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Trillium Aims Prevention Efforts at Kids

September 30, 2013


September 30, 2013 –Trillium Community Health Plan, the Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) in Lane County believes in the power of prevention and sees an opportunity to work with local school districts to help kid’s live healthier lives.


Trillium has invested $1.33 per member per month, or nearly $900,000 annually in prevention initiatives, including tobacco and obesity prevention. These initiatives include strategies aimed at school aged children.


“If we want to be successful in our prevention efforts, we really need to start with children,” says Holly Jo Hodges, MD, Trillium Medical Director. “Preventing tobacco use or obesity is much easier than intervening after unhealthy behaviors have become bad habits.” 14% of Lane County’s 11th graders use tobacco and 24.5% are overweight or obese. Tobacco use and obesity cost millions in healthcare dollars each year and the health issues they cause are preventable.


The Good Behavior Game, (GBG) is an evidence based elementary school curriculum for kids in Kindergarten thru second grade, providing teachers with a classroom management tool that has over 20 years of research supporting its effectiveness in preventing smoking initiation, drug and alcohol abuse, and social/psychological disorders in young people. Longitudinal studies have demonstrated up to 50% reduction in smoking initiation by age 15 for students who ‘played’ the game during the first grade.


In the Bethel School District, Danebo Elementary School’s title 1 reading program uses the GBG. “Teachers have seen classroom behavior improve as a result of this curriculum,” says Colt Gill, Bethel Superintendent and Trillium Board member. As part of their tobacco prevention strategy, Trillium is offering the curriculum to an additional 50 classrooms in Lane County schools where at least 70% of the student body qualifies for free or reduced lunch.


The BMI Assessment ‘tool’ is a process that uses a set of documented procedures to schedule, collect, store, transmit, and analyze BMI measurements in elementary schools. The Bethel School District has been collecting this data for five years. “I am excited about the investment Trillium is making by expanding the use of this tool to other schools in Lane County,” Gill adds.


The Trillium CCO wants to get the word out to all school districts in Lane County. The Good Behavior Game training is scheduled for October at Lane ESD. The curriculum (valued at $200) is provided at no cost. Information about BMI screening will be available soon.