St. Lawrence County Health Initiative Service

Mission is to reduce the burden of chronic disease in both individuals and the
community by empowering individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to live healthier lives and by creating community-wide policy, environment, and practice changes to increase options for healthy living.

SLCHI concentrates on three main health issues identified by a community needs assessment:

increasing access to healthcare for all county residents and promoting preventive health care;
reducing the incidence of substance abuse through education, prevention and treatment opportunities, with a focus on youth tobacco cessation; and increasing opportunities for sound nutrition and physical activity.

Worksite Wellness Program
Our mission is to improve the health of the community. Our mission will help you have the best workforce possible.

SLCHI contracts with area businesses to provide work-site health promotion and wellness services. These include reaching employees with health information through organization-wide approaches and working with employees individually to assist them with making healthy lifestyle choices.


SLCHI works with each business to develop the best package to reach their employees and to create the best return-on-investment possible. Services include:

Personal Wellness Profiles(PWP)
The PWP is a confidential survey assessing health risk factors with the intent of helping employees make healthy lifestyle choices. Individual reports are generated for each employee and the employee has the option of meeting with the Preventive Health Coordinator to identify health improvement targets and to develop a personal prevention plan. A group report is generated to assist each company in assessing employee health and potential health improvement targets. PWPs are effective self-evaluation tools and company evaluation tools!

Organizational Approach to Health Education
An organizational approach means reaching all employees with general health education. These services include maintaining educational bulletin boards, providing employees with educational brochures, providing regular article submissions to the company’s newsletter, “health tips” paycheck stuffers and email health tips. These are great ways to reach all employees with health information!

Smoking Cessation
The SLCHI staff is trained to provide both individual and group support for employees who want to quit smoking. For those who want to “go it alone”, SLCHI will provide the employees with a comprehensive self-help packet. Employees are able to contact SLCHI staff for on-going support during their quit attempt. Informational materials for individuals not ready to commit to quitting are also provided with the goal of assisting them in becoming ready to quit.

Congratulations to Dawna LaRue.
Through participation in a worksite Walking Club, she lost over 17 lbs. and walked over 200 miles!

We can help you get your employees on the path to a healthier life!

SLCHI staff conduct on-site cooking demonstrations for employees. Lunch & Learns, focusing on the Food Guide Pyramid and how to decipher nutritional information on labels, are another option for helping employees to make healthy choices. Presentations on nutrition cover topics such as weight loss and management, reading food labels, the food guide pyramid and creating healthy meals on a tight schedule. SLCHI will work with company food services to increase healthy food choices for employees.

SLCHI physical activity presentations cover topics such as simple ways to increase physical activity and how to fit physical activity into a busy schedule. Other topics include weight management, finding time for exercise and preventing back strain. SLCHI will work with you to get your employees moving and more physically active!

Walking Clubs
Walking clubs are extremely popular with area employees. SLCHI staff work closely with participants to set appropriate goals for total steps or miles and provide encouragement and incentives for milestones reached.

Stress Management
Fun and interactive presentations on identifying and managing stressors, and techniques for minimizing stress.

Preventive Health
Blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes screenings are held on-site in cooperation with St. Lawrence County Public Health. SLCHI staff conduct presentations on chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes and on cancer risk reduction. Screenings and education are great opportunities for working toward improving employee wellness.

Research and Supporting Data
The field of worksite health is growing rapidly. Many organizations and universities conduct research to document the return-on-investment (ROI) of a healthy workforce. Below are some sites to assist you in accessing the most recent research.

If you would like more information about evaluation and worksite health promotion, please call Anne Snell at the Health Initiative, 261-4760.

University of Michigan Health Management Research Center –
Health Enhancement Research Organization –
Benefits of a Worksite Wellness Program
(From Larry Chapman, “An Analysis of the Cost Effectiveness of Worksite Wellness)

Reduction in sick leave
Reduced use of health benefits
Reduced Workman’s Comp costs
Reduced injury experience
Reduced disability costs

Improvements in employee morale
Increased employee loyalty
Less organizational conflict
More productive employees
Improved decision making capabilities

PATH Program (Promoting Access to Total Health)

The PATH Program was developed to promote access to needed preventive and primary health care.

