141st APHA Annual Meeting

In This section

Project healthy schools: Increasing heart healthy behaviors in middle school students through school and community collaboration

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 9:00 AM - 9:15 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
Susan Aaronson, RD , MHealthy, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
Nicole Corriveau, BS , MCORRP, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Caren S. Goldberg, MD , Pediatrics and Communicable Disease and Surgery, 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
Recognition of the childhood obesity crisis led to development of Project Healthy Schools (PHS) in 2004. The goal of PHS, a community-University of Michigan collaborative is to improve overall and cardiovascular health of middle school students through school-based programming and environmental change. To date, 27 schools/17,691 students have participated including 4,200 who have participated in research. PHS uses a socio-ecological model to implement education and promote school environmental/policy change and engage community support. Outcome measures: height/weight (BMI), 3-minute step test, resting heart rate, blood pressure, lipid profile, random glucose and before/after behavioral survey reveal significant improvement in cardiovascular risk factors and healthy behaviors at 4 year follow up across diverse populations. Engaging many diverse partners to match school needs is a significant practice for program success. Assessment of school and community readiness prior to program implementation increases the likelihood that PHS will become embedded in school culture and obtain community support. Keys to success include school administrative commitment; food service/teacher/parent engagement; school wellness champion; availability of community recreation opportunities; supportive community resources. PHS partnerships include community coalitions, health systems, insurance companies and service groups. PHS partnership with an after school mentoring program provided entry into Detroit Public Schools. An alliance with an insurer provided funding needed to offer PHS in Marshall,MI. Three health systems are providing funding for their service area schools. PHS is demonstrating that an effective behavior change program for youth can be replicated in diverse populations and sustained through deliberate and strategic school and community partnerships.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Describe three elements within the Project Healthy Schools program which insure a successful collaboration with schools and communities to increase heart healthy behaviors in middle school students. Compare different models of program delivery and how to match diverse communities to the models that work for them.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Community Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have beem manager of Project Healthy Schools since it's inception in 2004 and was involved in development, implementation and ongoing evaluation of PHS. I am a registered nurse and certified health education specialist with over 30 years of experience in Public Health as a Public Health Nurse and Community Health Education Coordinator. Have been on the faculty of EMU's School of Nursing and the UM-Flintís School of Allied Health Professions and Studies.
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.