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Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital


Health Promotion Disease Prevention Program

Staff members from the Health Promotion Disease Prevention Program, Autumn Keefer, PhD, and Melissa VanSteenburgh, LCSW

Meet staff members from the Health Promotion Disease Prevention Program. Left to right: Autumn Keefer, PhD, Health Behavior Coordinator; Melissa VanSteenburgh, LCSW, HPDP Program Manager

By Autumn Keefer, PhD and Melissa VanSteenburgh, LCSW
Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Many Veterans face life with one or more chronic illnesses.  These conditions are often a result of poor preventive health care or, simply, poor health behaviors. A focus on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP) is needed in all areas of clinical care.  VHA has created a new program, HPDP, to assist with disease prevention.  HPDP staff will work with  patients to help them make changes that will improve their health.  There are many benefits of good health behaviors, such as less smoking and drinking, better eating and getting more exercise.  Doing these things can help to reduce stroke, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and can improve quality of life.

The set of Nine Core Healthy Living messages will address important physical and mental health behaviors:

  • Be Tobacco Free
  • Be Physically Active
  • Limit Alcohol
  • Get Recommended Screenings/Immunizations
  • Manage Stress
  • Strive for a Healthy Weight
  • Eat Wisely
  • Get Involved in your Healthcare
  • Be Safe: Think Ahead

Veterans will have access to educational and informative tools such as My HealtheVetVeterans’ Health Education LibraryFacebook and Twitter.  If you have any questions, please contact:

  • Autumn Keefer, PhD, Health Behavior Coordinator
     573-814-6000 extension 56216 or pager 5851
  • Melissa VanSteenburgh, LCSW, HPDP Program Manager
      573-814-6000 pager 5581


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