Kentucky Leadership Summit on Childhood Obesity

Afternoon panel at the KY Leadership Summit on Childhood Obesity

Afternoon panel at the KY Leadership Summit on Childhood Obesity

Yesterday, I was invited to an event that began with a wonderful reception at the Maxwell Place, residence of Drs Eli and Mary Lynne Capilouto (President and his wife) on the University of Kentucky's campus. The University of Kentucky (UK) hosted the KY Leadership Summit on Childhood Obesity in partnership with Kentucky Youth Advocates and Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and with support of a health policy grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Summit kicked off after the reception with opening remarks from Dr. Steven Wyatt from the School of Public Health at UK and Terry Brooks, Executive Director at Kentucky Youth Advocates. They both did a good job of framing the day… why we were there and what they hope we would accomplish by the end of the day. We were a selected group of organizations and individuals (about 50 people total) in attendance and they hoped we would come to consensus on 3 action items for next steps to address childhood obesity in the Commonwealth. 

We don’t know how to eat, how to create calorie-rich environments.
— David Jones, Jr, Jefferson County Public Schools Board of Education Member, Humana Board of Directors and Chairman of Chrysalis Ventures.

Bill Goodman from Kentucky Education Television interviewed David Jones, representing the Board of Education for Jefferson County Public Schools. David was the Chair of the Humana Board (in which he is still a member) and runs a venture capitalist, Chrysalis Ventures that funds innovative health and technology projects. David suggested that in Kentucky we are fortunate to have a lot of green space, where farmers markets and community gardens may continue to flourish. However, in the urban settings, which he called vertical cities, green space is few and far between. The key to change is using science, knowledge and marketing skills to change the food industry. With Yum! Brands located in Kentucky, we have an opportunity to work with them, not against them, to change the landscape in our communities. They have the skills, brain power and background in the engineering of food in which we can tap into to create healthier communities. David would like to see more education, as he views education to be a direct correlation to health. He also believes we need to change the price of calories, making the nutrient-rich choice the more affordable one. 

Who are you trying to punish? The teacher or the kid?
— Tom Shelton, Superintendent Fayette County School

After the morning interview with David, there were 4, 10 minute TED-style talks given by Dr. Leon Mooneyhan, CEO from Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, Dr. Heather Erwin, Director of Graduate Studies at UK, Dr. Tom Shelton Superintendent, Fayette County Schools and Jamie Sparks, Director of Coordinated School Health, Kentucky Department of Education. Highlights include Heather discussing the research behind how implementing Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs (CSPAP) does NOT decrease academic achievement. She went on to discuss the links between health and academic achievement. Tom Shelton talked about how schools sometimes implement silent lunch and take away recess or use physical activity as a punishment. Tom asked, "Who are you trying to punish? The teacher or the kid?" Jamie talked about how in school health we keep trying to find more water to put out the fire versus actually addressing the issues. "We need to get to a point where PE and Health Education is a normal part of the school day. Obesity is a river with lots of contributaries. There are many moving parts." Jamie went on to say that racial, disability and gender inequities were not created within school environments. They were bigger social issues in which schools addressed and became agents of change. Obesity is no different. Schools, as entire communities should address the issue. 

Jess Lawrence, Mary Lynne Capilouto and Jamie Sparks

Jess Lawrence, Mary Lynne Capilouto and Jamie Sparks

In the afternoon, there was an expert panel facilitated by Bill Goodman and included Julie Brackett, VP of Advocacy at the American Heart Association, Dr. Heather Erwin, Director of Graduate Studies at UK, Dr. Stu Silverman, ED at Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence and Dr. Susan Zepeda, CEO Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. I currently do contract work with the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and was thrilled to hear Susan discuss how philanthropy/Foundations can help support and address the issue of childhood obesity within schools. She reminded us how the norm should be creating healthy environments and how we all need to model healthy behaviors. We did it with tobacco.

Put a certified PE teacher in every school.
— Wilson Sears, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents

We were then assigned into break out groups to discuss what the ONE next step we would like to see to address childhood obesity within school environments in the Commonwealth. It was wonderful to hear Wilson Sears from the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents say, "Put a certified PE teacher in every school." My break out discussed building awareness, who the right influencers are to build awareness, fitness measures for schools and increase community engagement. Each of the 3 break out groups came to consensus on their top three ideas and from there, all 9 ideas were distilled to three. The three big ideas will be around support and professional development to educators (builds awareness), community and school partnerships and policy. Next steps include workgroups to being strategic planning to implement some of the ideas we discussed in the initial meeting. 

