Last Thursday, the Department for Public Health (DPH), Cabinet for Health and Family Services sponsored their annual conference and you'll NEVER guess what their topic for this year was?? Coordinated School Health (CSH). It got me thinking… I've moved to the right state.
DPH Coordinated School Health lead, Victoria Greenwell partnered with Department of Education Coordinated School Health, Jamie Sparks, Todd Davis and Stephanie Bunge (which forms the CSH Team between health and education), Board of Education Health Sub-committee and RMC Health (an organization I'm on the Board of Directors for!) to put on this fabulous event. The team worked tirelessly the past couple of months on this event (trust me, I know there have been late evening calls and weekend hours put into this event). What did they pull off?
- Over 350 people in attendance
- Over 30 school teams attended through leadership of and in partnership with a County Public Health Official
- All teams completed the WellSAT, a needs assessment tool to assess a school district's Wellness Policy
- Well-respected education researcher and author, Charles Basch, Healther Students are Better Learners, provided the keynote address
- Eight, 10 minute CSH Unbridled Talks, "TED-style" presentations by mostly local experts each sharing success stories and advocating for one of the eight components of coordinated school health (soon to be available on YouTube)
- Walking the talk by offering nutrient-rich, healthy breakfast, snack and lunch options
- Incorporating youth throughout the day to lead physical activities and introduce representatives from partnering organizations
- Time for school teams to network and action plan next steps
Some other highlights from the day include:
- Jefferson County Public Schools' commitment to participate in Let's Move Active Schools, therefore being the largest school district in the country to sign on to this national initiative
- Welcome from DPH Commissioner Stephanie Mayfield and Chief of Staff at Department of Education, Tommy Floyd, modeling the partnership between health and education
- Vicki Greenwell interviewing Charles Basch in the afternoon for partners in attendance not associated with a school team
- Sarah Peterson in attendance from Congressman John Yarmuth's office
- Also in attendance: Policy Advisor from KY Department of Education- Mary Ann Miller, Division Director of Maternal and Child Health - Dr. Ruth Ann Shepherd and Assistant Director - Marvin Miller, Deputy Secretary for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services- Eric Friedlander, President and Vice-President of KHDA (KY Health Department Association), Anthony Lockard and Paula Alexander
- Two state representatives joined school teams with their communities including Mary Lou Marzian from Jefferson County and W. Keith Hall from Pike County
- I sat at the same table with Commissioner Mayfield, Dr. Humbaugh (State Epidemiologist and Sr Deputy Commissioner) and enjoyed lunch conversations with Charles Basch and Tommy Floyd. Kentucky appears to be a place where people genuinely partner and are quite accessible.
- Key organizations in attendance: Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Humana Vitality, Action for Healthy Kids and many others!
- Social Media reach on Twitter: 30,000 (see graphs below)
Again, I'm proud and fortunate to live in a state with health and education working together to create healthier school communities! Go US!