Concurrent Sessions 1
Breastfeeding Line-Up: Is Your Team Ready?
Are you ready to respond to the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to support breastfeeding? Is your team of health professionals ready to make breastfeeding easier for families, employers, and your community? Breastfeeding kick-starts good health, yet Virginia communities continue to see a decline in breastfeeding rates. Learn how two health districts successfully implement strategies and programs that improve local health-care provider knowledge and ultimately also improve breastfeeding rates. Hear innovative strategies for breastfeeding rooms at work sites and community events. Learn how to establish support networks through Certified Lactation Counselors, complete with training and resource guides.
Childhood Obesity Reduction: New Strategies
Solving the Puzzle (PDF)
Participants in this session will hear success stories from clinical, community and academic partnerships implementing evidence- and family-based childhood obesity treatment programs. Improvements in health outcomes are achievable when using a team model that addresses the key success factor of patient retention in pediatric weight management treatment. Speakers will highlight research, processes and tools used, plus key considerations for success.
Community Collaboration: Maximizing Opportunities for Physical Activity
Run, bike or walk your way to fitness… that’s the approach used by Virginia counties that collaborate on strategies to improve youth physical activity to address childhood obesity. To achieve the recommended 60 minutes per day exercise, activities are integrated into daily living to counteract adolescent declines in exercise and a lack of safe exercise zones among urban youth. Learn how local health districts and YMCA partners work with local communities to build, provide access to and promote healthy environments for biking and walking and outdoor and indoor recreational opportunities.
Oasis in a Food Desert
Good nutritional status requires access to healthy foods, yet almost half a million Virginia children live in low-income communities with limited supermarket access. Learn how leaders are attacking the problem of food deserts through healthy-food financing initiatives coupled with strategies of community collaboration. Participants in this session will come away with a view of the magnitude of the problem, plus solutions to address economic, geographical and social determinates of poor nutritional health.
School Wellness: Moving from Talk to Action
School Wellness (PDF)
Game On (PDF)
The CDC reinforces the importance of school wellness policies that guide local educational agencies and school districts in the creation of supportive school nutrition and physical activity environments. Districts may optionally develop policies to meet unique market needs, but at a minimum must outline goals that are based on evidence-based strategies. Learn about peer best practices for putting local school wellness policies into action. Thought leaders and program experts will provide an overview of successful strategies such as empowerment of nurses as school health champions, using a wellness framework to improve school health initiatives and opportunities to advance wellness.
Starting Early: Building Healthier Child Care
Starting Early (PDF)
Obesity prevention starts in early childhood but requires a lifecycle focus as children age. In Virginia almost 70 percent of children from birth to age 5 spend time in early learning centers, making preschool settings a priority for early obesity intervention. When healthy eating and physical activity habits are acquired during preschool years they can last a lifetime. Learn about Virginia’s experiences implementing national models for a preschool population (Nemours’ Early Care and Educational Learning Collaborative, CDC-funded Go-NAPSACC project) and examples of center-based strategies for creating healthy early childhood education environments.
Concurrent Sessions 2
#RevYourBev #MakeItYours #Winning
Rev Your Bev 757 (PDF)
Since 2013 more than 100,000 Virginians have explored how much sugar is in certain drinks, how that sugar can harm their body and how to make healthier drink choices through the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth’s (VFHY) Rev Your Bev initiative. In collaboration with community partners, VFHY is making significant strides in supporting reduced consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. Learn the steps to success that resulted in a 46 percent improvement in the rate of high school students who choose not to drink soda in Virginia over the last five years. Session participants will gain insight into strategies for engaging youth in obesity prevention, enhancing collective impact for regional and statewide initiatives and specific tactics to increase awareness and change behavior around sugary beverage consumption.
Best Practices in Healthy Food Access
Increasing access to healthy food, especially in underserved areas, is key to improving the health of Virginians. During this session, participants will learn about best practice initiatives across the spectrum of food production, food distribution, community education and benefit distribution. Hear how public and private partners are collaborating on innovative programs such as mobile markets, farm-to-school programs and systems technology to improve distribution effectiveness of electronic benefits transfer (EBT).
Closing the Gap: Community Action Networks Tackling Obesity, Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke
Closing the Gap 1 (PDF)
Closing the Gap 2 (PDF)
In order to close the gap on the social determinants of health and achieve health equity, sweeping advances must be made in health care, business, law enforcement, transportation and community planning. The Virginia Department of Health acknowledges that success will depend on the ability of public health leaders to convene public and private stakeholders to establish common goals and cultivate ongoing, strategic, multi-sector collaborations. Through a 2014-2018 funding opportunity from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, five local health districts in Virginia have developed regional Community Action Networks to harness the power of collective impact to establish policies and programs that influence the social, physical and economic conditions within their localities to improve the health of their residents, especially in high-risk areas, in ways that can be sustained over time. Two health districts – Crater Health District and Portsmouth Health District – will share how this comprehensive, collaborative approach has been adapted to two unique regions of the state and discuss how coalitions in Petersburg, Hopewell and Portsmouth have already begun to generate community-wide change.
