West Kendall Baptist Hospital – Healthy Hub

West Kendall Baptist Hospital

Healthy Hub

This free, one-stop screening and referral-to-care kiosk in the hospital lobby gives community members a consistent place to monitor their health without an appointment.

The Healthy Hub was developed after West Kendall Baptist Hospital performed a community health needs assessment, and “access to care” was listed as the top concern. Established with grant and hospital funds, the Hub provides free general preventive health care screenings Monday through Friday. Visitors can walk in, have their health evaluated in 15 minutes, and speak with a nurse about simple steps to optimize their health. At the facility, visitors learn if they have a healthy lifestyle and how they can change it for the better, receive a referral for follow-up care if needed, and gather information about free healthy living resources in the community. 

The Hub uses a unique electronic health-risk assessment tool that incorporates the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 Assessment. The Hub nurse completes the assessment by entering visitors’ responses to lifestyle questions into a tablet, such as smoking status, activity level and nutrient intake. The program generates a health score by evaluating these responses along with information gathered at the kiosk about the visitor’s body mass index, body fat percentage and blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol levels.

Julio Colon visited the Healthy Hub because he had gained weight. He was shocked to learn that his BMI classified him as obese and that both his glucose and cholesterol were high. The Healthy Hub nurse empowered him to change his lifestyle. Returning to the Healthy Hub each week to check his progress, Mr. Colon watched his BMI drop from 31 to 25. He lost six inches around his waist, and his glucose and cholesterol levels improved. He also stopped smoking.

In July 2018, TRX MAPS (Total Resistance exercises) was added to improve overall fitness and balance and decrease the risk of falls. TRX MAPS measures mobility, muscle activation, posture and symmetry while participants do squats. The program provides results and suggested exercises to target problem areas. More than 1,000 TRX assessments have been completed.

The nurse then recommends specific physical activities to help the visitor manage weight or chronic disease and offers access to community resources to create a healthy lifestyle. Leaflets about nutrition, food labels, blood pressure management, diabetes and cholesterol levels are also available.

When Erika Araneda, 58, took advantage of a free TRX MAPS screening at the Healthy Hub, she learned that her back and knee pain were partially caused by weak muscles on one side of her body. She started yoga, biking and other suggested exercises and is feeling stronger with improved posture and alignment.

Approximately 24,000 free community health screenings have been performed since the Healthy Hub opened in 2015. If participants do not have a primary care physician, they are referred to one. A few individuals have been whisked to the emergency room when results indicate dangerous, time-sensitive health problems.

The Healthy Hub has served individuals between 11 and 86 years of age. In many cases, participants are surprised that they are at risk for illness and disease. Approximately 45 percent have elevated cholesterol, 48 percent have high blood pressure and 72 percent are overweight or obese. In addition, eight percent have glucose levels in the pre-diabetes range, and five percent are considered diabetic.

With more than 20 percent of people returning to check their status, the Healthy Hub has improved access to care and quality of life. Offering free health screenings throughout the week at a set location is what sets the Healthy Hub apart. In addition, the Hub offers mobile health screenings to reach community members with limited transportation options. The Hub nurse provides these mobile health screenings by visiting the community twice every other month or during community events.