237154 Successful school health programs: Using pacing events to get organized, create commitment, and spur action

Monday, October 31, 2011

Diana Degen, MSPH , Environmental Health Solutions, The Cadmus Group, Inc., Arlington, VA
Healthy schools are needed to support healthy minds and bodies of students and staff. However, committed leaders of school health may lack the tools to translate a vision, secure buy-in or generate commitments to advance a project or program , particularly in tight budgetary environments where schools are not inclined to spend on anything but programs viewed as core to their mission.

In partnership with U.S. EPA, the Cadmus Group, Inc. has developed a framework and rapid change technology to empower school champions in almost half of the nations school to implement school environmental health programs. Using a simple framework, our guidance provides strategic actions demonstrated to deliver program success and provide a common language and vision that attracts stakeholders to school-based action. To further spread this actionable guidance throughout the school community, pacing events – thoughtfully prepared and facilitated meetings that focus on intentional outcomes and vigorous participant roles – are used to create powerful buy-in and excitement for a school health improvement initiative.

Using findings from a national campaign that promotes school environmental health– U.S. EPA's Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program – this session will explain how providing simple, proven guidance coupled with the innovative technology of pacing events to pace and accelerate action can build the commitment and political will within a school district to sustain effective school health programs. The approaches presented may be used at the local, state and national level.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Environmental health sciences
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe the barriers in starting or sustaining a school health program and how to overcome them. 2.Explain the simple framework for driving successful implementation of a school health program. 3.Design an example of a pacing event to spur action and gain commitment.

Keywords: School Health, School-Based Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a communications and outreach specialist and project manager of a national campaign promoting school environmental health programs.
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.