Healthy Communications in Practice
All About Balance (PDF)
Healthy Vending (PDF)
Food trends evolve over time but often have lasting impact on behavioral choices made by youth. Health leaders who understand the challenges for health promotion caused by food marketing will be better equipped to implement strategies that reinforce healthy behaviors. “Healthy” vending machines can carry point-of-sale messaging and provide healthy alternative snacks to combat the obesity epidemic. Examine messaging that fuels poor food choices and solutions that promote healthy options. Learn about innovative ways to use social media and communication tactics to teach families healthy eating guidelines. Learn to craft a strategy that raises awareness, educates and creates a culture of health to drive behavior change.
Healthy Students = (Nutrition + Physical Activity) x Schools
Spearheading Change (PDF)
Children spend the majority of their waking hours in school, making this environment a priority for delivery of healthy nutrition policies and practices. Best practices will be shared on how to drive change through collaboration with family and community partners, especially for low-income communities with Spanish-speaking students. Participants will learn how communities have cultivated partnerships that reduced program costs and created sustainable change. Learn how to promote the development of institutional knowledge and expertise within the school environment. Discover ways to increase availability and demand for fresh produce, decrease consumption of sugar sweetened beverages and promote healthy behaviors in the school setting.
Super Snack: Super Heroes of After-School Meals
Super Snack (PDF)
Expanding CACFP (PDF)
After-school meal programs serve millions of children nationally and are essential to many working low- and middle-class families. Yet, in Virginia for every 100 school lunches served to kids in need there are just two after-school meals served. Why the gap? Many schools choose to serve a National School Lunch Program Snack that consists of only two meal components, however the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) at-risk after-school meals program consists of five meal components. Learn about the advantages for student, school and state health in moving to a CACFP after-school meals program.
Concurrent Sessions 3
Can you dig it? Classroom on the Farm Successes
Virginia’s youth often don’t recognize the sources of healthy foods. Community partnerships between food growers, distributors and school systems are working to improve community understanding of how food is grown and how food affects health and wellness. Partners are engaging children in the basics of farm-to-table process and educating on good nutritional choices. See how the local food economy, school programs and well-being of children is influenced by these successful partnerships. This session will share farm-to-school best practices, resources and programs occurring in Virginia that emphasize hands-on activities, field trips school gardens and farmers’ markets.
Extra Credit: Making Schools More Active
Kids Run RVA (PDF)
Physical activities in the classroom and throughout the school days are a key strategy in the battle against obesity. Innovative educators and community partners are developing new ways to engage students in physical activity and develop lifelong habits. Participants in this session will learn how community leaders collaborate with schools to establish new ways for children to exercise in a safe environment with peers and support groups. Schools can receive resources from partners to include staff and training for events and even assist with costs of building walking tracks on school property. Join this session to learn the road map for successful program replication in local markets.
Family Engagement Strategies for Improving Health
Improving Packed Lunches (PDF)
Family engagement is key to improving health. Effective lifestyle changes require involvement of the entire family, including parental and influencer role models. Lifestyle interventions can be implemented in both the home and school environments to achieve high-impact results that improve confidence in sustaining healthy behaviors, reduce obesity and lower risk of long-term chronic disease. Learn how to provide comprehensive family education and engagement programs that improve dietary choices and increase physical exercise. Learn techniques that address home eating environments, as what is consumed at school often comes from family kitchen cupboards. Get familiar with best practice resources, parent education and tools to evaluate success.
Food Insecurity: Solutions through Community Collaboration
Community–based collaboration is a critical success factor in addressing social determinants of health, the problem of food access, insecurity and associated diet-related health conditions. In Virginia, partnerships are proving effective in making changes that promote community health, especially among disadvantaged populations. Innovative programs are implementing strategies integrating gardening, mobile markets, physical education and family nutrition education. Underserved, low-income populations are experiencing benefits, including localities with Spanish-speaking school communities. Participants in this session will learn about the importance of multi-sector collaboration to increase awareness of and access to healthy living programs and receive insights gained from successful family, community and university partnerships in Loudoun and Fairfax counties.
Going Local with Farm to School
What’s new in Farm to School successes? Communities across Virginia are working to provide local, healthy food options and education to influence eating behaviors among children. Through the use of local resources and engaged citizens, school systems are benefiting from a strong Farm to School cultural commitment. As a result the state is experiencing healthier communities with a better understanding of how food is grown and how food affects health and wellness. This session will share Farm to School best practices, resources, programs and model programs that are occurring in Virginia.
GREAT Starts with School Breakfast!
Children who eat breakfast consistently increase their chances to succeed in the classroom and later in life, yet only half of Virginia children who depend on school lunch start their days with school breakfast. To increase access and participation within the breakfast program, breakfast after the bell models have been implemented across the commonwealth, e.g. Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab and Go, and Second Chance Breakfast. Learn about best practices in which switching to an alternative breakfast model allows schools to reach more children who are vulnerable to food insecurity, improve their chance of achieving higher academic performance and help youth stay more engaged, focused and attentive throughout the school day.