May 2012 Issue Brief:
Health Plan Motivation for Promoting Preconception Health
The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, concerned about the impact of low levels of health literacy on health outcomes and costs, supports the ChoiceOne Pregnancy and Sexual Health Resource Centers’ Optimal Health Training Program which educates women of childbearing age on self-care, prevention and early intervention.
Promoting Health Literacy to Encourage Adoption of Healthy Lifestyles
The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, the philanthropic arm of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, has been working to improve preconception health literacy by funding the ChoiceOne Pregnancy and Sexual Health Resource Center to deliver the Optimal Health Training Program (OHTP) to women who depend on public medical services in northern New Jersey. This center serves women of all ages experiencing or at-risk for an unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection. ChoiceOne staff determines each woman’s health literacy status upon initial screening, and women with lower levels of health literacy are targeted to receive the OHTP as a component of their services at ChoiceOne. The program includes education and skills training in health care terminology, medical forms, gaining access to early intervention and prevention programs, medical assessment, and mentorship in responsible self/family health care. Ultimately, the hope is that the improved knowledge will help participants navigate the health care system more effectively in the future to access needed preconception services and that they will be empowered to share their knowledge with others in their communities. In terms of program reach, the ChoiceOne program delivered services to 3,719 women during the year-long grant period – two and a half times its original goal.