Health Education, Promotion
For information on any of
these Programs call: 221-2092
The programs of the Health Education, Promotion and Training
Department reflect an operational goal, which has as its heart,
a concern for all of the citizens of Marion County. That goal
to collect and analyze data for the purpose of developing
and implementing programs which will be directed toward the improvement
of the health and well-being of all citizens of Marion County.
Key definitions which guide and support these programs are:
"the continuum of learning which enables people, as individuals
and as members of social structures, to voluntarily make decisions,
modify behaviors and change social conditions in ways which are
"the aggregate of all purposeful activities designed to
improve personal and public health through a
combination of strategies, including the competent
implementation of behavioral change strategies, health education,
health protection measures, risk factor detection, health enhancement
and health maintenance"
Using the concepts embodied in Health Education and Health
Promotions as the framework for the delivery of programs to the
citizens of the community, the Department works in collaboration
with other programs, including Healthy Indy
Partnership and Back to School Day which is comprised
of comprehensive physicals, birth records, immunizations, sport
physicals, and hearing, eye and lead level screenings. Further,
the department promotes National Public Health Week, Indiana
Black Expo, Minority Health Fair, National Neighborhood
Health Center Week, Red Ribbon Week, National Safe
Kid Week and National Monthly Health Issue Observances.
The organization and management of the Speakers Bureau of the
Marion County Health Department, is also the responsibility of
The major delivery structures for the department are categorized
into two components: HEALTH PROMOTIONS and the A.C.T.I.O.N. Center.
Each of these components consists of a comprehensive set of programs
designed to meet the major goal of assessment and improvement
of the health and well being of all Marion County citizens.
- School Health - (221-2052)
School Health Promotion provides several different services including
school health fairs for school-aged children and adolescents.
Among the programs are:
- Teen Health Risk Appraisal
This program is administered in health classes throughout Marion
County middle schools. The Teen Health Risk Appraisal is used
to diagnose behavioral risk factors among the community's adolescent
population. The appraisal is comprised of 56 questions about
personal behavior. Additionally, female respondents were asked
to answer three more questions related to menstruation and breast
cancer. The male respondents were given an opportunity to answer
questions regarding scrotal/testicular examination. The results
of the interpreted appraisal can be used as an educational tool
in assisting the youth to gain a greater understanding of the
relationships of age, race, sex, inherited characteristics, behaviors
and selected causes of death. Each participant receives a computerized
printout that provides results of their individualized health
assessment. Teachers also receive comprehensive group data for
the purpose of identifying the greatest risks among their students.
- Mascot Program
This program is comprised of seven unique characters that spend
their day promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors. These friendly
characters are available for loan to schools and groups sponsoring
health education programs for preschool children through grade
wants everyone to know how much fun it is to be
alcohol and drug-free.
Healthy Heart Man
wants everyone to take care of his/her heart.
wants everyone to become physically fit.
wants everyone to eat a well balanced diet.
wants everyone to learn how to manage stress.
wants everyone to know that smoking is harmful.
Buckle Up Bunny
wants everyone to buckle up their seat belt.
Louie the Lamb
wants everyone to know the effects and
consequences of violent behavior.
- Tobacco Education
This program targets grades K-5. The program emphasizes student
awareness of the chemical effects of tobacco use, the effects
of advertisements, the effects of smoke in the environment (second
hand smoke) and the impact upon the physical self. Also we are
partnering with the Indiana State Board of Health Smoking Program,
Tar Wars Program and the Healthy Indy Partnership.
- Community Health - (221-2087)
Community Health Education focuses on educating the elderly population
about healthy lifestyle choices.
- Senior Fitness - The Silver Striders is a
low-cost walking program designed for adults 50 years of age/plus.
It has been developed to encourage and educate residents of Marion
County and surrounding counties of the benefits of walking for
fun and fitness.
- The Vial of Life is a 911 Emergency Aid for individuals
50 years of age/plus. Each individual who participates in the
program receives an actual vial container into which is placed
an information form containing medical and/or other significant
information to be readily available for use by emergency
personnel in the event there is an emergency situation.
- The Church Health Program is designed to increase
community awareness of different health related issues and to
encourage the efforts of individuals in making healthy lifestyle
- Home Safety is a project scheduled to begin in 1999.