PATH Services Directory

Diabetic Supply Exchange!!
Follow-Up Medical Care
Medical Assistance Directory
Prescription Assistance Program
Preventive Health Screenings

Diabetic Testing Supply Exhange!
Do you have surplus diabetic testing supplies (strips, meters, swabs, lancets, etc.)? Donate them to the Health Initiative and we will distribute them to community members who need supplies but are having trouble getting them.

Preventive Health Screenings
The Health Initiative offers free preventive health screenings at non-health related
events and locations including church socials, neighborhood centers, hunting and sports events, and craft fairs. Stop by a screening to get your cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, and % body fat checked!

Medical Assistance Directory
The Health Initiative has compiled a resource directory of national, state and local medical and pharmacy assistance resources. The directory is available on-line by clicking the following link. The resources listed in the directory are for informational purposes only, please contact the programs listed for the most current rates and information.

Follow-up Care
The Health Initiative’s Access to Care Program will pay for limited follow-up diagnostic testing and care for uninsured residents who have a positive finding at any of the screening events. Follow-up care is provided through participating physicians, with local hospitals providing any needed diagnostic testing.

Prescription Assistance Program
Need prescription medication but can’t afford it? You may qualify for free or discounted medications directly from the pharmaceutical companies. The Health Initiative will help you find out which programs you may qualify for and will help you complete the application forms.

ProviderNet Forum
Are you a health or human service provider who needs to find help for a client? The PATH Forum is the place to go to find out about local programs to refer clients to. Keep checking back as new providers are registering every day and may have the answer you need!

The St. Lawrence County Health Initiative’s SPORT Program has been offering education, assistance, peer support and tobacco cessation services to youth 19 and under throughout St. Lawrence County for the past five years.

We are extremely grateful to the St. Lawrence County Legislature, Edward I. Moses Walk/Run for Life Corp., Gouverneur Linkages for Prevention and United Way for providing the bulk of the funding which supports SPORT!!

The true essence of SPORT is positive youth development. SPORT is an innovative program that uses positive skills-building activities to teach and model total wellness awareness, community responsibility, job readiness skills, life skills, and so much more. The purpose of SPORT is to teach youth how to make healthy choices, create healthy life goals, and how to make healthy lifestyle changes in order to reach their life goals.

The SPORT program consists of three approaches – SPORT teams (peer education and support groups), Quit Groups, and school-based education programs.

SPORT team members receive training in: behavior change methods; community resources and referrals; adolescent sexuality issues including abstinence-first, STIs and comprehensive reproductive health; drug use and abuse; healthy decision-making; leadership; teamwork; nutrition; physical activity, and; lifelong wellness. SPORT team members also learn about the Clinical Model for Treating Tobacco Use and how to provide referrals and support for their peers who want to stop using tobacco products. There are currently SPORT Teams in Canton, Ogdensburg, Hermon-DeKalb, Brasher Falls and Gouverneur. Each SPORT Team meets twice a month for support and education and attends outreach events throughout the county to promote the program and educate and recruit other youth. The SPORT Teams also perform community service.


Quit Groups are community-based tobacco cessation groups. Youth participate, of their own free will, in either individual or group sessions or a combination. Quit Groups are CONFIDENTIAL and free of charge. Cessation sessions are offered upon request and consist of meeting with youth for eight, one hour sessions. Upon completion of the group, youth are supported as necessary to maintain a tobacco-free lifestyle. Additional cessation support can be maintained through personal contact, telephone, email or AOL Instant Message.


Tobacco education programs are offered in schools throughout St. Lawrence County. The basis of addiction, consequences of tobacco use and steps for quitting are presented in a lively, interactive format by thoroughly trained and experienced staff. Programs run from one class period to a week-long series, depending on the school and grade-level. SPORT team members also develop and present tobacco education programs for younger students in their schools. Tobacco education can also be presented to community-based groups (examples: Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Youth Groups).