Organizations represented were:
Kentucky Youth Advocates
Kentucky School Board Association
Kentucky Cancer Consortium
YMCA of Greater Louisville
American Heart Association
Kentucky Department of Education
University of Kentucky
Tweens Coalition
Center for Rural Journalism and Community Issues
Former Meade County Superintendent 
KY Assocation for Health, PE, Recreation and Dance
Lexington YMCA
Kentucky Legislature
Kentucky Education Television
Friedell Committee
Kentucky Association of School Councils
Hardin County Schools
JCPS Board of Education
UK, College of Education, School of Public Health, Department of Pediatrics, College of Agriculture
Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Kentucky Board of Education
KY Cabinet for Health and Family Services
KY Association of School Superintendents
Fayette County Schools
Prichard Committee
Kentucky PTA
Lincoln County Schools

Susan Zepeda encouraged us all to model healthy activities. Proud to say the day ended with a gorgeous bicycle ride in Mammoth Cave National Park with Jamie Sparks and Stephanie Bunge from the Kentucky Department of Education while traveling from this event in Lexington to Bowling Green for another school health event the following day!

Jess Lawrence, Stephanie Bunge and Jamie Sparks enjoying a bike ride after the event!

Jess Lawrence, Stephanie Bunge and Jamie Sparks enjoying a bike ride after the event!


Sugarloaf Maine; Schoolsite Health Promotion Conference

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I'm here! It's gorgeous. 4 months ago when Susan Berry at the Maine Department of Education contacted me about working with them again at the end of June at Sugarloaf Resort, how could I say no? I arrived at 2pm today, took a hike part way up a ski mountain I haven't been to since high school. No joke, this place is in the middle of Maine. It took about 4.5 hours to drive here from Boston this morning. The weather is perfect and it's nice to be here a little early. 

Since I'm here for the entire 3-day conference, Susan and I worked together to determine a few opportunities for me to participate in the conference. This conference has been held for 29 years (!) and focuses on school employee wellness. So, tomorrow is the first day and I'll be facilitating the opening energizer to get school teams acquainted and another activity to get the entire group of participants engaged in the topics of the week, including personal wellness, school site wellness and partnership development. Wednesday I will be the opening keynote for the day and Thursday I'll be facilitating a workshop called, "Honing your Stairway Speech" which allows participants opportunities to practice advocacy skills around school health issues. I hope to get some networking time in while kayaking, hiking and enjoying the amazing views from beautiful Maine! 

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KY Let's Move Active Schools Physical Activity Leader Training

Yesterday was Kentucky's first ever Let's Move Active Schools (LMAS) Physical Activity Leader (PAL) Training. Jamie Sparks, Coordinated School Health Director at the Kentucky Department of Education and I were the trainers. We had 57 PE teachers (K-12 represented) from all over the region excited to join in on the skill-building workshop, and, of course the fun!

Jamie Sparks and I were the trainers for the first #KYPAL training in Kentucky!

 

Let's Move Active Schools PAL training equips educators and other school health advocates to implement Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs (CSPAP). I don't love that we call it Programs, because in reality, CSPAP is really about implementing programs, policies and practices that create a culture of health in your school. The mantra is "60 a Day!" with the goal being students are physically active 60 minutes per day. That might sound like a lot, but it is really not.. Those 60 minutes of physical activity could include: time being physically active in physical education class, before and after school physical activity (laps programs, after school inter-murals, walk and bike to school efforts) and during school physical activity opportunities (within classroom environments, or breaks and recess). Plenty of opportunities to get students moving!

We know that there is research to demonstrate that incorporating physical activity (PA) in the classroom doesn't affect academic performance in any negative way. And, as Jamie Sparks alluded to in the training, we know that our brain on PA is like Miracle Grow on plants. In the classroom, it boosts attention & concentration. 

