Hood View Members Improve Health Through CHIP

September 01, 2003 | Dora Redford

After years of planning, Hood View Church (Boring, Ore.) held its first Coronary Health Improvement Project (CHIP) for the community. Based on video presentations by Dr. Hans Diehl, CHIP is an intense, month-long lifestyle improvement program. Don Schafer, Hood View CHIP director, coordinated approximately 20 volunteers for this event.

The evening programs, which began April 6, were educational, motivating and just plain fun. Participants sat at the same table from night to night, and table hosts provided a hospitable touch. Having table teams was important for friendly competition.

Rick and Ann Westermeyer coordinated the exercise aspect of CHIP, and participants “walked” the Oregon Trail. Each table was named for a state along the trail, and each night the table that had logged the most miles achieved “lead wagon” status. A little model wagon, complete with oxen, went to that table for the evening. Participant Craig Church walked five miles a day, so his table consistently won the trophy.

Heather Leno and her volunteer staff provided edible treats each night. Leno also offered a brief introduction to healthy cooking, emphasizing shortcuts and quick-to-do entrees.

Among these CHIP participants, cholesterol levels came down an average of 10 percent, triglicerides were reduced by 17 percent, and most lost weight. Above all, the 68 graduates felt supported, encouraged and empowered to continue to live healthier lives.

Well-attended monthly CHIP alumni meetings have been inspirational and motivating. Most importantly, they provide a forum for alumni to continue to support one another.

Following several informational sessions and a health screening, the next Hood View CHIP meetings will begin Sunday, October 19.