It’s an honor and privilege to positively impact health and quality of life for our patients and our community. At Altru, we have been specifically focused on initiatives stemming from our 2013 Community Health Needs Assessment. Two top priorities include reducing obesity and increasing colorectal cancer screening rate.
Walking toward Wellness
As part of Healthy Choices Greater Grand Forks, we are inspiring adults and youth to make walking a daily habit. Together, we aim to create change in our community to make the healthy choice the easy choice for our community. Our overall goals include:
- By 2018, reduce the proportion of adults in Grand Forks County who are considered obese from 23 percent to 20 percent. (2012 North Dakota Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System results)
- By 2018, reduce the proportion of high school students grades 9–12 in Region 4 who are considered obese from 14.1 percent to 12 percent. (2011 North Dakota Youth Risk Behavior Survey results)
Throughout June, we’re promoting #30DaysofRunning, part of the overall Walking Challenge. Whether running, biking, walking or rollerblading, any kind of movement counts. (It all adds up in the fight against obesity.) So far, we’ve logged 100,280 miles in 2015, which is the equivalent of burning ~10,000,000 calories.
No Butts about It
Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. When detected early, it is treatable.
One of our goals is to increase the proportion of the eligible population (ages 50-75) who have had appropriate colorectal screenings from 57 percent to 57.5 percent. And we’re making progress: In the first four months of the year, 59.5 percent of the eligible population was screened.
The average cost of a screening colonoscopy is $1,800. Last year’s Harvest Gala provided $260,000 of funding for Altru’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Initiative. The amount will be increased by proceeds of this year’s Run for Your Buns 5K, held this past Saturday, June 13. By encouraging colonoscopies, we’re potentially saving lives.
Educate, Encourage, Enrich
The human body doesn’t come with an owner’s manual. Health information is readily available online—some good, some bad. We’re adding to the good information. Enrich is a new publication and online resource center that contains helpful tips and insights from leading experts at Altru. Filled with providers’ perspectives and national research, the articles can guide your pursuit of healthy lifestyle choices.
As Chief Planning Executive, Dennis Reisnour leads the development of Altru’s strategic plan and directs the marketing, communication and overall management of Altru’s brand. In his spare time, he enjoys time at the cabin, culinary explorations and spending time with his granddaughters.