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Drexel University College of Medicine/Hahnemann University Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program will host monthly fitness and nutrition educational sessions for children and their families at the Eliza Shirley Women and Children’s Shelter in downtown Philadelphia.
The shelter, run by the Salvation Army, provides safe, clean housing, meals and activities for homeless women and their children.
Starting in November, two residents and a faculty member will host the program at the shelter, with the assistance of a nutritionist and fitness trainer. The monthly one-hour sessions will provide physical activities and nutritional education for both parents and children.
Women and children at the shelter will be given vouchers to redeem at a local health food market as incentive to participate in the program, to return each month, and to continue implementing the program on their own.
Each session will incorporate physical activity, such as jumping rope, hula hooping, jumping jacks, situps, push-ups, and walking, and will include group activities for the adults and children that focus on active family time. A fitness trainer will assist with the activities.
The nutritional education will be dual-focused to provide age-appropriate information to children and parents. Parents’ sessions will include providing healthy snack and meal plans and food label evaluation. Children’s sessions will include playing healthy food games and introducing tasty, nutritious foods. A nutritionist will organize and lead each session.
Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital Family Medicine Residency’s Home for Supper project intends to teach families with high rates of obesity how to create home environments that support both physical and mental health.
Thirty percent of Indiana youth are overweight or obese, and 30 percent of children in Muncie live in poverty. While there are assistance programs, such as the Second Harvest Food Bank, for families in need, there has not been a coordinated effort to demonstrate how to prepare and serve food in a way that promotes both physical and mental health.
The Home For Supper program will promote healthy meal planning and cooking techniques, as well as a return to family meals that foster conversations and minimize distractions such as television and texting. The program will also promote active lifestyles for children and their families.
The program will take place at Muncie’s Ross Community Center, which has a gym for children’s fitness activities and a kitchen for cooking demonstrations. Participants will be recruited during a health fair to be held in January at the community center. The residency program will then hold hour-long educational sessions twice a month to work with families to promote practices that foster physical and mental health.
Loma Linda University Family and Preventive Medicine Residency Program will develop clinical guidelines, implement a nutritional prescription program and work with community health workers to prevent childhood obesity among children 1 to 4 years old.
The program will be based out of the Loma Linda University Family Medicine Clinic in Loma Linda and the Social Action Community Health System in San Bernardino, two community-based health centers which serve low-income, and under and uninsured individuals in the area.
The use of clinical guidelines is a well-established method for improving the quality of patient care and will improve the identification, treatment, and follow-up of children who are overweight, obese, or at risk of developing obesity during regular primary care clinic visits
The residency program will explore the effectiveness of nutrition prescriptions to actually create health behavior change compared to typical physician nutrition advice.
Outside of the clinic, the residency program will work with community health workers, or promotores de salud, who have expertise in gaining the trust and respect of Latino communities and have been shown to promote positive behavior change, increase the use of preventive services, increase access to health care and create positive community change. The promotores will collect data regarding nutrition compliance and provide reinforcing health education messages that connect the children to the cultural realities dealt with by each family.
The Lynchburg Family Medicine Residency Program will focus on providing intensive interventions to promote healthy lifestyles for overweight and obese children and their families within their medical home.
Data show that 31 percent of children aged 10 to 17 in Virginia are overweight or obese. Rural residents served by the residency often have limited access to major supermarkets, with the closest food retailers being convenience stores that do not sell fresh fruits and vegetables.
The residency program will educate families about the 5-3-2-1-0 Healthy Lifestyle model. This model calls for five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, three healthy meals with an emphasis on home cooking, limiting“screen time” to two hours a day, engaging in one hour of physical activity in which participants break a sweat and having zero sugar-sweetened drinks within the home.
The components of the 5-3-2-1-0 Healthy Lifestyle model will be presented to overweight and obese children and their families during six monthly office visits with their primary care provider. After completion of the six-month educational program, patients will be followed up with by their primary care physician to monitor progress.
The Northridge Family Medicine Residency Program will target eighth-grade students and their parents with programs to raise awareness and increase knowledge about healthy nutrition and fitness in an effort to reduce childhood obesity in its community.
Studies by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health show that 20.4 percent of children in the Northridge community are overweight. Residents, a clinical nutritionist and a psychologist will work with an 8th-grade class at Northridge Middle school, meeting with students and their parents five times in the course of a year.
