Community Partnerships to Promote Healthy Active Living

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Purpose To describe outcomes of community partnerships for promoting healthy active living among families with young children in the ReadNPlay for a Bright Future Project.

Methods ReadNPlay for a Bright Future was developed through grant support from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Metlife Foundation awarded to the East Tennessee State University Department of Pediatrics and Tennessee AAP Chapter. ReadNPlay is a coordinated, multi-level, multi-component initiative promoting healthy active living among families with young children during infant-toddler health supervision visits and in childcare and other community settings. The project site is located in rural southern Appalachia, an area of the country with a high prevalence of obesity. Materials and messages developed by the project team were finalized during a community forum with stakeholders held in Northeast Tennessee in fall 2012. Four themes emerged as a focus for the initiative: Play More: Shut off the Screen, Play Together: Be Active as a Family, Fuel to Play: Eat Healthy, and Play Safely. Partnerships with the regional children's hospital, childcare providers, health department, public libraries, and farmers' markets were supported through on-going communication via email, social media, and individual meetings. Availability of two $750 pediatric resident mini-grants and structure afforded by the residency program's existing community pediatrics rotation facilitated development and implementation of community initiatives for this project.

Results Project posters displayed in community settings, use of social media, and periodic community events are reinforcing efforts to promote healthy active living in the clinical setting. A new event for families with infants/toddlers was added to the children's hospital annual Kids Run, involving over 120 families during the first year. Walk N' Rollers received free Reach Out and Read books and were surprised at the sugar content of juice and other beverages displayed in sippy cups as part of a “Sugar Quiz.” Information disseminated through regional child care centers will promote participation in a summer Walk N' Roll program in addition to this annual event. At a regional childcare provider conference, ReadNPlay workshops with over 100 infant-toddler teachers and 40 families were conducted and information on Tennessee's “Gold Sneaker” designation for compliance with state nutrition and physical activity policies was shared (only 6% of local centers are designated). During summer 2013, 75 families are being provided with $10 farmers' market vouchers at their 12-15 month well child visit to encourage consumption of fruits and vegetables. 18-month statistics on social media reach, walking program participation, new Gold Sneaker designations, and farmers' market program participation will be presented.

Conclusion This presentation will illustrate how pediatric residency programs and practitioners may partner with existing community organizations and initiatives to promote healthy active living in families with young children.


Orlando, FL

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