Annual Connections IN Health Regional Roadshow-Vermillion County

Annual Connections IN Health Regional Roadshow-Vermillion County

January 6, 2023

Purdue Extension Vermillion County hosted the Connections IN Health Regional Roadshow in Vermillion County on November 17, 2022 from 10am-12pm EST. Community members and groups came together to learn more about work in Vermillion County and additionally hear a keynote presentation on the impact of chronic stress and trauma on chronic disease. Chronic stress can occur when the body doesn’t have adequate opportunity to respond to prolonged and consistent levels of stress. The effects of trauma can be ongoing or short term. Trauma is the response to experiencing distress caused by events such as abuse, neglect, an accident, sexual violence, combat, natural disasters or other life experiences. When the body remains in a heightened state of response to stress or trauma, cortisol levels remain elevated as the body perceives a constant threat. These factors contribute to increased blood pressure (and increased risk of heart attacks and stroke) in addition to a buildup of fat tissue. The CDC lists the four major risk factors of chronic disease as tobacco use, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, or excessive alcohol, yet all four factors can be considered significant coping mechanisms to chronic stress or trauma. When those risk factors can’t be controlled, the risk of chronic disease goes up for those who experience chronic stress or trauma.

Changing the question from “What is wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” can be the first step in identifying the underlying traumas and stressors that people face and acknowledging the psychological and physical impact of their illness. Individuals and communities can come together to promote prevention and intervention strategies by:

  • Managing thoughts/emotions and developing coping strategies
  • Promoting health care with healthy diets, adequate exercise and sleep
  • Developing social supports like positive caretaking experiences that cover all developmental stages & ages
  • Adopting a spiritual practice that prioritizes hope, connection and activities that feed the soul

Vermillion County Partners presentations included:

  • Allison Finzel, Purdue Extension Community Wellness Coordinator, chairing the Food Insecurity Working Group
  • Dr. Mary Margaret Rhees, chairing the Poverty Working Group
  • Sylvia Maixner, Deputy Director of Integrated Primary Prevention Workforce, chairing the Resource Guide Working Group
  • Larry Addison, chairing the Connecting Healthcare Working Group
  • Amber Smith, leading efforts for the Eugene Station Community Garden Project

You can watch the 2022 Annual Connections IN Health Conference in Vermillion County here. Slides shared during the event are available at the following links:

Slides for Vermillion County Partners and Trailblazer Awards 

Slides for Monica Kramer McConkey’s presentation on trauma, stress and chronic disease. 

|2023-01-19T11:49:40-05:00January 6th, 2023|CINH The Connection resources|Comments Off on Annual Connections IN Health Regional Roadshow-Vermillion County

About the Author: Carolyn Voight

Carolyn Voight

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