Families & Health

Programs & Services

Love Your Heart Talks

Heart disease is the #1 cause of death among women. Women often are unaware of the risks and symptoms and may not practice preventive habits. Love Your Heart Talks aims to reduce heart disease among W.Va. women through informal talks. Community women trained to share Love Your Heart Talks with friends, family, neighbors use a Love Your Heart Talks kit with a video of W.Va. women’s stories, talking points, handouts, and pre/post surveys. This personalized, woman-to-woman approach has proven to raise women’s knowledge and awareness of heart disease risk factors, actions, and resources. Contact: Elaine Bowen or (304) 293-8584.

4-H Health Initiative

The West Virginia 4-H Health Initiative increases health knowledge and motivates youth and their families to practice targeted everyday health habits. Trained youth 4-H Health Officers conduct hands-on health activities at monthly club meetings. Materials focus on monthly challenges around a yearly theme, such as dental health, physical activity, eating healthy, safety, and healthy relationships. Contact: Elaine Bowen or (304) 293-8584.

Family Nutrition Programs

The Family Nutrition Programs (FNP) focuses on improving the food, nutrition, and physical activity behaviors of limited-resource families, youth, and adults. Trained nutrition outreach instructors in 43 West Virginia counties conduct interactive lessons to help participants improve healthy eating behaviors, expand food safety practices, effectively manage food dollars, and increase physical activity. (Studies on similar programs report that every $1 spent on nutrition and health education saves long-term health care costs between $3.63 and $10.64.) FNP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Dining with Diabetes

Diabetes is a common, serious, and costly disease. Many complications of diabetes can be controlled and even prevented by making lifestyles changes – scheduling regular doctor visits, improving eating habits, increasing physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight. The Dining with Diabetes program helps adults make lifestyle changes. It is a free program for those with diabetes and their family members. The series of four classes and a 3-month follow-up includes clinical testing, nutrition information, recipe demonstrations, exercise, and group support.

Diabetes Symposium and Workshop: Bridging the Gap with Education

Diabetes Symposium and Workshop: Bridging the Gap with Education is a Continuing Medical Education accredited healthcare professional educational program. It is a 2-day national conference where eminent diabetes educators and researchers from around the country present the most current information on diabetes prevention, care, and self-management. The conference educates a broad range of healthcare professionals, Extension educators, and clinicians working in the field of diabetes. The goal of the conference is to provide the participants with the tools needed to bridge the medical care and education gap between healthcare providers and individuals with diabetes.

Community Educational Outreach Service, Inc.

The West Virginia Community Educational Outreach Service (CEOS) strengthens individuals and families through continuing education, leadership development, and community involvement. The program provides educational opportunities, resources, and materials to assist in education and community networks in 51 of West Virginia’s 55 counties. In existence for more than 70 years, the organization has affiliation at the local county level with community clubs, state affiliation through a state council, and national affiliation with the National Volunteer Outreach Network, Inc. and with the international organization Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) and Country Women’s Council (CWC-USA).

Food Preservation & Food Safety

Extension faculty and staff provide up-to-date food preservation information to consumers and food handlers. They test pressure canners for safety, answer questions, and provide publications about canning, freezing, drying, pickling, and jellies and jams.

Germ City

Hand washing is a key, often overlooked behavior that is important for food safety, disease prevention, and personal health. Germ City: Clean Hands, Healthy People is an interactive exhibit/demonstration designed to increase awareness of effective hand washing. It consists of classroom education for youth and Extension activities conducted during fairs, festivals, and community events.

Taking Charge of Your Health and Safety

This program offers educational experiences to older adults in 17 counties to increase motivation and skills in managing everyday health behaviors. Focus areas are physical activity, healthy eating habits, and the prevention and/or management of arthritis, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and falls. Training and materials are available. Contact: Elaine Bowen or (304) 293-8584.

Programs and activities offered by the West Virginia University Extension Service are available to all persons without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, political beliefs, sexual orientation, national origin, and marital or family status. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Director, Cooperative Extension Service, West Virginia University.