The objectives of RoCo Fit are to improve the health outcomes in Rogers County by 1% in 5 years and reduce heart disease rate by .1/100,000 each year, and increase wellness aspects in the community by 5% in 5 years. As of the end of 2019, and since the run/walk program began in 2010, there have been 2,384 non-duplicated participants including 139 different mentors (all but 21 having completed the program at least once before mentoring, the 19 are/were avid walkers and runners-now it is a rule that mentors have to complete the program before mentoring). Each session averages over 200 registrations with at least half completing 70% of the workouts and receiving a custom RoCo Fit logo technical fabric shirt for the first 10 years. New Movement Motivators (branded unique custom medals) are now given to all participants completing 70% of workouts, finishing the Mock 5k, and attending the graduation celebration. The Movement Motivators will continue for all three programs in NE Oklahoma.
Many individuals find out about the program after registration closes and continue to call or email to make sure they are able to register early for the next session. A list of participants is kept from each session and each participant receives notice of registration for upcoming sessions. Many participants repeat sessions and move groups as they improve their fitness level. Several participants have volunteered as mentors and several helped create the program and continue to assist and mentor. Most sessions have 25-30 mentors volunteering, some multiple sessions, and participants assist as unofficial mentors periodically as well.
RoCo Fit has contributed to significant improvement in Rogers County's health as evidenced by ranking 7th for Health Outcomes (up from 10th) and 13th (up from 15th) for Quality of Life in 2019. Also, the county's Health Factors ranking rose from 14th in 2010 to 8th and Health Behaviors from 21st to 5th out of 77 Oklahoma counties in 2019, according to the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation Health Rankings and Roadmaps. According to the State of the County's Health Reports comparison, heart disease rate decreased 2.9% from 2008-2012 data to 2011-2015 data; heart disease death rates improved from 179.10/100,000 to 165.00/100,000 between 2010 and 2017. Also, cerebrovascular disease deaths improved from a grade of D to a grade of B from 2010 2017, as well as diabetes deaths from a C to a B. In addition, Rogers County is lower than the state statistics for physical inactivity, obesity, and diabetes.
Therefore, it is safe to acknowledge the RoCo Fit program as a large part of a significant improvement of Rogers County health and lifestyles. Qualitatively, the community has implemented fundraising efforts through physical activity challenges, i.e. school and community 5k walk/runs. They are actively improving parks and sidewalks, and adding mountain biking trails, as well as working towards implementation of several health policies, i.e. tobacco-free and Complete Streets (all forms of transportation considered for street design) communities. The program will continue to grow and improve the community of Rogers County. This is even more important because Rogers County is the fastest growing community in Tulsa Metro area according to the Community Service Council of Tulsa, with adults over 25 being almost 65% of the population.
The methods used to evaluate the RoCo Fit program have included a knowledge survey, Quality of Life Survey, pace assessments, pre and post behavioral health surveys, and qualitative data via testimonials. The pre/post surveys are sent to the Oklahoma State Health Department Epidemiologist for analysis and a report is sent to coordinator/Health Educator to share with Advisory League. These methods are all also periodically reviewed by the coordinator, Advisory League, and state health department epidemiologist. The Advisory League reviews all evaluations and makes changes when necessary. Changes have included the survey questions focusing more on number of days and time of physical activity per participants and water consumption. They also added a question asking for feedback on improving the program which has been useful. The pre and post 1 mile pace assessments have been discontinued to avoid focus on speed and instead focus on improving time physically active by concentrating on increasing the distance each week and safely getting more participants to a 5k distance at their own pace.
RoCo Fit also collects qualitative data via voluntary testimonials at the end of each session. The participants state in their own words how the program has helped them in their lives. They submit these testimonials to the coordinator in the form of written, email, or presentation and may include photos. In addition to evaluation purposes, they are used anonymously to advertise the program with the media, explain benefits to interested people at the information meetings, and highlight the program at the graduation celebration. The testimonials cover all aspects of wellness: physical, emotional, spiritual, social, environmental, occupational, and intellectual. The coordinator reviews each for descriptive terms and places them into the appropriate category. The current testimonial outcome report includes years 2011 through 2019. The testimonial outcome report will continue yearly.
The categories of wellness discussed in the testimonials are broken down further to explain what each includes. Physical wellness relates to nutrition, fitness, and medical. Emotional wellness includes stress, hope, joy, and fear. Spiritual wellness relays peace, harmony, and purpose. Social wellness embraces family, friends, and relationships. Environmental wellness contains community, water, and land. Occupational wellness encompasses career and organization. Intellectual wellness incorporates ideas, experiences, group interaction, and community betterment. Many of the testimonial statements include several different wellness aspects and most will fit into more than one category. The coordinator reviews the context of the testimonial to determine which category to place each comment and/or benefit. The information is compiled and repeated comments counted for each. The breakdown of the 1,124 responses is as follows: Physical 26%; Emotional 19%; Spiritual 13%; Social 14%; Environmental 9%; Occupational 1%; and Intellectual 18%.
All evaluation methods are researched and created by the Coordinator, Advisory League, and an Oklahoma State Department of Health Epidemiologist. The Epidemiologist also assists the coordinator in evaluating and compiling the data from the evaluation tools. Several Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) performance measures were taken into consideration when developing the evaluation tools.
In particular, PHAB Domain 3: Inform and Educate about Public Health Issues and Functions, Standard 3.1 Provide Health Education and Health Promotion Policies, Programs, Processes, and Interventions to Support Prevention and Wellness, Measure 3.1.1 A.2 Consultation with the community and target group during the development of the educational material/messages and 3.1.1 A.3 Health education messages that are coordinated with Tribal, state, and/or local health departments; and/or community partners. Further, Measure 3.1.2 A 1. A planned approach for developing and implanting health promotion programs, 2. Development and implementation of health promotion strategies, 3. Engagement of the community during the development of a health promotion strategy, and 4. Implementation of strategies in collaboration with stakeholders, partners, and/or the community.
All steps are taken to insure the program meets the above performance measures when developing, implementing, evaluating, and improving the RoCo Fit program. The current evaluation methods have proven the program successful and have earned it the award for 2019 Community Health Champion by Oklahoma Turning Point.