Thursday, July 19, 2012
Two York College Behavioral Sciences faculty members have teamed up with The Women's Healthcare Group (WHCG) in York on a project to ensure women receive the services they need for a healthy pregnancy.
Jennifer Engler and Carla Strassle, both associate professors of psychology, have been collaborating with the administration of The Women’s Healthcare Group since spring 2010 in developing the Healthy Mommies and Babies project. Through the project, all pregnant women seeking services at WHCG are being asked to complete a series of surveys. The goal of the research is to identify factors related to healthy pregnancies so that better services can be provided to all women in the future to maximize the health of the mother and baby, according to Engler.
"We are asking the women to complete a number of surveys that ask a variety of questions," she said. "Some of the general areas that they tap into include how people respond to stress, recent problems they may have experienced, close relationships, and their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors."
"A lot of factors go into the decisions we make as individuals that ultimately have an impact on our health," said Deron Schriver, executive administrator for WHCG, who worked with the York College faculty to set up the project. "Some of these factors include our lifestyle, emotions and our attitudes about ourselves and the world around us. The healthcare community would benefit greatly if we can show links between these factors and health outcomes."
"There is tremendous potential to enhance the care provided by WHCG and healthcare providers everywhere," he said. "What we could learn could be applied throughout the entire healthcare spectrum, but in this case we're looking at pregnancy, in particular."
As incentive, patients who choose to speak with Strassle and Engler while they are on-site at WHCG are given an infant onesie that was made for the project. Participants are also given the option to enter into a raffle to win gift cards.
Patients have responded very favorably to this project, according to Schriver. "I think it demonstrates how much we care about their health and the health of their babies, and our desire to provide the highest level of care possible."