About the EHHD ACHIEVE Initiative
Community Partners & Their Stories
The Eastern Highlands Health District provides local public health servides for ten Connecticut member towns:
Andover, Ashford, Bolton, Chaplin, Columbia, Coventry, Mansfield, Scotland, Tolland, and Willington
Office: 4 South Eagleville Rd. Mansfield, CT 06268
About the 9-5-2-1-0 for Health Campaign
The 9-5-2-1-0 for Health Campaign is a community-wide strategy for improving child health through healthy lifestyle promotion. This campaign was originally coordinated through the Eastern Highlands Health District’s ACHIEVE Initiative and then continued support by the Tolland County Community Health Action Response Team (CHART) and funding from the Department of Public Health. The goal of this initiative is to change child health behaviors by creating supportive environments where children live, learn, and play. Specifically, the aim is to help more children in Eastern Connecticut practice the 9-5-2-1-0 for Health behaviors so that fewer children will develop unhealthy weight and related health problems. This will require the commitment of not only parents & caregivers, but hundreds of community organizations with the potential to influence child health behaviors. The 9-5-2-1-0 for Health Initiative is a product of the Northern Virginia Healthy Kids Coalition and shared with the EHHD with permission. The 95210 for Health message and selected materials are owned by Community Health Solutions (www.CommunityHealthSolutions.net) and used by EHHD with permission.
To reach us call Ana Zeller at the Health District at 860-429-3361 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Better Health through Energy Balance
Changing the behaviors that affect childhood overweight and obesity (nutrition, exercise, sleep, screen time) is an investment in lifelong health. To the extent children improve their energy balance by sleeping well, eating well, limiting screen time, exercising more, and reducing sugared beverages, the more likely they are to achieve an optimal weight and reduce their risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other lifestyle-related diseases. Even better, children who establish these healthy patterns at a young age are more likely to sustain those habits into the future. In this context, an investment in better health through energy balance could pay dividends for many decades to come in terms of suffering and expense avoided, and productivity and quality of life achieved.
2. Better Health for Every Child
It is important to note that the benefits of better health through energy balance are intended for everyone. The initiative is aimed at all children, not just those who happen to be overweight at this time of their life. The initiative must also be inclusive of children and families of all ages, sexes, cultural background, disability status, and health status. And, it is worth stating that this approach poses a challenge to all of us. The people and organizations who support CHART are challenged to ‘practice what we preach’ when we promote better health through energy balance.
3. The Primary Influence of Parents & Caregivers
Parents & caregivers are obviously the first and most important influence on child health behaviors. The research shows that parents & caregivers are almost unanimous in recognizing that they themselves should play a major role in fighting childhood overweight and obesity. But they need help. The large majority of parents believe that health care providers, schools, marketers, food service organizations, child care centers, and state and local government should also play a role in fighting childhood overweight and obesity, and promoting health.
4. The Reinforcing Influence of Community
Research from the health fields shows that parents and community are a powerful combination for changing child behavior. One theory of behavior change, the ‘social ecological model’, posits that people (including children) are more likely to change their behaviors when they encounter positive messages and supports for behavior change in their surrounding community – their family, their social network, their neighborhood institutions, and the media. The 9-5-2-1-0 for Health Campaign focuses on this 'social-ecological model of change' as the most promising model for promoting better health through energy balance for our children in their own local communities.
5. The Community Vision: 360 Degrees of Child Health Promotion
Based on the social-ecological model of behavior change, we envision a community in which individuals, families and institutions from all jurisdictions and sectors collaborate to ensure that all children receive messages and practical supports for better health through energy balance for children in their home and in their community. In the ideal vision, children will be ‘surrounded on all sides’ by the messages and supports they need to eat healthy and be physically active. We call this vision ‘360 degrees of child health promotion’.
6. Community Impact Targets
CHART strives to:
Engage partners from all member towns.
Engage partners from at least ten major sectors (including but not limited to) the business sector, child care, municipal planning, faith communities, food services, health care, local government, media, parks and recreation, public health, public safety, schools, child advocacy groups, and parent organizations.
Show demonstrable improvement in child and family awareness of and behaviors leading to better health through energy balance.
Halt and reverse the upward trend in childhood overweight and obesity.
7. Regional Impact Strategies
The CHART plans to implement three core strategies aimed at equipping children and parents with the supports they need to adopt healthier habits for energy balance.
Community Partnerships. This Campaign will ultimately engage hundreds of community partners in a shared effort to promote better health through energy balance where children live, learn, and play. Partnerships will be cultivated with organizations from all towns and organizational sectors mentioned above. Community partners will be asked to deliver positive messages about better health through energy balance to the children and families they encounter every day. Community partners will also be asked to implement policy, environmental, program, and practice changes which support the adoption of healthy behaviors by children and families.
Social Marketing. Children and families can benefit from positive messages about the value of energy balance and its components (healthy eating, physical activity, proper sleep, and reduced screen time). This campaign will deliver these messages to children and families where they live, learn, and play. Marketing could include electronic media, print media, posters, and additional messages and tools for children and families. Most importantly, the social marketing campaign would engage dozens of organizations – public, private, and nonprofit – in a shared effort to spread the message of better health through energy balance for children where children live, learn, and play.
Policy, Program, and Practice Supports. Social marketing can deliver the message, but supportive policies, environments, programs, and practices are needed to help children and families practice healthy habits in their daily lives. CHART is active in helping organizations and groups develop and implement institutional policies, environments, programs, and practices which promote better health through energy balance in the community setting. The goal is to create a community in which children receive positive messages, healthy food choices, and healthy physical activity opportunities where they live, learn, and play (e.g. schools, neighborhoods, parks and recreation centers, physician offices and heath clinics, child care centers, faith communities, and more).
8. Community Capacity-Building Strategies
CHART and this 9-5-2-1-0 Campaign takes a positive, proactive approach to engage and equip community partners for promoting better health through energy balance for children. We will employ eight core strategies to build community capacity in the EHHD community:
Raise Awareness. CHART will continually raise awareness of the importance of energy balance for children in the EHHD community.
Engage Partners. CHART will proactively engage people and organizations from all member towns and sectors as partners in promoting energy balance for children.
Give Voice. CHART will seek and give voice to community concerns and ideas about promoting energy balance for children.
Mobilize Resources. CHART will collaborate with its partners to develop and mobilize community resources to support community action.
Support Broad Strategies. CHART will collaborate with its partners to facilitate development of broad strategies for promoting energy balance for children.
Support Collaboration. CHART will support collaborative efforts of community organizations wishing to work together to improve community policies, programs, and practices.
Build Technical Capacity. CHART will build community capacity by operating a ‘community of practice’. Community of practice members will receive knowledge, data, tools, training, coaching, and networking support to advance their work in promoting energy balance for children.
Evaluate Impact. CHART will work with community partners to identify appropriate measures of the impact of its actions in order to continually learn and deliver accountability to community partners.