Creative Nutrition Solutions, Steps to a HealthierNY, &United Health Services Hospitals
"We Can! promises to help our young people develop healthy practices at an early age, which will benefit our community for years to come."
—Binghamton Mayor Matthew Ryan
Community health organizations in the city of Binghamton and Broome County, New York, came together during the summer of 2007 to become involved in the We Can! movement. After taking some time to develop their cadre of partners and plans for programming and promotion, on June 18, 2008, Binghamton became a We Can! City and the surrounding Broome County became a We Can! County.
As the first We Can! City/County combination, Binghamton and Broome County provide a great example of how the combined efforts of two municipalities can generate exponential results! Read more about how this successful partnership uses the We Can! program below. Click on the links below to jump to certain sections.
In addition to their partnerships, programming, and outreach, We Can! organizers in Binghamton and Broome County have been successful in environmental change as well.
The Rock On Café program has enjoyed particular success in Broome County and will be featured in the Journal of Health Promotion and Practice for achieving sustainable systems change in the Broome County community. The fifteen school districts in Broome County came together in the movement for healthier food in 2007, organized by the Broome County Tioga Border Cooperative Education Services. By consolidating their buying power, area schools were able to purchase healthier foods at a reduced price. Program coordinators display and distribute We Can! materials to promote good nutrition and physical activity messages.
All of the new foods that have been introduced into the school district have been taste-tested in lunch rooms and approved by students. Elementary school students now enjoy pizzas with whole wheat crusts, ranch chicken wraps, and brown rice. Once a week they partake in a different Signature Salad, such as Asian chicken salad with mandarin oranges. The success of the program led it to expand to middle and high schools in Broome County in January 2009.
Binghamton and Broome County have established many successful We Can! programs and have more in the works!
Partnerships provide the foundation of the We Can! movement in Broome County and Binghamton. As City Youth Bureau Director Ana Shaello-Johnson said at the kick-off event for Binghamton to become a We Can! City and for Broome to become a We Can! County, “The partnership between the City, our School District, and other youth agencies is key to making We Can!’s resources accessible to our community. With collaborations like these, we’re making a healthy environment for our young people, and everyone.” Janet de Jesus of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) attended the kick-off and echoed Ms. Shaello-Johnson’s sentiments in saying, “By combining their efforts under the We Can! banner, community agencies in greater Binghamton will be able to reach out to families with greater efficiency and effectiveness.”
The following organizations are collaborating to run We Can! efforts, and many more community organizations participate in the effort.
Broome County and Binghamton kicked off their dual We Can! City and County efforts on June 18, 2008 at the United Health Services Stay Healthy Center in the Oakdale Mall. The event was covered by local TV and radio news sources and attended by Mayor Matthew Ryan, Janet de Jesus from the NHLBI, representatives of local organizations, and community members.
"We Can! promises to help our young people develop healthy practices at an early age, which will benefit our community for years to come,” said Mayor Ryan. “Studies show that proper exercise and nutrition are critical to overall youth development in terms of self-esteem, school performance, and social skills. A healthier community will also help us cut our many medical costs, saving money for all taxpayers."
Broome County and Binghamton have also had some other exciting We Can! events:
Creative Nutrition Solutions
PO Box 913
Vestal, NY 13851
Steps to a HealthierNY
225 Front Street
Broome County, NY 13905
United Health Services Hospitals
33-57 Harrison St.
Johnson City, New York 13790
For additional contact information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We Can! and the We Can! logo are trademarks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).