The program is funded by Lowe's Home Stores, and is an educational
program to be held at the Ruth Lilly Center (at Methodist Hospital).
Seniors will be educated on home safety and will receive cash
vouchers to be used for purchases of supplies for use in home
- National Health Issues - This program is presently
being developed as an Outreach pilot project. It will be offered
at a major local shopping mall, focusing on selected, identified
issues correlating with the Monthly National Health Observances.
- Senior Fitness and Wellness
This is a project designated for future development at an already
determined location. Equipment is already available for the location.
Two other areas for future development are in the areas of Domestic
Violence and Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs.
- Worksite Health - (221-2083)
Worksite Health provides consultation/liaison services to small
businesses and industry in Marion County that wish to initiate
health promotion activities for their employee population. Worksite
Health provides service to businesses and industry by facilitating
access to health screening and intervention in lifestyle diseases.
Additionally, this program promotes physical activity programs
through active outreach efforts and coordination through company
representatives, such as Human Resources, Personnel Departments
and Health Service providers.
- Wellness in Motion
The Wellness in Motion program was developed to provide employees
with screening and educational opportunities as part of a comprehensive
in-house initiative to improve the health of Marion County Health
Department employees and the community. Wellness in Motion provides
employees with an opportunity to be screened for Total and HDL
cholesterol levels, body composition, and blood pressures as
examples. Staff in the Wellness in Motion program collaborate
with other departments such as Nutrition Services and Chronic
Disease to provide the employees with continuing educational
experiences which inform the employee of proper physical fitness
and nutritional lifestyle habits.
- Physical Activity and Fitness
As a part of the Worksite Health Promotion program, physical
activity and fitness is promoted through providing intramural
sport opportunities (seasonal) as well as other seasonal activities
such as golf outings.
- INJURY PREVENTION - (221-2045)
The Injury Prevention program provides educational programs and
materials for the purpose of promoting awareness of how to avoid
and prevent unintentional injuries.
This is an interactive village designed to teach children in
Kindergarten through Grade 2 about personal safety, home safety,
transportation safety, playground safety, and first aid as some
of the relevant safety issues.
- The Injury Prevention program coordinates the Indianapolis
SAFE KIDS Coalition, which is part of the National
SAFE KIDS Campaign in Washington, D.C. The mission of
the Indianapolis SAFE KIDS Coalition is to decrease the
injury and death rates of children due to unintentional injuries
in the Indianapolis area. The program focuses on preventing child
injury in the areas of: bicycling; playground falls; poisons;
fires; school bus; firearms; toys; fireworks; traffic safety;
home safety and water safety.
- Risk Watch
This program is for children ages 14 and under. The #1 health
risk is not kidnapping, drugs or disease - it is INJURY.
The statistics are staggering. Traffic injuries, drownings, fires
and burns, firearm injuries, falls, poisonings (identified as
unintentional injuries) and each year kill more than 7,000 children
each year and permanently disable more than 50,000. Thirteen
million children are injured seriously enough to require medical
attention. Risk Watch helps kids beat the odds. With proper education,
children can learn to be much safer and prevent injuries.
Risk Watch addresses the following areas:
Motor Vehicle Safety Fires and Burn Prevention,
Choking, Poison, Falls, Firearm Prevention,
Bicycle and Pedestrian Crossing, Water Safety,
Suffocation and Strangulation Prevention.
The curriculum for this program will be implemented in 1999
through the SAFE KIDS COALITION and the Health Educators of the
Marion County Health Department.
The Injury Prevention program is also responsible for the
collection and reporting of E-Code data from local hospitals.
The Health Department has an accurate and current database of
injuries occurring in Marion County, gathered from the Emergency
Room data of the seven participating hospitals. The data analysis
will be utilized as an evaluative tool in developing, planning
and implementing future/further injury control programs.
