March 26, 2007

Ariella HermanLOS ANGELES – A new health awareness training program for 5,000 Head Start and Early Head Start families will get underway in New Mexico this September. The program will be directed by the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Institute for Head Start and UCLA Anderson’s Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.

“The Health Care Institute has demonstrated that health literacy training is a useful tool in reducing health care costs,” says Dr. Ariella Herman, program founder and senior lecturer at UCLA Anderson School of Management.  “Since its inception, the program has positively impacted thousands of lives; children are healthier and families are leading happier, more productive lives.”

The training program was first launched via nationwide pilot sites in response to a study conducted by Dr. Herman at UCLA Anderson School of Management.  The 2001 study revealed that many parents were uneducated or misinformed about several aspects of their children’s health and relied heavily on the ER and local clinic for help when their children got sick, contributing to soaring health care costs and Medicaid spending, and overuse of emergency rooms.

Since 2002, the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Institute has trained over 10,000 low-income families in 55 Head Start programs nationwide.  Parents who have participated in the program’s pilot and follow-up training sessions have become better informed about their child’s health, reducing the number of unnecessary trips to an emergency room by 58 percent and visits to a clinic for common illnesses like a cold, cough, or mild fever by 42 percent. This also translated to a dramatic drop in the number of lost days at work (42 percent) and missed days at school (29 percent). 

As part of the training program, parents also receive a 180-page book called, “What To Do When Your Child Gets Sick,” covering more than 50 common childhood ailments, from a cough to head lice to asthma and chicken pox, with information on how to tell the difference between ailments that are treatable at home and those that need a doctor’s care.

The UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Institute training program for New Mexico is the first program to be endorsed by a State government and will be working in conjunction with the New Mexico Head Start Association and the New Mexico Head Start Collaboration Office. The program will train families in New Mexico over a two-year period and is supported by a $360,000 grant from Pfizer, Inc.

Head Start and Early Head Start provide comprehensive services to low income children from birth through age five. The program was established in 1964 and serves primarily four year old children in a comprehensive setting.  Head Start fosters school-readiness, while supporting the needs of the whole child including physical, dental, mental health, and nutrition.  Family involvement is critical to the success of the program and is encouraged at each site. Head Start is responsive to the child’s culture, ethnicity, and language.

About the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Institute for Head Start
The Health Care Institute is designed to better prepare parents to address the health care needs of their children. The Institute strives to provide Head Start agencies tools and the resources to lead an effective health care training program through empowerment and dissemination of knowledge. Visit Web site.

About the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
The Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, a recognized leader in entrepreneurial education, oversees all teaching, research, extracurricular and community activities related to entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson School of Management. The Price Center strives to provide academic and extracurricular experiences that advance both the theory and practice of entrepreneurship.

About UCLA Anderson School of Management
UCLA Anderson School of Management, established in 1935, is regarded among the very best business schools in the world. UCLA Anderson faculty are ranked #1 in "Intellectual Capital" by BusinessWeek and are renowned for their teaching excellence and research in advancing management thinking. Each year, UCLA Anderson provides management education to more than 1,600 students enrolled in MBA, Executive MBA, Fully-Employed MBA and doctoral programs, and to more than 2,000 professional managers through executive education programs. Combining highly selective admissions, varied and innovative learning programs, and a world-wide network of 35,000 alumni, UCLA Anderson develops and prepares global leaders.

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