Students will learn about healthy eating choices through activities, such as using spoonfuls of solid shortening to display fat equivalents found in various snacks, and a demonstration of how to prepare simple, nutritious snacks. They will also learn about strength, endurance and flexibility through group fitness activities, and will experience the effect of added weight on their ability to move through a demonstration using weighted backpacks.
Students and their parents will be provided with a digital camera and asked to keep a photo diary of all food and drinks consumed in the course of a week. Residents will analyze the diaries, help participants identify sources of fats and sugars in customary meals and snacks, and suggest ways to modify meals and recipes for health.
Parents will learn the importance of being a positive role model for their children and learn tactics to improve food choices, increase physical activity, and reduce “screen time” in their households.
Underwood Memorial Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program’s project will improve the knowledge, skills and confidence in child patients and parents regarding fitness that will allow them to make good choices for themselves and their families.
Underwood Memorial Hospital serves high-poverty and medically underserved areas. The New Jersey Childhood Obesity Study released by Rutgers Center for State Health in 2010 found obesity and overweight rates of up to 40 percent.
The residency program will organize and promote a Healthy Habits Community Health Fair to reach out to children and parents in their community and provide information about community resources such as the YMCA, sports camps and fitness classes.
It will also host a series of monthly group workshops that incorporate motivational interviewing and address the importance of fitness, diet, physical activity and emotional well-being. Topics for these workshops include Fun Family Meals and Making Exercise Fun for Everyone. As part of their project, the residency program will evaluate the effectiveness of group workshops in improving patient and parent knowledge, skill and confidence in preventing childhood obesity.
The University of Maryland School of Medicine Family and Community Medicine Residency Program will lead the Better My Identity program to empower fourth- and fifth-grade students in the Baltimore community to make wise decisions regarding nutrition, diet and exercise.
Data from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Medicaid Healthy Kids Program and the Center for Maternal and Child Health indicate that 22.4 percent of children between 6 and 11 years old were obese, and 16.9 percent were overweight. For children 12 – 19 years of age, 24.6 percent were found to be obese, while an additional 18.2 percent were overweight.
During the coming year, the residency will work with fourth- and fifth-grade students at Furman Templeton and Robert Marshal elementary schools to improve their fitness. The program will also involve parents in “Saturday School” sessions.
The Better My Identity program will provide age-appropriate education regarding obesity, its complications and the keys to prevention. Residents will show participants Max’s Magical Delivery: Fit for Kids, a fun, interactive DVD created for children and their families by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality which offers suggestions on healthy nutrition, diet and exercise. The residency will also hold health screenings in which participants will be measured for height, weight, body mass index and blood pressure.
A nutrition education session will help teach parents about the importance of a healthy diet and proper nutrition while a cooking demonstration will give them hands-on experience with healthful foods. Residents will also lead physical activity exercises with children and their parents, emphasizing how active lifestyles decrease the risk of obesity. Interactive sessions with school social workers and the residency’s behavorialist will help promote emotional well-being as an important component of fitness.
Waco Family Medicine Residency Program intends to lead its community to healthy behaviors through family group medical visits.
Waco Family Medicine Residency Program is centered in a Federally Qualified Community Health Center in an underserved community in central Texas with a rate of childhood obesity greater than 30 percent.
The residency will conduct local community focus groups to identify barriers preventing community residents from healthy eating, exercise and a general sense of safety and well-being. The residents and faculty will also host Fit and Healthy Families group medical visits and monthly healthy living workshops.
During a family group medical visit, residents will calculate all participants’ body mass index, promote physical activity, demonstrate healthy food choices and portion control, and discuss the importance of emotional health.
The York Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program will lead the Get Fit with Your Doc program to actively engage communityyouth and their parents in ways to lead healthy lifestyles.
A 2009 Gallup survey found that the York area experienced a 34 percent rate of obesity and overweight among its residents. Data collected by the York Hospital Family Medicine Residency indicates a 35 percent occurrence of childhood obesity and overweight among its practice patient panel.
Residents will work with families to develop plans to increase their physical activity levels, with a goal of having participating children engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity at least five days a week. They will also hold monthly group activities, such as Walk with Docs outings. Residents will work with leaders from community schools, churches, businesses and the YMCA to identify barriers to physical fitness, and provide safe indoor and outdoor facilities for youths.
Residents will also teach participants how to choose healthy snacks through hands-on exercises in selecting foods from local stores and farmers’ markets, as well as how to select healthier items from fast food menus.
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Childhood Obesity Projects
Residency Program Project Descriptions