     
  
 
  
    
  
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     Physical  activity improves learning on three levels: “first, it optimizes your mind-set to improve alertness, attention, and motivation; second, it prepares and encourages nerve cells to bind to one another, which is the cellular basis for logging in new information; and third, it spurs the development of new nerve cells from stem cells in the hippocampus.”     John Ratey , SPARK

 

Physical  activity improves learning on three levels: “first, it optimizes your mind-set to improve alertness, attention, and motivation; second, it prepares and encourages nerve cells to bind to one another, which is the cellular basis for logging in new information; and third, it spurs the development of new nerve cells from stem cells in the hippocampus.”

John Ratey , SPARK

 

The training was full of movement, music, laughter and activities that engaged our participants. The participants participated in a carousel activity in which they were able to work in groups of 10 to brainstorm what they were currently doing around the areas of physical education, before and after school PA programs, PA during school, family and community engagement, and staff involvement at the elementary and/or secondary level. They also had a chance to discuss what could be done at their schools to strengthen these 5 areas of CSPAP.  We provided opportunities for them to learn the 7 Step Process for implementing CSPAP in their school (create a School Wellness Council, complete a needs assessment, create vision, goals and objectives, action plan, define outcomes, develop a plan of action, implement and measure success).

The teachers were engaged and enthusiastic for a summer professional development day! It was great to meet new teachers passionate about this work in my home state. Loved having the opportunity- thank you to all the partners that made it happen!

Carousel Activity

Carousel Activity

Safe and Sound, KET Special Report

We used to think a person’s IQ would determine professional success. Now we know that the first year of life may determine a lot more than we once thought.
— http://www.ket.org/health/safe-and-sound.htm

Last week I attended the premiere viewing of Kentucky Educational Television's (KET) Special Report called "Safe and Sound; Raising Emotionally Healthy Children in a Stressful World," produced by Laura Krueger, and in part funded by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. The report discusses the impact of trauma and toxic stress among children and focuses on early life experiences. A child who experiences toxic stress (not being held, needs not being met, divorce, exposure to violence, neglect) is more likely to have behavioral and emotional issues in the future. The Report discusses, in fact that adults with weight problems and overeating addictions are more likely to have experienced toxic stress as a child. We have to reduce adverse childhood experiences because chronic or toxic stress, if extreme or persistent enough, will result in your body unable to recover.

The Report does a fabulous job addressing some of the solutions and programs that are happening around our state.  In Kentucky, over 20,000 youth have an incarcerated parent. At the Mason County Detention Center, within the substance abuse recovery program, Angela Mitchell from UK Extension teaches parenting classes to the men. Yelling and fighting are not good for babies brains. And, physical punishment should be removed as a way to discipline children.The HANDS Program through the KY Department of Health works with families by going to their homes and teaching them parenting skills. The Portland Promise Center is more of a peer to peer support group and has a resource called Ages and Stages which encourages parents to complete to know if their child is Kindergarten ready. If not, they are linked with resources in the community to help that child get on track. The START program works with parents with addiction issues in which their addiction has meant social services has taken their children away. The START program provides counseling and support around addiction with the hopes that these parents go into recovery and are able to effectively parent their children.

Symptoms of youth who have undergone toxic stress include having no empathy, attention deficit, misbehave to get attention. We tend to treat the symptoms with medication, never understanding the root cause. The Report encourages that any parent struggling with parenting skills or their child's behavior should access support. 

This Report was incredibly well-done and helps explain some of the behavioral issues we see in the K-12 setting. Addressing the emotional problems children have early and supporting all parents with education, awareness and support would help create healthier families and a healthier community.

If you would like to see a preview, click here.

60% of children in the US are being raised successfully attached. 40% of parents are raising their children insecurely attached.
— http://www.ket.org/health/safe-and-sound.htm

Leadership Lou; Best of Leadership Summit Reflections

As a business owner and someone completely immersed in the school health field, I find myself straddling two incredibly different worlds. K-12 schools are a completely different beast as compared to the business community, but both are incredibly important to the work I do. 

-The core of a great city are its citizens and there's nothing more vital than education." -Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer

-The core of a great city are its citizens and there's nothing more vital than education." -Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer

Nine years ago, as I found myself starting a business with a masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction, I realized I had a lot to learn in order to run a business. And, over the years I've learned an incredible amount about running a business, leadership, managing people and growing with intention. Nine years later, I've sustained a business in a world where most schools still don't prioritize the health and well-being of their students. But, I'd say we are making progress. 

