What We Do

HealthMatters™ Program engages people with IDD and their supports to have access to research, education and training, service learning, and evaluation tools to improve their health where they live, work, learn, and play.

Timeline for the HealthMatters Program research and implementation from 1998 to 2019

Research and Training, Service Learning, and Evaluation

HealthMatters™ Program: Certified Instructor Workshop Webinar

Our "flagship" HealthMatters™ Program (HMP) is a tested, evidence-based (1) HealthMatters™ Program: Certified Instructor Workshop Webinar (HMP-TtT), (2) Health Matters: The Exercise and Nutrition Health Education Curriculum for People with Developmental Disabilities, and (3) a 12-Week HealthMatters™ Program (12-Week-HMP) that aims to improve health behaviors and health status of people with IDD across the lifespan.

The HMP-TtT, instructed by Advanced Certified Instructors, provides structured information for support staff to organize, sustain, and evaluate a tailored 12-week HealthMatters™ Program (12-Week-HMP) for people with IDD.

HMP is designed to provide access to healthy lifestyle opportunities where people with intellectual and developmental disabilities live, work, learn, and play.

Health Advocacy: It's Our Health!

Promote health for people with disabilities. Advocate for political, economic, social, cultural, environmental, behavioral and biological factors that promote health. Our health matters!

This engaging evidence-informed 3-hour training aims to increase understanding of the health care experiences and the needs of adolescents and young adults with DD among health care professionals.

HealthAlert: Signs and Symptoms

Observe (and report) early signs of changes in health for effective communication. Participating in our health care matters!

An evidence-informed course that provides resources Direct Support Professionals to observe early signs and symptoms of illness among people with I/DD and accurately communicate these observations to nursing personnel in CBOs. It aims to establish continuity of health care services so that nursing staff and administrators can develop targeted health care and health promotion services.

HealthMatters 4 Kids: Today Counts

Prevent diabetes and other chronic conditions. Today counts for a healthy tomorrow! HealthMatters 4 Kids is an evidence-informed program developed through a community academic partnership between NorthPointe Resources and HealthMatters Program and funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to provide diabetes prevention. This workshop introduces health promotion and advocacy to children and adolescents with IDD through diabetes education and resources for parents, teachers, and health professionals who help to pave the road for a healthy future.

OptimalRx: When Less is More

Review, monitor, and evaluate the impact of optimal prescribing and alternative treatments for people with IDD.

HealthMessages™ Program: Peers Supporting Peers

Learn with your peers to change your health behaviors. Be healthy together!

An evidence-based 12-week program for people with IDD to become Peer Health Coaches (PHCs) and deliver health messages to their peers. PHCs are leaders who can give their peers new health information and can show them how to take better care of their bodies. The training includes a 75 minute webinar and HealthMessages Program kit to teach up to 10 peers​

HealthVISIT: Improving Patient Activation in Health Care

Give people with IDD a tool to participate in their health visits and increase understanding of their health, treatment plan, and health outcome.Take "charge of our health!"

What About Staff: Impact of HealthMatters Program for Direct Support Staff

Create safe work environments to support workers with IDD and develop policies and programs in worker health promotion, health and safety protection, and case management. Employment improves health - and health improves employment!

The health status and health behaviors among support staff providing daily support for people with IDD in community-based organizations (CBOs) is woefully undervalued. This training examines the health impact of direct care workers who participated in HealthMatters™ Program: Certified Instructor Workshop and implemented the 12-week HealthMatters Program for people with IDD whom they care for as part of their employment. Direct care workers who became Certified Instructors and taught the 12-week HealthMatters Program had significant improvements in the following: 1) social/environmental supports for nutrition; 2) exercise outcome expectations; 3)nutrition outcome expectations; 4) fruit and vegetable intake; 5) knowledge of fruit and vegetable intake recommendations, and, 6) stages of change for eating fruits and vegetables. Instructors discuss programs and organizational policies that can support health promotion activities for direct care workers.

Getting the Memo for Health Matters: It’s Everyone’s Job

The "Getting the Memo" is a 75-minute training that aims to increase the capacity to promote health and wellness of each individual staff member employed in community-based organization serving people with I/DD, as well as the organization itself. Specifically, "Getting the Memo" aims to create a culture supporting health promotion.

Implementing Health Promotion: Is Your Organization Ready?

A training focused on reviewing the organizational processes of implementing a sustainable health promotion programs within CBOs and the value of Direct Support Professionals as health advocates. The training covers supports and barriers in developing and starting tailored physical activity and health education programs for adults with IDD in CBOs.​

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