PHSA Projects

PHSA is proud of the high quality projects it does to serve its members and improve the lives of young children and their families.

 

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Hope In Hard Times Video

HOPE in HARD TIMES

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Head Start Families Fighting for Their Future

The Media Mobilizing Project and PHSA partnered to create one of the best Head Start advocacy videos ever produced.  With the help of NHSA a copy of this video was sent to every member of Congress at a critical period of time in 2006 during which the important role of parent leadership and the policy council was being questioned by Congress.  This video is an excellent, educational and inspirational training resource.  DVDs can be purchased from PHSA for $25.00 (there are a limitted number of copies left).

 

The Pennsylvania Head Start Staff Wellness Study

 

During the spring of 2012, PHSA partnered with Dr. Robert Whitaker from Temple’s College of Health Professions and Social Work to conduct a state wide study of the physical and mental health of Head Start and Early Head Start staff and it’s impact on their work.  Data from the Pennsylvania Head Start Staff Wellness Survey provided valuable insight about the experiences of staff and how best to meet their physical and mental health needs.  To date, 2 papers have been published in peer review journals utilizing data collected from the Survey.

 

In October of 2013, the first paper appeared in the CDC journal Preventing Chronic Disease. That paper showed that the physical and mental health of the staff working in Head Start and Early Head Start was poorer than we would expect based on the sociodemographic composition of this population. The most concerning finding was that nearly 1 in 4 staff reported having clinically significant levels of depressive symptoms.

 

A second paper has been published in the journal Preventive Medicine and presents some encouraging news with two key findings:

  1. Head Start staff who themselves experienced more categories of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have worse health.
  2. However, at all levels of childhood adversity, Head Start staff who have higher levels of mindfulness have better health—fewer health conditions, better health behavior, and better health-related quality of life.

 

PHSA is proud to have played an integral part of this data collection which has sparked a national dialogue regarding Head Start/Early Head Start staff health and well being.  Check back for additional information as Dr. Whitaker continues to analyze and report out on this important data.