- NEIGHBORHOOD HEALTH CENTERS (221-2089)
The Neighborhood Health Centers offer comprehensive services
to the surrounding community. Services include laboratory, radiology,
pharmacy, podiatry, family planning, dentistry, family counseling
and prenatal care, in addition to active health education and
promotion services. Health Education-Lifeskills is being taught
weekly in the Neighborhood Health Centers to adolescents on Alcohol,
Tobacco and other Drugs (ATOD), sexually transmitted infections
(STI) and Teen Pregnancy - in Citizens Ambulatory Health Center,
and Wishard Hospital Health Centers/Blackburn Center, Westside
Center, Forest Manor Center and Grassy Creek Center. On National
Depression Day, there is a collaborative effort with Mental Health,
Marion County Health Department, and the seven neighborhood health
centers, of which six are federally qualified (*), and
identified as follows:
Barrington Health Center *
3401 E. Raymond Street
Indianapolis, IN 46403
Citizens Ambulatory Health Center * 1650 N. College Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46402
Southeast Health Center *
901 Shelby Street
Indianapolis, IN 46203
Gennesaret Free Clinic
631 E. New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
People's Health Center *
2340 E. 10th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46201
Southwest Health Center *
2202 W. Morris Street
Indianapolis, IN 46221
Martindale-Brightwood Center *
2502 E. 28th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46218
- VIOLENCE PREVENTION - (221-2085)
The focus of the Violence Prevention Program is to both increase
and strengthen the community's knowledge and response toward
violence and related issues. Program efforts involve collaboration,
event coordination, community organization and education, maintenance
of a violence statistics database, program initiatives and other
activities aimed at reducing violence in Marion County. The goal
for this program is to increase the awareness and overall knowledge
of children and adults in the community regarding gun safety,
personal safety, the effects of violence and alternatives to
violent behavior. Educational messages are presented via public
service announcements and other similar video programs.
ACTION Health Center
- Child Abuse Prevention
The program is comprised of educational sessions that acquaint
students, staff members and other individuals or groups with
the forms to be used, signs of abuse, steps to take in ending
personal victimization and how to respond to the self-disclosure
from victims. Each session involves the discussion of scenarios
and the use of video or workbook activities.
- Conflict Resolution, Education and Mediation
This program is based upon the principle that individuals are
capable of acting responsibly in finding their own peaceful solutions
in conflict situations. Educational activities increase participants'
knowledge and understanding of the characteristics, effectiveness
and possible consequences in the use of various conflict response
styles. Participants have the opportunity to learn techniques
for positive and effective communication with others. Workshops
are also available to train students, staff members and other
individuals in the conflict mediation process, or in the development
of conflict mediation programs. Training sessions that teach
the mediation process usually require at least 8 - 10 hours.
The hours can be divided into 2 or 3 days. The length of time
required for program development training varies according to
the needs of each group or organization.
- Domestic Violence Prevention
This program has two major components. The program is designed
to provide community education concerning the nature, effects
and consequences of domestic violence, and secondly, to build
upon collaborative opportunities with other organizations and
agencies. The goal of the collaborative effort is to assist in
the interruption of the cycles of violence for victims. The program
staff seeks to increase the availability of resources, programs
and other related services for victims, offenders and other affected
- Gang Awareness and Prevention
This program provides an overview of obvious aspects of gang
activity such as myths, trends, common characteristics of gangs,
gang member profiles, reasons for membership, levels of involvement,
the roles of female members and the use of graffiti. Prevention
components equip children and teenagers to make healthy choices
by increasing their understanding of the realities and consequences
of gang involvement.
- Gun Safety Education
This program emphasizes various principles of gun safety. In
addition to basic safety tips, children and teenagers learn alternatives
to violence, alternatives to gun possession for personal safety
and what to do if they find a gun. Adult education promotes both
the safe storage and the responsible use of guns.
- Gun Trigger Lock Distribution
This program promotes safe and responsible storage of guns by
providing free trigger locks to individuals. The locks are distributed
at health fairs and other special events and/or to individuals
on a "walk-in" basis. Each lock is a simple, sturdy
device with a center post that prevents movement of the trigger
when it is properly attached. The locks will easily attach to
most handguns, shotguns and rifles. One trigger lock is available
- Outreach and Intervention
This program is aimed at individual, family, organizational and/or
community crises. Activities involve various levels of intervention
focusing on domestic, school and community violence, gang activity
and disputes, and other related situations in which conflict
or the potential for violence exists.
