Finding root cause to ailments key to healthy life, Middletown’s new health director says

MIDDLETOWN — Following having a study course on community health, Middletown Community Wellness Educator Daisy Hernandez understood that these training has typically centered on remedy alternatively than avoidance.

That established her on a path in a discipline that centers on people’s effectively-being. Hernandez, who arrived aboard very last week, was most intrigued in getting to the root of signs or symptoms.

“I was fascinated by the aim of endorsing healthful lifestyles, and guarding wellness and blocking health issues and sickness before it even transpires via health and fitness education and learning, very good nutrition, superior slumber, and selling getting the advisable vaccinations,” she mentioned.

Most not too long ago, she was method supervisor of the Healthcare Heroes Versus Impaired Driving Method at Hartford Healthcare facility, for eight years, overseeing the “Not 1 More” statewide impaired driving prevention marketing campaign funded by the condition Department of Transportation.

Hernandez was formerly a three-year health educator/crisis preparedness and health care reserve corps volunteer coordinator at the East Shore District Overall health Office in Branford.

Right after operating for smaller, nearby health and fitness departments, Hernandez used for the Middletown situation in hopes of serving to a more assorted populace, she stated.

“During the pandemic, Middletown was incredibly proactive, and had accomplished a ton of fantastic efforts in combating COVID-19,” she mentioned.

Through the pandemic, Middletown has been a chief in COVID instruction, outreach and vaccine availability, officials have explained.

“It was really on my radar,” Hernandez extra.

The city has also worked really hard to offer free products and services when attainable, educating populations most at hazard and other folks with a distrust of the health care discipline.

In the previous, Hernandez partnered with religion-based companies to assist the exertion, anything Middletown has done as well with the Ministerial Wellbeing Fellowship and at Cross Road AME Zion Church.

“They are observed as trustworthy members of the neighborhood that may perhaps not constantly have a voice, so achieving out to community-primarily based faith leaders to have an understanding of what are the demands — the problems — of the individuals they characterize,” is critical, she mentioned.

This method will allow educators to aim on techniques to properly target these demographics and existing facts at each and every person’s “health literacy” stage, as perfectly as talks and visible elements, she included.

Hernandez, who became a certified overall health instruction expert in 2019, has a bachelor of science degree in general public health and fitness from Southern Connecticut Point out University, and is in her last semester as a graduate student there, on observe to receive her master’s in general public health and fitness this month.

Acting Health and fitness Director Kevin Elak is energized that Hernandez has joined the crew. “She has extensive expertise with public well being training as properly as emergency preparedness and coordinating health care reserve corps models,” he stated.

Prior to the pandemic, Hernandez primarily worked on plans on health subject areas, these kinds of as influenza, Lyme sickness prevention, heart sickness and other subjects.

“It has shown me to be additional aware of the diverse traits and ailment surveillance, which is genuinely important,” she mentioned, as effectively as the worth of becoming up-to-day on the hottest COVID facts, for illustration.

Currently being in a position to successfully and obviously converse wellbeing data to the community is important to the perform of this sort of educators.

Early in the pandemic, Hernandez reported she realized she needed to be extra included in weekly meetings with emergency administration teams built up of fireplace, law enforcement, authorities officials and associates of the condition Department of Community Overall health as effectively as her friends.

Those in the subject goal to disseminate regular messaging as perfectly as counter misinformation about COVID and relevant matters. “We do our best to always put out correct info and dispel any myths,” she described.

Hernandez will be functioning with the group to fully grasp the specific demands of Middletown, Elak mentioned. “Once we have a improved comprehension of the general public wellbeing challenges that are impacting our group, we will be able to concentrate on interventions, outreach and education to meet up with the desires of the local community.”