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Janet Sevier Gilbreath Award 2010

Kansas Head Start Association

2010 Winner
Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Project Recognition Award

What do you do when your child gets sick?  The answer isn’t always easy, especially for inexperienced young parents who lack the resources of a family doctor or a health book at home.  Many parents lack information needed to manage minor illness and injury or know when to seek treatment—in other words, they lack health literacy.  The consequences can be costly—unnecessary use of emergency rooms and doctor visits, lost days of work and school, and even poor health outcomes from inaction or lack of understanding of prescribed treatments. 

Lance Carrithers presents the JSG award to Rawlins County Dental Clinic
Health Fund Board President Kim Moore (L) and Chair Lance Carrithers (R) present the 2010 Janet Sevier Gilbreath award to Mary Baskett, Executive Director of the Kansas Head Start Association.

The Kansas Head Start Association developed and disseminated a training program to help Kansas parents improve their health literacy.  The program provides parents a book titled What To Do When Your Child Gets Sick and training on how to use the book.  The book covers management of more than 50 common childhood illnesses, injuries, and health problems.  It is written in easy-to-read language for parents and caregivers of children from birth to eight years of age.

Since 2005, more than 10,000 families have received the book and training.  The program has been provided through Head Start programs, but also through community health clinics, health departments, churches, and other organizations reaching out to Kansas families.

Kansas parents who have been trained on What To Do When Your Child Gets Sick report impressive results:

  • 39% fewer unnecessary doctor visits and up to 57% fewer emergency room visits,
  • 60% fewer school days missed,
  • 47% fewer work days missed, and
  • 82% reported increased confidence taking care of their children’s illnesses.

The program continues to expand with pilot projects now being established in several Kansas hospitals.  Health Literacy Kansas, a collaborative of multiple organizations, has also grown from the success of the program to address a larger vision of health literacy for all Kansans.

The development, dissemination, and expansion of Kansas Head Start’s highly successful parent health literacy program have been supported by three Health Ministry Fund grants totaling $244,568. Grant support continues through 2012.

For significant accomplishment, not only as an exemplary project, but also as a vital component of on-going efforts to improve access to health care in Kansas, we recognize the Kansas Head Start Association’s What To Do When Your Child Gets Sick parent health literacy program as the Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Recognition Project of the Year.

Representing the Kansas Head Start Association and the Parent Health Literacy program:  Mary Baskett, Executive Director; Robin Gingerich, Health Literacy Consultant; Noelle Kurth, Evaluation Consultant; and Kansas Head Start Association Board Members Penny StossSally Stevens, and Glenda Wilcox

Awarded May 10, 2011

Learn more about the Janet Sevier Gilbreath award