Online Program

JUMP ROPES AND JESUS-Creation of a healthy lifestyle summer camp for youth at an African American church in South Los Angeles

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.

Megan Lipton-Inga, MA, CCRP, Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Dawnesha Beaver, MPH, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Ellen Iverson, MPH, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Valerie Ruelas, MSW, LCSW, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Sherell Eurey, New Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, Los Angeles, CA
Jonathon Reid, MPH, Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Ali Johnson, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hosptial Los Angeles, Los Angeles,, CA
Emily Millen, MPH, Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Introduction: Faith-based institutions are increasingly recognized as valuable settings for health promotion. In 2014,  Children’s Hospital Los Angeles launched a 2-year pilot partnership with a large African-American church in South Los Angeles to address diabetes and obesity through faith-based, family-centered lifestyle interventions. Creation of a wellness-focused summer camp was a response to the challenge the team faced delivering the evidence-based Kid N Fitness©(KNF) weight-management intervention as originally designed -- stand-alone sessions scheduled during the week at times that often conflicted  with church activities.

Approach: Using a community participatory model, the team designed Camp HEAL, a summer camp for children ages 5-13. Elements of the KNF curriculum were integrated into all aspects of the camp activities and design. Healthy lifestyle messaging pertaining to nutrition, physical activity and healthy behavior was woven into bible study, arts and crafts, songs, sports, and meal times.  Enrichment activities and field trips encouraged children to be active while exposing them to their community and greater Los Angeles. 

Results: 36 children participated in 2, two-week sessions of camp. Retention rates (83%) surpassed traditional KNF classes and children showed increased nutrition knowledge when assessed 2 months post camp. Unanticipated benefits included increased church involvement and children influencing their parents to eat more healthfully.

Discussion: Camp HEAL is a successful model worth replicating. It fulfilled summer-time childcare needs, and allowed for full days of repeated exposure to healthy messaging and role-modeling using varied modalities and multiple opportunities to influence learning and behavior change that a traditional class could not.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate how a church summer camp provided an ideal mutual beneficial environment for a health partnership with a local children's hospital and church Describe how a typical day camp activities were infused with healthy nutritional messaging. Describe the advantages of a healthy lifestyle intervention in a faith based setting as compared to a more traditional setting.

Keyword(s): Nutrition, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director of Program Development for Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) Diabetes and Obesity Program and the Director and Principal Investigator of Kids N Fitness at CHLA. I have 10 years of experience working on weight management and healthy lifestyle programs in clinical and community settings. I am co-investigator on this faith based initiative and was a collaborator on bringing CAMP HEAL to fruition.
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.