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Public Recognition: Invest in Single Moms [PRISM] Project

Action on Women's Addictions - Research & Education [AWARE] has received funding for the project outlined below. We are interested in connecting with others in the field who may have an interest in the PRISM project. If you know of similar endeavours, please let us know about them. Or if you are interested in finding out more information, becoming involved with the project, or receiving its handbook/final report, please let us know.

Marci Swazey, Coordinator - PRISM Project



Kingston, ON

K7L 4V6

(613) 545-0117

FAX (613) 545-1508

e-mail to [email protected]

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A Health Incentives Pilot Project for Single Moms

Project Synopsis

Action on Women s Addictions - Research & Education (AWARE) has received funding from Health Canada to undertake an innovative health incentives pilot project for single moms, Public Recognition: Invest in Single Moms (PRISM).

AWARE has been working with single mothers who may not otherwise have the means and the energy, due to difficult life circumstances, to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviours. A recurring theme has emerged; that is, priority women understand both the need for and the benefits accruing from healthy lifestyle behaviours but lack the ways, means, and encouragement to engage in them. The PRISM project will identify incentives that are supportive of healthy lifestyles and identify

community partners who can provide those incentives for three at-risk groups of single mothers:

- low-income single moms,

- at-risk pregnant single women,

- single moms who smoke, and the

children of all these women.

PRISM will investigate the most effective ways to enable priority women to access resources, goods, and services that support healthy lifestyle behaviours congruent with the needs and desires expressed by the women. For example, we will investigate the development of a discount card for

single moms. The discount card would enable women to access a wider range of goods and services from participating business partners who would be able to provide discounted rates on those goods and services.

Improved access to resources, goods, and services will enhance the health status of both single moms and their children. The means of improving access will be determined throughout PRISM, but examples might include:

+ grocery money saved from discount coupons provided by a participating grocery store would enable single mom to engage in a recreational activity with her children (perhaps a movie that is also discounted by a participating theatre)

+ a childcare coupon provided by a service club would enable a single mom to spend an hour at the library or at a participating health club

+ a childcare coupon would enable a pregnant woman to attend a prenatal class, a supportive potluck lunch with other moms, or time to attend to personal needs

+ a discount coupon for nicotine gum provided by a participating pharmacy would enable a smoking single mom to engage in an attempt to quit smoking

Intersectoral partners who can provide incentives or otherwise participate in the incentive program will be identified from the business community, service clubs, and health and social services. A

handbook outlining the incentive program and its process will be developed for distribution to communities across Ontario upon completion of the PRISM project.