We Can!® Teams up with Let's Move Faith and Communities

Girl running while flying kite

On March 7, We Can! was highlighted during a Let's Move! anniversary event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C.

During the event, First Lady Michelle Obama honored the work of faith-based and community organization leaders, like our very own Vanetta Keyes of C.H.O.I.C.E.S in Kennesaw Georgia, who have joined the Let's Move Faith and Communities (LMFC) initiative. Mrs. Obama talked about how critical the actions of community leaders like you are in helping children maintain a healthy weight.

We Can! leaders Melissa McGowan, Dr. Melinda Kelley, and Karen Donato; We Can! community site leader Vanetta Keyes of C.H.O.I.C.E.S.; and Dr. Gary Gibbons, director of the NHLBI
(Left to right) We Can! leaders Melissa McGowan and Karen Donato; We Can! community site leader Vanetta Keyes of C.H.O.I.C.E.S.; We Can! leader Dr. Melinda Kelley; and Dr. Gary Gibbons, director of the NHLBI

Similar to We Can!, the mission of LMFC is to train, educate, and equip faith- and-community-based health leaders with best practices and resources to help them create opportunities for making healthier choices, provide access to healthy, affordable food, and encourage increased physical activity. The LMFC initiative currently includes an extensive network of neighborhood organizations, as well as national partners such as the Seventh-day Adventists and the National Baptist Convention.

We Can!'s partnership with LMFC was one of three featured during the March anniversary event at the White House. Dr. Gary H. Gibbons, Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) expressed his excitement for the collaboration between We Can! and LMFC while acknowledging other NIH partners who work with the NHLBI on We Can!, including the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Cancer Institute.

As part of the partnership, We Can! staff is engaging and informing the LMFC partners and other interested community organization leaders about We Can!'s parent and youth curricula through webinars, national meetings and other opportunities.

Dr. Gibbons reminded the crowd that while the goals of We Can!—helping families eat healthier and move more—seem simple in concept, changing behaviors for a lifetime is difficult. Collaboration is critical, according to Gibbons, who noted that the We Can! program actively engages community leaders in partnerships that turn NIH-supported research into real-world improvements in health around the country. By working together, we hope that We Can! and LMFC can reach more families and communities and help them to maintain healthy lifestyles through eating right, getting active, and reducing screen time.

Learn more about We Can! and LMFC's partnership at: http://www.hhs.gov/partnerships/letsmove.

Last Updated: May 17, 2013