We Can!™ Sweeping into Community Health Centers Coast to Coast
From East to West, North to South, big city to small town, We Can! continues to be snapped up by community health centers across the nation. Here’s a look at the latest developments:
Over the course of a single month—May 2008—116 health centers and clinics signed on as official We Can! community sites. Thanks go to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which has been promoting the We Can! movement through its vast network since early 2008. In June, We Can! Program Officer Karen Donato, along with representatives from HRSA clinics who are implementing the We Can! parent program, spoke at HRSA’s first all-grantee conference in three years. She presented participants with insight into We Can!’s science-based approach, and how it can assist health-center providers in helping children and families maintain a healthy weight through better nutrition choices, increased fitness, and reduced screen time. HRSA became an official We Can! partner on September 23.
We Can! recently took a bite out of the “Big Apple” with help from the Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS), which represents 50 Federally-qualified community health centers in New York City. In May, We Can! presented at the CHCANYS clinical conference in White Plains, NY, to an audience that included participants from the entire state of New York. Then, on June 30, CHCANYS and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (which serves at-risk populations through community based partnerships) partnered to offer a one-day We Can! Parent Program and S.M.A.R.T. program training in Manhattan.
New Yorkers Elizabeth Swain, CEO of CHCANYS; Wanda Montalvo, Chief Clinical Officer of CHCANYS; and Andrew Ackerman, Executive Director of CMOM gathered to declare June 30 Childhood Obesity Prevention Day in New York City. NHLBI Nutrition Education Specialist Janet de Jesus (second from right) was there to give them a hand.
In addition, CHCANYS included We Can! in its Obesity Initiative, through which CHCANYS worked with health centers to develop strategies to support community outreach efforts, link to existing NYC programs that promote physical activity, and support health centers in reviewing current diabetes registries to identify patients living with diabetes that are overweight or obese. A big “thank you” also goes to CHCANYS for introducing We Can! across state lines to the New Jersey State Primary Care Association.
At-risk communities in Washington, DC, are benefiting from a big push by the Unity Health Care Upper Cardoza Clinic, which has pumped up its Spanish-language We Can! programming this fall. Read all about it in this newsletter’s Community Spotlight.