177734 Growing healthy lives: Enhancing pediatric healthy eating and physical activity counseling among healthcare providers

Monday, October 27, 2008: 4:45 PM

Kevin A. Alvarnaz, MBA , Community Health Improvement, WellSpan Health, York, PA
Susan M. Snell , Community Health Improvement, WellSpan Health, York, PA
Rates of childhood overweight have escalated across our nation, and may profoundly impact the prevalence of chronic diseases and healthcare costs among future generations. Healthcare providers are uniquely positioned to offer effective healthy lifestyles counseling to overweight children and their families. However, multiple factors, including inadequate patient-provider time and lack of educational resources, often prohibit this interaction. WellSpan Health has addressed this issue by implementing the Growing Healthy Lives program, one component of its comprehensive childhood overweight strategy. A response-driven algorithm and anticipatory guidance sheet assist providers with classifying the BMI percentile of a child, encouraging healthy eating and physical activity counseling, and referring children to appropriate weight management services. Additional family resources, including a BMI information sheet, interactive workbook, and tip cards may be used: a) by providers and community organizations to engage families in an ongoing dialogue about healthy eating and physical activity behaviors, or; b) on a self-directed basis by families. Resources were evaluated during a pilot implementation project among fifty providers, who reached 1712 pediatric patients and distributed 414 educational materials. Survey results, variations in child BMI percentiles, anomalies in material distribution rates, and other process data were collected and used to refine all print materials and develop a self-learning continuing education resource for clinicians. Over 265 physicians and clinical staff, primarily from family medicine and pediatric practices, have been trained in the program since July 2007, and further trainings are scheduled. Consumer and healthcare provider evaluation is ongoing and results to-date will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss how healthcare providers can be engaged in providing patient education on Body Mass Index (BMI) and healthy lifestyles 2. Explain resources used to promote healthy eating and physical activity to overweight children and their families 3. Design an evaluation process by which consumer and provider input is utilized to develop, refine, and enhance effective patient education resources

Keywords: Child Health Promotion, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I presently am the Director of Community Health Improvement at WellSpan Health, and oversee the organization's comprehensive strategy to effect childhood overweight. In addition, I previously managed Pennsylvania's Childhood Obesity program, funded by CDC.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.