SOURCE: CommuniCare Health Centers

CommuniCare Health Centers

June 18, 2009 16:09 ET

CommuniCare Health Centers Works to Improve Community Health & Wellness

Local Non-Profit Clinic Adopts LoneStart Healthy Living Program

SAN ANTONIO, TX--(Marketwire - June 18, 2009) - On Wednesday, June 24th, CommuniCare Health Centers will accept the LoneStart Employee Wellness Challenge as part of the organization's commitment to promote health education and improve community wellness.

"The LoneStart program promotes one of the most important tenets of our organization -- taking a proactive approach to health and wellness," says Debbora Thompson, CommuniCare Health Centers' CEO. "This challenge is about more than just losing weight or exercising; it's about our organization and employees setting a positive, healthy example by working to make permanent lifestyle changes."

The LoneStart Wellness Initiative is a behavioral-based program that provides participants with the information and support needed to take charge of their personal health. It's a first step toward changing the way participants think about health and wellness and promotes a strategy for real and lasting change. While most LoneStart participants are already motivated to lose weight, the program is designed to help participants to recognize their motivational triggers, build momentum and increase confidence through day-to-day, moment-by-moment choices.

"Tying a wellness program to individual responsibility means everyone benefits -- employees, families and our community. Those involved in the program are happier and healthier, absenteeism is reduced and our overall healthcare costs are reduced. Everyone wins," says Thompson. In addition to the organizational benefits, Thompson hopes that CommuniCare's commitment to the LoneStart program will increase healthy lifestyles among its staff that can ultimately be translated to the health center's patient population.

According to Jay Seifert, co-founder of LoneStart Wellness, the LoneStart Wellness Initiative is challenging yet realistic. "We address the issue of individual and organizational wellness with a proactive, cost effective initiative," says Seifert. "The program is a small-step challenge to long-term success."

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CommuniCare Health Centers (CCHC) has served San Antonio for 37 years. CCHC provides medical, dental and behavioral health services to uninsured and underserved residents in Bexar and Hays counties and delivered over 138,000 visits in 2008. As a non-profit community health center, it serves those with Medicaid, Medicare, medical insurance, and those that do not have insurance, charging on a sliding fee scale based on annual household income and family size.

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