Designed to replicate the energy and commitment to community that happens through our programs, the Best of Leadership Summit is a one-of-a-kind event offering professional and personal leadership development for all who attend. If you want to be on the pulse of current issues, reconnect with the region’s most dedicated and influential trustees, plan now to join us at the Best of Leadership Summit.
— http://www.leadershiplouisville.org/our-events/best-of-leadership-summit/

I attended an event by Leadership Louisville, an organization I heard about within my first week moving to the city. Yesterday's event was the first ever Best of Leadership Summit. It fulfilled my needs in many ways. Surprising to me, the event addressed both the education and business fields. Education came up in most of the presentations I viewed. I guess it's difficult to talk about our vision for Louisville and a thriving community without addressing education. I was thrilled to be introduced (by Mayor Fischer) to Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Donna Hargens and have an opportunity to not only share what I do and what I can bring to her school community but also advocated that healthy kids learn better. She said, "I agree." I commended her support of the JCPS Health Committee that I sit on and I'm happy to see that a value under the district's mission statement includes, 'partnerships among schools, families, and community are important for the health and well being of our students'.

We have to focus on educating the mother first.
— Family Scholar House, Cathe Dykstra

I had the opportunity to present "Do Something Extraordinary", a presentation around my 4,197 mile solo bicycle journey across the US this past summer and lessons learned that relate to being a strong leader. It appeared to be well received and many seemed inspired by what I said. 

In education, we have to invest in new teachings.
— JCPS Board Member, David Jones, Jr.

I left feeling inspired by leaders, educators and champions that live locally. I gained knowledge of what is going on in my new community (and why) and met amazing people from all different organizations, government agencies and businesses. From the technology world to media to venture capitalists to politicians. I ran into people I've met over my 5 months here, allowing that feeling of community I so want to be a part of my life. I commend Leadership Louisville for a fabulous event AND creating opportunities in a one-day conference for networking by scheduling 30 minute breaks throughout the day. What an idea! Bravo!

One of the most rewarding parts of the day was the post- celebratory/continuing the conversation meet up after the event at Sidebar with 6 of us. We had deep, meaningful conversations, literal handshakes across fries and drinks to collaborate on events, programs and local opportunities. A promise for UofL basketball game invitations next season and scheming on how to make this a stronger community; "The Best' as Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says!

Who's on My Team?

I am asked often, how, eleven years ago, at 27 years old, I came to oversee K-12 Health Education at the Oregon Department of Education. And now at age 38, I am a national school health consultant with current/pending Department of Education clients in Alaska, Missouri, Connecticut, Maine and organizations such as Clinton Foundation's Health Matters Initiative, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Colorado Legacy Foundation, Kentucky Youth Health Network and Let's Move Active Schools.

I attribute my success to many things. Internally, it comes from determination and passion for the work. I am obviously skilled at what I do around adult learning- facilitation/speaking/training, curriculum and program development, networking, building partnerships and collaborating.

My business skills? They are decent. That brings me to, Who's on my team?, something I will be talking about tomorrow at the Leadership Louisville's Best of Summit. Who inspires you? Supports you in your profession? 9 years ago I found myself starting a school health consulting business with little to no business background. I hired a fabulous business coach, MJ Petroni from Causeit, Inc. who is still my advisor and mentor today. Others on my team include my accountant, financial advisor Koko Hunt and professional mentors like Gary English, Ginny Ehrlich, Susan Telljohann and John Henry-Ledwith. People I can confide in to ask their opinion about ethics, content, processes. Creating a strong team will help you be successful in your work. 

Continuing education is another driver/support. Since I was an undergraduate student at Ithaca College I attended statewide professional conferences. I still attend at least two national conferences a year. I not only go to network and gain more skills and knowledge within the field of school health, but I submit proposals and share experiences, my expertise, projects and programs. People view me as a strong, passionate leader and from that, I build relationships and partnerships and collaboration opportunities. Sometimes it leads to new work. 

I read my professional journals and reach out to those that are strangers but have a similar passion to mine. I have coffee dates like they are going out of style. I do pro-bono projects often. I give back. I blog and process what I'm doing. I share documents and things I've developed with others to adapt and use. 