- School Violence Prevention
This program is based upon staff members participating in workshops
that focus on building layout, student supervision, school policies
and procedures, staff communication, communications equipment,
school security, classroom management and other factors relating
to the planning of a safe educational environment. Workshops
can also be planned to address specific issues, such as gang
activity and racial tension.
- Substance Abuse Prevention
This educational program is primarily targeted toward students
in the total school program - elementary grades through high
school levels. The program components include prevention-based
activities and discussion of topics such as drug abuse and the
harmful effects of drugs on the body, as well as other consequences
of drug use and possession.
- Violence Prevention
Educational programs are designed to increase the participants'
overall awareness in a variety of areas such as the forms of
violence, the effects of violence on families and communities,
and the roles of movie violence and music (MTV) in contributing
to violent behavior. The programs can also be planned to focus
on various areas such as date rape or workplace violence. In
addition, program content may include personal safety tips and
both the process and benefits of conflict resolution.
- Violence Statistics Database
Statistical databases are available for a variety of violent
crimes occurring within the city, county and state. The database
includes both current and past year statistical sources for juvenile
and adults. In addition to violent crime data, the database also
includes statistics on drug use.
Adolescent Care Team In Our Neighborhood Center - (221-3400)
The A.C.T.I.O.N. Center was established in 1988, marking a
milestone in the development of specialized health services for
the adolescent population in Indianapolis. The center added an
innovative element to the program's existing components by offering
a comprehensive range of medical and social services to teens
at one location. Collaborating agencies established offices on-site
at the A.C.T.I.O.N. Center, providing easy access for teens to
needed services. The A.C.T.I.O.N. Center also provides opportunities
for teens to take an active role in improving their health. Programs
currently offered include childbirth education, parenting classes,
support groups, Safe Sitter classes as well as other innovative
programs as follows:
- Teens Taking Action
This program was developed as a life-skills program for males
ages 11-15. The program includes classroom instruction on various
health topics; mentoring/tutoring sessions' computer training;
a fitness component; recreational activities and field trips.
"Teens Taking Action" is part of the Indianapolis Healthy
- Teens In Charge (Teen Board)
This program was designed to provide teens with an opportunity
to play an integral part in the development and implementation
of programs affecting their lives. "Teens In Charge"
is a Board comprised of teenagers from the entire county. Further,
the program gives adolescents the opportunity to have input into
the program, and responsibility to assist with the planning of
health education programs at the A.C.T.I.O.N. Center; participate
in A.C.T.I.O.N. Center activities; and increase their knowledge
of health issues which are important to their making healthy
choices for living healthy and productive lives. "Teens
in Charge" is a fun, exciting program. We strongly encourage
all interested youth to participate.
The following programs comprise a part of the Adolescent
Family Life Project which is designed to promote a positive approach
toward sexual abstinence and to educate adolescents about the
consequences of premarital sexual behavior. Programs encourage
students to be and to remain abstinent. The health educators
conducting this program reinforce these principles by presenting
content which enables students an opportunity to increase their
personal skills in such important areas as: decision-making;
how to handle peer pressure; gaining greater confidence and self-esteem
and other assertive skills necessary to remain abstinent. Students
also are given simulator dolls to engage them in a pseudo-realism
experience of parenthood. Both a pre-test and a post-test are
given to measure the effectiveness of these programs.
Our Life Skills program is one in which students are taught
necessary skills for survival. Issues such as personal hygiene,
sexuality, career development, goal setting, decision-making
are some of the many presented for the purpose of increasing
the teens' understanding of how their participation affects their
life's direction for the future. This program is strictly voluntary.
No student is mandated to attend.
- Sex Can Wait
This is a Sexuality curriculum, developed for middle school and
high school students, which is geared toward promoting sexual
abstinence; communicating clearly and effectively; and the exploration
of how present behavior can impact and influence future goals
and plans. Many lessons include homework assignments to be done
by parents and students together, giving young people an opportunity
to learn about their parents' beliefs and experiences and, at
the same time, provide an opportunity for parents to participate
in the learning process of their children.
- Baby Think It Over
The program curriculum is based primarily on an infant simulator
which realistically involves teens in an instant parenthood experience.
The simulator dolls (babies) are programmed to cry sporadically
and monitor the promptness in which care giving is provided.
