Parent ambassador program: A model for expanding the public health workforce to effect school wellness plans
Monday, November 4, 2013
: 1:30 PM - 1:45 PM
More than 90,000 schools participate in USDA child nutrition programs. Each school is required to develop a wellness plan with parental participation as part of Public Law 108-265, Section 204. The Arizona Public Health Training Center (AZPHTC) and the Maricopa Health Department (MCHD) worked together to develop a Parent Ambassador's Program so parents could gain knowledge and skills on basic principles of public health and public health issues and to advocate for their children's wellness at the school level. University of Arizona public health students, faculty and the MCHD tested and developed a 2-day workshop (6hr/d) that includes five units: 1) Introduction to Public Health; 2) Schools and Public Health; 3) Introduction to Advocacy; 4) Understanding and Working with Schools and 5) Action Planning. The curriculum utilizes an interactive approach for trainers to engage participants in the content with group activities and presentations. Parents also learn about their local school board and how to be involved with developing their children's school wellness plan. After internal and external evaluations, 120 parents from 45 schools have become ambassadors and produced 84 working plans. Parent evaluations provide evidence that the program increases skills for working with schools. Expansion of the program in Arizona has been initiated including a Spanish language parent manual and the development of a Train-the-Trainer manual. This strong collaborative partnership has allowed the AzPHTC and MCHD to expand the public health workforce around leadership competencies to affect the 50 million school children in Arizona and the US.
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related education
Identify an innovative method for expanding the public health workforce.
Describe how to strengthen a school wellness plan.
Provide an illustration of how to develop a community partnership between a public health training center and local department of health.
Keywords: School Health, Community Involvement
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was one of the lead curriculum developers for this program. I am currently working on my DrPH at the University of Arizona College of Public Health and on Acción para La Salud out of the Arizona Prevention Research Center.
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.