Online Program

Improving High School Students' Health through Community Partnerships

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Maya Robinson, MPH, Department of Public Health, College of Health Professions-Mercer University, Atlanta, GA
Jimmie Smith Jr., MD, MPH, Department of Public Health, Mercer University College of Health Professions, Macon, GA
Georgia is ranked in the top 10 in the nation with respect to the prevalence of overweight and obese children, with 37% of adolescents categorized as overweight and obese (Lyn, O'Meara, Hepburn, & Potter, 2012). Consequently, the state recently (2009) passed the School Health and Physical Education Act (SHAPE) requiring certified physical education teachers statewide to annually utilize Fitnessgram, a fitness assessment tool, in schools. In hopes of enhancing this effort, the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) has also begun sponsoring several projects, including ours, that promote community partnering in incorporating a nutrition component based on the USDA’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 into the core SHAPE projects.

Here we discuss the collaboration between the Bibb County School District-Nutrition Department, Mercer University graduate students, and local High School administrators that eventuated in recommendations and strategies to improve student health, such as the implementation of school gardens, cooking demonstrations, creating a school health council, and training sessions on administering Fitnessgram. We also present our evaluation of the effectiveness of these efforts on student health outcomes.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Administration, management, leadership
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Design physical activity and nutrition activities for high school students in low income areas. Evaluate physical activity and nutrition activities targeting high school students. Design partnerships between school districts and Master public health students. Identify challenges in implementing physical activity and nutrition activities in a high school setting.

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

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I serve as an Assistant Professor of Practice and Liaison for the Academic Health Department for Mercer University, College of Health Professions and as Health Promotions Coordinator for the GA Dept. of Public Health, North Central Health District. I was the adviser and preceptor for Ms. Maya Robinson on this area of research.
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.