good sam jump start

New Year, new you: join Good Samaritan’s JumpStart for a healthy 2020

A new year often signals new health commitments. That “new” theme is echoed by participants in JumpStart, a program by Good Samaritan Health & Wellness Center, who say that learning new information and meeting new people are among their favorite aspects of the free, eight-week wellness program.

Last year, Good Samaritan introduced JumpStart as way to help residents of Pickens and surrounding counties to better understand and manage high blood pressure. Chronic conditions like hypertension, obesity, diabetes, etc. are more prevalent in rural areas like ours.

The Georgia Department of Public Health indicates that preventable and controllable chronic diseases result in billions of dollars of health expense each year. $40 billion, to be exact. Breaking that big number down, the average cost of chronic disease per Georgian is estimated as $4,000 per year. Good Samaritan and its partners are committed to reducing chronic disease in our area, and the JumpStart program, funded by Kaiser Permanente and Piedmont Mountainside, is beginning to make a difference.

In 2019, JumpStart attracted more than 100 participants and had 84 people “graduate” (by completing six of eight sessions). Two-thirds of the graduates reduced or controlled their blood pressure and/or reduced their resting heart rate. And 70 percent lost weight, with an average of 4.5 pounds lost in just eight weeks. JumpStart graduates lost a total of 270 pounds last year!

Due to its success, JumpStart is expanding in 2020. The program will not only serve those with high blood pressure, but also those suffering with diabetes, obesity, and many other chronic conditions. JumpStart is currently accepting 2020 participants, and the new cycle will begin the week of January 20. Those interested in learning more are invited to attend an information session at Big Canoe Lodge on Thursday, January 9, from 2– 3:30 p.m. or to contact Good Samaritan at 706-253-4673, extension 249.

Submitted by Good Samaritan Health & Wellness

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