Health issues are complex, and many of them cannot be fixed with a doctor’s appointment in an exam room. Health experts at CHP know that education is key to mental and physical health, and is shown to pay considerable dividends in prevention in the long run. Given the benefits, CHP has invested in multiple educational programs that are free and accessible to the communities they serve.
“Many of the root causes of health care education and behavior-related,” said John Gregory, director of CHP’s Learning Partners – the organization’s educational department. John oversees CHP’s five educational programs, primarily in Livingston, but also in the other communities that CHP serves. The Learning Partners team connects people with the resources they need, whether they’re provided by CHP or a community partner.
CHP delivers educational resources targeted at varying ages and phases of life, from newborns to kindergarteners, and young parents to seniors. Read on to learn about each of the programs CHP offers and how they can be a resource to you or someone you know.
This program provides education for adults of all ages and backgrounds. For those who didn’t receive a high school diploma, it can prepare you to take the High School Equivalency Test (often called the HiSET), which allows you to earn an equivalent degree. Trained staff members help you develop an individualized study plan, provide tutoring, and administer a pretest. You can also take the test onsite at the Livingston Learning Partners location. This program is available to the 16-year-old who left high school early or the 65-year-old who wants to achieve their degree later in life, and everyone in between.
More than diplomas, the Adult Education program can help prepare people for a variety of life endeavors – a driver’s license exam, a food handler certification, or heading into an interview for a job. Need help writing a resume or applying for post-secondary education? CHP also can help with that. We’re proud to say that last year, our adult education program helped 37 adults pass a high school equivalency exam or advance their education in pursuit of a job or post-secondary education.
For children, the period between birth and five-years-old is the most crucial for development and overall health, which is why it’s so important for parents to have support during these years. To help provide that support, Parents as Teachers matches a parent educator (sometimes called a home visitor) with a family with one or more zero- to five-year-olds, and can visit the family twice a month for two or more years. The educator’s main role is to support the parents through parenting and provide helpful guidance around child development, age-appropriate activities, how to create secure parent-child attachment, and more. They’re available to help with everything, from teaching children to managing a busy schedule as new parents and supporting parents’ emotional and behavioral health.
In 2019, our Parents as Teachers home visiting program provided 1,129 home visits to families. Parents as Teachers is a year-round program and has been flexible during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are available in both Livingston and West Yellowstone.
Similar to Parents as Teachers, the Livingston-based Parent Liaisons program provides support to parents with one or more children in kindergarten to fifth grade. Available to any parent in Livingston, Parent Liaisons can offer help for many things a parent may be struggling with. Some may struggle with getting their child ready for school; others may need help finding more consistent shelter or food resources. Parent Liaisons can help address these issues and anything in between.
This program helps parents set themselves and their children up for long-term health and success, relieving some of the burdens in their home life. Parents can call or meet with their Parent Liaison one time for one question, or they can contact them every week. There is no commitment or enrollment. Parent Liaisons have offices in the elementary schools and the program operates during the school year.
Research has shown that children see lifelong benefits when their parents read aloud to them each day. That’s why CHP participates in the national Reach Out and Read program, which partners with pediatric care providers to encourage reading for parents and children. Because of its proven health benefits, CHP health providers give parents 0- to 8-year-olds an age-appropriate book at every clinic visit and make reading a “doctor-recommended” activity. In 2019, the program put 1,144 new, age-appropriate books in the hands of young children.
CHP’s Pathways Family Advocate helps families on Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF). Family advocates work with parents to create a plan and achievable goals for the future, including gaining employment and becoming self-sufficient, helping them to get off of government assistance. Last year, CHP’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Pathways) program provided 32 families with intensive case management.
If you or someone you know in the Livingston area might benefit from these services, or if you have general questions about Learning Partners’ programs, reach out to John Gregory at (406) 823-6356.