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Educational bites make catalog a teaching tool
Information included between class descriptions
Biannually, the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City mails a catalog on its classes, workshops, lectures, and support groups to more than 7,000 members of the community. It used to be a simple informational piece that described each program along with the date, time, and its costs if a fee was to be charged. However, recently, it became an educational tool as well.
"We decided to incorporate some actual education into the catalog so that while people are reading it they will see a few health facts as well as quotes from people who have taken the classes and found them helpful. In this way, it is more than a calendar of events but also something from which people can learn," says Chandler Wilson, MPA, assistant director of public and patient education at the Hospital for Special Surgery, which specializes in orthopedic and rheumatology conditions.
In addition to changing the content of the catalog, the title was changed as well. It is now "From Education to Empowerment." While reading the class evaluation forms submitted by participants, Wilson realized that involvement in the various programs did more than educate people it helped them to live better lives.
The statement, "Did you know that . . . " precedes the educational facts included throughout the catalog. In the Spring 2003 catalog, the following facts were included:
Quotes from class participants included in the catalog provide testimony as to the benefits of the class. A few of the quotes that Wilson has included are:
"I have learned how to destruct the negative thinking."
"Yoga has helped my breathing and balance. I always thought you had to be like a rubber band to do yoga (which I am not), but I was wrong. With the right teacher, you can find your own level and reach your own potential."
The new catalog design is drawing a lot of attention, says Wilson. Corporation executives have been asking Hospital for Special Surgery to collaborate on health initiatives since the new version of the catalog was distributed.
For more informational on including educational pieces in course catalogues, contact: