impacting health in central Illinois:
- 88% of families receiving United Way funded case management services improved their health and wellbeing through coordination of services and community support
- 96% of youth and adults who participated in United Way funded health education classes increased their knowledge about healthy eating, exercise and more
- 90% of youth and adults who received treatment from United Way funded health programs improved their physical health
Caring Goes Beyond Healthy Advice
Being a parent, especially a single parent, is not easy. United Way partner agencies like FamilyCore support single parents and caregivers by providing case management and counseling services that address the stress, depression, and anxiety that come with the challenges of being a single parent. At FamilyCore, counselors work with single parents to help even the odds by helping them to discipline appropriately, communicate effectively with children, and apply positive child development techniques. When the challenges of being a single parent become too difficult, FamilyCore helps their clients work through conflicts, depression, grief, self-esteem, divorce or separation, loneliness and stress.
Provide a Healthy Checkup
Routine medical exams are critical to identifying and treating health concerns before they become more serious and costly. Heartland Health Services serves a growing segment of the population, spanning all ages, that lacks access to quality health care. When faced with a need for care many do without because they have little to no insurance, little or no money, and are ineligible for government assistance programs. Adults and children who are underinsured are less likely to access preventative care and ultimately go without treatment. This creates a cascade effect that reduces performance at school and reduce financial stability if wages are lost. By providing checkups, Heartland is positively impacting the link between education, financial stability and health.
Smart Choices Make a Picture of Good Health
Health education teaches critical life skills that improve nutrition, increase exercise, and emphasize smart choices. The Heart of Illinois United Way invests more than $300,000 annually in programs that provide nutrition and fitness programs for children and adults. These in-school and community-based programs are easily accessible and improve our community’s overall health and well-being.
At the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Peoria, their Healthy Habits program addresses hunger and healthy food choices with a two-fold approach. With many low-income children receiving meal assistance at school during the week or nutritious snacks afterschool, they are often left hungry over weekends. The Boys and Girls Clubs program ensures children and families are nourished each weekend by sending home nutritious, easy-to-fix meals while also providing opportunities for parents and children to learn how to select and prepare healthy food on a budget.
Caring for Each Other is a Group Effort
The Heart of Illinois United Way funds individual, family and group counseling for at-risk individuals including programs at the Center for Youth and Family Solutions (above). Our emotional, psychological, and social well-being affects how we handle stress, relate to others and make health and life-style choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.