224181 Using the Community Healthy Living Index Tool for School Health

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monique Mullins, MPH , Division of Community Health, Jefferson County Department of Health, Birmingham, AL
L. Ashley Creagh, MPH , School of Public Health Department of Health Behavior, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Melodie Echols , Executive Director, Norwood Resource Center, Birmingham, AL
Caroline Bundy , Community Health Initiatives, Metropolitan Birmingham YMCA, Birmingham, AL
Background: Childhood obesity continues to be one of the nation's leading public health threats. For example in Jefferson County, AL, the rate of overweight 3rd graders increased from 12.8% in 2002 to over 22% in 2009. Purpose: The Community Healthy Living Index (CHLI) is a tool originally developed by YMCA of America along with experts from Stanford, Harvard and St. Louis University, to promote innovate ways that support physical activity and good nutrition in schools, two key determinants of childhood obesity. The Jefferson County Department of Health and Birmingham YMCA are in the process of implementing the CHLI tool in seven schools throughout Jefferson County. Significance: While programs focus on the individual and intrapersonal level of the Social Ecological Model, CHLI emphasizes policy, systems and environmental modifications which have the potential to impact a greater number of children in danger of being overweight. Methodology: The CHLI tool consists of a self-assessment and improvement plan, both of which are conducted by key school stakeholders. The school stakeholders plan, design, and implement improvement ideas tailored to the unique social and economic environment of their school. Results: CHLI school sites have partnered with community partners for the implementation of their improvement ideas. For example one of the schools was able to partner with an existing community garden to increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables. Recommendation: In drafting solutions to the childhood obesity epidemic, cooperation and coordination is needed across several entities, including community partners, businesses, and the faith-based community.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the strengths and limitations of the Community Healthy Living Index tool 2. Explain the importance of utilizing diverse community partners to combat childhood obesity

Keywords: Community Collaboration, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a Jefferson County Department of Health employee, I have been actively involved in all phases of the planning and administering of the Community Healthy Living Index.
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.