240976 Project Healthy Schools: Creating a sustainable middle-school based intervention to fight childhood obesity

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 9:00 AM

Jean DuRussel-Weston, RN MPH CHES , MHealthy-Project Healthy Schools, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
Lindsey Rose Mitchell, MPH , MHealthy, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
Catherine Fitzgerald, RD , MHealthy, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
Susan Aaronson, RD , MHealthy, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
LaVaughn M. Palma-Davis, MA , Health & Well-Being Services, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Caren S. Goldberg, MD , Pediatrics and Communicable Disease and Surgery, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
Bruce Rogers , MCORRP (Cardiology), University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
Roopa Gurm, MS , MCORRP (Cardiology), University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
Kim A. Eagle, MD , Albion Walter Hewlett Professor of Internal Medicine, Professor of Internal Medicine, Medical School, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
Project Healthy Schools (PHS) a community-University of Michigan collaborative provides middle-school-based programming and environmental change to reduce childhood obesity and long-term health risks. Seven years of research measurement support consistent lowering of students' cardiovascular health risk indicators and increased healthy lifestyle choices. Wellness Coordinators provide 10 hands-on activities, motivational assemblies, incentives for positive behavior change, cafeteria and policy changes, and communication campaigns. To reach students in high risk areas where obesity is prevalent and resources scarce, a model for sustainability was designed for PHS to become a permanent part of the school culture, ensuring the program's continuation without onsite coordinators. The model includes identifying a school Wellness Champion who coordinates communication between stakeholders such as teachers, school administration, health team members, parents, and students. Champions receive a stipend as they work within their school community to embed PHS in school culture and sustain the environmental and educational changes previously made. PHS continues to be available to participating schools by providing consultations, quarterly newsletters, communicating via online web blogs and offering annual trainings where Champions can share best practices, keep up with curriculum changes and meet school health advocates. The model is being implemented in the 2010-2011 school year. Expected outcomes include successful completion of 10 hands-on activities, continuity of the school health team, implementation of a healthy year-end event and maintenance of a healthy school environment. The PHS model for sustainability will encourage permanent healthy school environmental changes and support further program expansion to underserved populations with modest resources.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe Project Healthy Schools and the significance of it's sustainablity component to encourage permanent healthy school environmental changes. Define the role of the school Wellness Champion, identifying two main objectives of this position within the school setting.

Keywords: Health Education Strategies, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I develop, implement,evaluate and oversee health promotion and disease prevention programs for the prevention of childhood obesity and cardiovascular risk factors.
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.