Promoting Healthy Living
Alzheimer's Academy - Amarillo
The Alzheimer's Academy was established in 2003 and provides education for the community
about all aspects of Alzheimer's Disease. It is a collaborative effort of Texas Tech
University Health Science Center, the Alzheimer's Association and the Area Agency
on Aging. Texas Tech physicians advise patients and family members about the disease,
answer questions, provide counseling and navigate patients to community resources.
There is a senior assessment clinic for consultation by community physicians. The
Alzheimer's Academy provides lunch seminars and lectures about dementia that are open
to the public. The program is sponsored by a $390,000 grant from the Amarillo Area
Foundation and the May E. Bivins Foundation.
CATCH in Rural Schools
The West Texas Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program has assisted 44 rural elementary
schools with obtaining a comprehensive children's health curriculum, some PE equipment,
and curriculum training. Texas state law now requires elementary schools to implement
by 2007 a coordinated school health program approved by the Texas Education Agency.
Because this was an unfunded mandate, many school districts have struggled with implementation.
CATCH stands for Coordinated Approach To Child Health (formerly known as Child and
Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health), which was the largest school-based health
promotion study ever done in the United States. The curriculum is designed to prevent
sedentary behavior, poor dietary choices, and tobacco usage at the elementary school
level. This program includes K-5th physical education "CATCH PE"; heart health classroom
curricula and family components for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades; an "Eat Smart" school
nutrition program guide for school cafeterias; and Family Fun Night activities. Classroom
curriculum is now available for K-2nd grades, and West Texas AHEC is working to help
schools add this component.
Participating schools have been collecting body mass index (BMI) data since the beginning
of implementation, so that baseline data and annual data are available to assess improvements.
TTUHSC's Office of Rural and Community Health assists schools with processing this
information so that they can track their progress in improving their children's health.
Healthy Lubbock is a community-wide collaborative effort to address the developing
health crisis of overweight and obesity. The effort educates the public about the
threat of being overweight and the related health risks of diabetes, heart disease,
hypertension and orthopedic problems. The initiative also helps to develop creative,
practical solutions which make sense in Lubbock.
Elder Law Seminars
Informing health care professionals and future health care professionals is another
integral aspect of the Garrison Institute on Aging. One form of class that is provided
for health care professionals is Elder Law Seminars. The seminars have been conducted
by Glen Provost, J.D., M.P.H, Chief Planning and Project Development. Our upcoming
classes will be in Amarillo on July 12th and El Paso on August 22nd.
Topics will include:
- Characteristics of dementia that pose potential legal problems
- Legal issues for patients, caregivers, and health professionals
- Important steps that can be taken to prevent or minimize dementia-related legal problems
Lecture Series for the Public on Healthy Aging
Educating the community plays a key role in the mission of the Garrison Institute
on Aging. One form of community outreach that the Institute provides is the Lecture
Series on Healthy Aging. The community is invited to participate in the free lectures
that are in the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Academic Classroom Building,
Room 100, from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. During each lecture, coffee, tea, and cookies are
provided. The fall schedule is as follows:
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is focusing significant resources to
address the issues of rural health disparities. Health disparities can be due to many
factors including geographic location, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and language
and cultural barriers. In West Texas, with it's largely rural population - much of
which is considered frontier-as well as it's shared border with Mexico, the factors
creating health disparities are compounded by fragile health care infrastructure across
much of the region.
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center has established the West Texas Rural
EXPORT Center, an NIH-funded $1.2 million three-year project to address health disparities
in rural West Texas. This project's focus is to utilize multi-disciplinary efforts
that cross institutional boundaries to connect statistics to solutions.
The West Texas Atlas of Rural and Community Health is a collaborative effort between
the TTUHSC Office of Rural and Community Health (ORCH) and the TTU Department of Economics
and Geography, this project has worked over the past three years to develop the underlying
database and statistical information necessary for geospatial analysis of important
issues affecting rural West Texas. Maps and materials are available online and in
published reports; several specific maps have won national awards.