A key/probe is attached to the wrist of each caregiver and simulates
feelings. The babies are designed also to detect if a student
tries to tamper with the electronic monitoring device. This device
gives a digital readout, which indicates the total number of
minutes the doll cried, how many times it cried and whether or
not the baby was handled roughly or neglected in any way. Additionally,
some babies are programmed as colicky or drug-dependent babies.
The program provides participants with diaper bags, car seats,
carriers and strollers to provide for a more realistic experience.
After all the hassle of carrying around necessary baby equipment,
coupled with sleep deprivation, all the glamorization of parenthood
is greatly diminished.
- Managing Pressures Before Marriage
This curriculum, designed for pre-teens and teenagers, utilizes
a video series that will highlight a view of abstinence to enable
the teen to distinguish between a social relationship from one
involving a sexual experience. The message that it is a wiser
choice/value to postpone having sex will be the single focus
of this program. Repetition and reinforcement is the style that
will be used in educating the participants in the program. Each
lesson in the module will stress the message of "postponement",
will review previous learning and build the skills needed to
counter pressures to become sexually involved.
- Brother to Brother
This is a life skills curriculum. The objectives of the curriculum
are designed to promote abstinence, enhance cultural and self-esteem,
provide or promote a positive value system and assist male adolescents
in setting reasonable educational and career goals. In addition,
information is presented on male health issues, male/female relationships,
contraception and sexually transmitted diseases.
- Growing Up Black and Proud
This curriculum presents life skills information. The objectives
developed for the curriculum are designed to promote cultural
identity, enhance communication, skills in conflict resolution
and decision making abilities. (Additional information is
presented on dealing with peer pressure and alcohol and other
For further information on any program, please call (317) 221-2092
Health Educators are placed in all IPS schools (elementary,
middle and high schools), community organizations, after-school
programs, housing units, neighborhood centers, and assist faculty
and staff in promoting an increased sense of personal health
and wellbeing. Some of these services include: Abstinence Support
Group; Adolescent Family Life/Pregnancy Prevention Program; Life
Skills Program; Sexuality Education and Resource Contact.
- Abstinence Support Group
This is an abstinence support group for males that is co-facilitated
by the Health Educator. The support group focuses on why one
should remain abstinent. This focus includes discussions on sexuality,
in particular, Sexually Transmitted Infections, Puberty (when
hormonal changes occur in the body), Teen pregnancy and emotional/psychological
issues surrounding sex. In addition, higher self-esteem is promoted
along with developing stronger refusal skills.
- Life Skills
This is a program in which students are taught necessary skills
for survival. Issues such as personal hygiene, sexuality, career
development, goal setting, decision-making are some of the many
presented for the purpose of increasing the teens' understanding
of how their participation affects their life's direction in
the future. This program is strictly voluntary. No student
is mandated to attend.
- Sexuality Education
This program is provided upon the request of teachers/faculty.
This includes, but is not limited to, the reproductive system,
puberty, menstruation, menopause, STIs and etc.
- Resource Contact
This particular area of the project involves providing the Health
Educator as a resource person for students, faculty and staff.
Students, faculty and staff are able to take pamphlets and informational
brochures on numerous health topics, for the purpose of enhancing
their knowledge and understanding. In addition, they are able
to check out videos, tapes and other educational materials for
their classes and/or personal use.
For further information on any of these programs call 226-4734
Additional services provided by Marion County Health Department/Health
Education, Promotion and Training Division and the Social Services
Division include the following: Anger Control Program; Conflict
Mediation; STI presentation; Gang Awareness Program and a Life
HEALTH OUTREACH LINKS
- Anger Control
This program involves the health educator assisting students
on how to cope with anger issues and provides them with ways
to deal with their anger for the purpose of decreasing the potential
for causing harm to themselves or others.
- Conflict Mediation
This program consists of the health educator, staff/faculty and
students working together to reduce conflicts of students. It
consists of four phases:
Phase I - Opening, Introductions, Overview of process and Ground
Phase II - Time where Disputants get the issues out
Phase III - Time for disputants to talk to each other about conflict
and establish common ground
Phase IV - Resolution agreement signed and closing statements
- Gang Awareness Program
This program is geared toward staff and faculty relative to knowledge
of gang operations, recruitment of members and the promotion/advertisement