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PALS and PALS 4 Good earns Statewide Recognition

Hospital news | Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Contact: Sasha Dull

The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) Foundation recognized an initiative led by Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital designed to promote successful, safe, and healthy students. The 2013 Global Vision Community Partnership Award was presented to the PALS Mentoring and PALS 4 Good summer programs for providing education to reduce substance abuse, encourage healthy eating, and physical activity.

This annual competitive grant award is presented to a community health initiative that successfully addresses a documented community health need. The Award, launched by the WHA Foundation, Inc. in 1995, seeks to recognize and support ongoing projects that support improving the community’s health.

PALS (People Actively Linked with Students) was established by Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital in 2003 through their Crawford Abuse Resistance Effort (C.A.R.E.) program. PALS matches high school students with at-risk elementary youth for the purpose of engaging young people in healthy decision making. PALS 4 Good summer camps focus on the six pillars of character: respect, responsibility, caring, fairness, trustworthiness, and citizenship. Initially piloted in the Prairie du Chien School District, PALS has grown to provide programming in all four school districts in Crawford County. Most recently, the summer camps have targeted childhood obesity and inactivity with a Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies approach.

WHA Foundation Director Jennifer Frank says the Global Vision Award submissions received by the WHA Foundation each year are wonderful examples of the types of projects that Wisconsin hospitals sponsor regularly, which are designed to address a documented need and improve the overall health status of their communities.

Rick Peterson, Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital C.A.R.E. Director stated, “We are honored to receive this recognition from the WHA Foundation. Healthy eating, being physically active, achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a collective community responsibility and PALS is truly a collaborative effort. Many individuals, agencies and organizations make the PALS programs a reality.”

The following partners provide resources to sustain and enhance PALS: Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital/C.A.R.E., Children’s Advisory Board, Juvenile Court Worker/Mentor Coordinator, UW-Extension 4-H and Family Living Agents, Healthy Roots Coalition, Crawford County Wellness Network, Public Health and the Crawford County Schools are integrally involved in PALS.

Projects submitted to the WHA Foundation for the Global Vision Award must be nominated by a WHA member hospital; demonstrate viable partnerships with community entities; utilize creative approaches to meet documented community health needs, and have been in operation for a minimum of two years. Award winners received a commemorative plaque and an unrestricted grant of $2,500 to support the program.

Pictured during the award presentation from left: Sam Peterson; Sierra Bulawa; Morgan Groom; Hali Fischer; Steve Brenton, Wisconsin Hospital Association President; Rick Peterson, PdC Memorial Hospital C.A.R.E. Director; Molly Peterson; Allison Krogan; Kathy Quamme, Juvenile Court Worker/Mentoring Coordinator; and Jane Schaaf, UW Extension Family Living Agent. The youth pictured have been involved in PALS as participants, youth mentors and/or helpers. Not pictured: Ellen Zwirlein, PdC Memorial Hospital Director of Patient Services; and Amy Mitchell, UW Extension 4-H Youth Development Agent.