Release Date: 07-10-2007 Click here for a larger view
(Honesdale, July 9, 2007)…Tobacco Free Campus. Together for Health School Program. The Prevention Initiative. The Well Weighs Project to Address Obesity/Overweight Issues. Wayne County on the Move… Do these names sound familiar? They’re all healthy lifestyle projects that have made local headlines, and they’re all projects with which Donna Decker, RN, has been associated, most often at the helm. The Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health has been paying attention, and last month, at its annual conference at State College, the department named Wayne Memorial Hospital’s Community Health Manager one of only two recipients of its “Community Rural Health Leader of the Year” award.
“While many rural communities find themselves struggling to maintain the health care services they so desperately need, Wayne Memorial has become a model of success for others to follow,” said Lisa Davis, Director of the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health. “Much of the credit goes to committed community leaders such as Donna Decker, whose tireless efforts to seek the input of, and build relationships with, community groups and agencies has made a significant difference in the health status of individuals and families in Wayne and Pike counties.”
For the past 13 years, Decker, a registered nurse, has led The Prevention Initiative, a State Health Improvement Plan partner that brings together local agencies, service groups and businesses to improve the health of the community at large. Michael Huff, Deputy Secretary for Health Planning and Assessment, assisted in the awards presentation, where it was noted that “Since 1994, The Prevention Initiative has grown to include more than 350 individuals, businesses and groups.”
Decker also played a key role in helping Wayne Memorial become a “tobacco-free campus” on October 1, 2006. WMH Chief Executive Officer David Hoff, who nominated Decker for the state award, said Decker’s “efforts at achieving a tobacco free environment on the campus of our hospital has also led to a significant reduction of employees who smoke— from about 30% to less than 20% today.”