Online Program

Harnessing community partnerships to expand the reach of a community benefit program to reduce childhood obesity

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 12:50 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.

Lisa Cumings, RN, BSN, MEd, Kishwaukee Community Hospital, Kishwaukee Health System, Dekalb, IL
The community benefit requirement under the Affordable Care Act creates an important opportunity for hospitals and community organizations to work together to address unmet community needs. After identifying childhood obesity as a priority area for intervention, Kishwaukee Hospital set a goal to promote nutrition education and greater physical activity for children and to create supportive policy changes in schools and afterschool programs. To accomplish this, the hospital has established a wide network of community partners including the local school districts, the Dekalb County Health Department, the YMCA, and Northern Illinois University. Working together, these organizations have secured funding, provided materials and training, and developed creative strategies for implementing and sustaining an evidence-based physical activity and nutrition education program in the community. One such strategy has been to establish a training program for university students to teach health education lessons in public school classrooms for course credit. As a result of these combined efforts, over 25,000 children were exposed to at least 6 lessons on healthy eating and physical activity during 2014.  Behavioral outcomes included improvements in the ability to identify healthy foods and activities, screen time, number of days being physically active, and nutrition knowledge and behavior.  By incorporating elements of the Health in All Policies approach - stakeholder engagement, intersectoral collaboration, the use of strategies that are mutually beneficial, and the creation of policies and process changes to ensure sustainability – Kishwaukee Hospital and its partners are creating environments supportive of healthy eating and physical activity to benefit children throughout their service area.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe how the formation of community partnerships can expand the reach of a hospital’s community benefit program. Discuss community-wide approaches to improving physical activity and nutrition behaviors among school-age children. Describe how a non-profit hospital and its partners are using elements of the Health in All Policies approach to reduce childhood obesity in their community.

Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration, Child Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee and co-coordinate the Dekalb County CATCH program, which is the subject of this abstract. I have been a CATCH trainer since 2011 and share my knowledge with other communities on how to sustain CATCH in their schools, YMCA’s, summer camps and other children’s programming. As a Public Health Nurse, and Community Health Liaison for KishHealth System, it is part of my role to address the issues of childhood obesity plaguing our county.
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.