Who can push you forward, even out of your comfort zone so growth occurs. Consider who's team you are on. Who do you inspire? Who are you are mentor to? Are you proud of your work? Are you a role model in your personal and professional life? What can you work on to walk the talk?  

Healthy Louisville 2020; Creating a Healthier City

Kudos to my new city for the public health plan released last week! The roadmap serves as a call to action to guide Louisville towards a healthier city. The mission of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMPHW) is to promote health and wellness; prevent disease, illness, and injury; and protect the health and safety of Metro Louisville residents and visitors. The focus is prevention, evidence-based intervention and health in all policies. There are 13 goals within this roadmap. It's incredibly comprehensive. 

Of course being a school health consultant, who works nationally to create healthier schools, and living in Louisville, I need to make some suggestions as to how schools may be able to support this public health plan. I see that Donna Hargens, the Superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools is on the Mayor's Healthy Hometown Movement Leadership Team. I love this! I'd like to suggest some recommendations from a K-12 school perspective that align to the 13 goals within the plan. I see a few mentions in the document regarding schools, but that doesn't mean we can't build off the recommendations and add more to support the plan at the K-12 level. Here we go...

Access to Healthcare: All Louisville Metro residents will have health insurance coverage and receive care in a patient-centered medial home. 

My Recommendations:

1. Utilize access to parents/guardians in schools to bring awareness and education of changes in eligibility criteria for Medicaid and ensure all Metro residents eligible for Medicaid are enrolled as part of the expansion under ACA. 

2. Promote and open School-Based Health Centers

 

Cancer Prevention and Screening: Decrease the incidence and death rates for all cancers in Louisville Metro. Goals include: decreasing lung, breast, cervical, prostate, colorectal cancers. Recommendations do include increasing awareness of HPV vaccine for both males and females through outreach to schools.

My Recommendation: Within a K-12 comprehensive health education program and within JCPSs health education scope and sequence that includes age appropriate Healthy Behavioral Outcomes from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Health Education Curriculum Analysis in the areas of healthy eating, physical activity, sexual health and tobacco. HBOs included should be for both knowledge and skill content standards.

 

Chronic Disease Prevention and Screening: Prevent, detect, and reduce risk factors that cause diabetes, coronary heart disease, and stroke among Louisville Metro residents. 

My Recommendations:
1. Work with Nutrition Services and JCPSs Coordinated School Health Wellness Committee to review expectations of this plan to JCPSs Wellness Policy. Possibly revise if there are opportunities to strengthen the policy.

2. Within a K-12 comprehensive health education program and within JCPSs health education scope and sequence that includes age appropriate Healthy Behavioral Outcomes from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Health Education Curriculum Analysis in the areas of healthy eating, physical activity, and tobacco. HBOs included should be for both knowledge and skill content standards. Some examples include:

HBO: Eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables every day.
Example of a K-2 Knowledge Expectation:
Explain the importance of choosing healthy foods and beverages. 
Example of a K-2 Skill Expectation:  Demonstrate effective refusal skills to avoid unhealthy food choices and promote healthy eating (Interpersonal Communication is the National Health Education Standard).

HBO: Regularly engage in physical activities that enhance cardio-respiratory endurance, flexibility, muscle endurance, and muscle strength. 
Example of a 9-12 Knowledge Expectation:
Evaluate the short-term and long-tern benefits of physical activity, including improving cardiovascular health, strength, endurance, and flexibility; healthy weight management; and reducing chronic diseases.
Example of a 9-12 Skill Expectation: Formulate an effective long-term personal health plan to achieve a personal goal to be physically active (Goal-Setting is the National Health Education Standard)

 

Healthy Neighborhoods and Healthy Homes: Reduce the prevalence of and death rate related to tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke in Louisville Metro. 

My Recommendation: Within a K-12 comprehensive health education program and within JCPSs health education scope and sequence that includes age appropriate Healthy Behavioral Outcomes from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Health Education Curriculum Analysis in the area of  tobacco. HBOs included should be for both knowledge and skill content standards. Some examples include:

HBO example: Avoid second-hand smoke and support a tobacco-free environment. 
Example of a 6-8 Knowledge Expectation: Summarize the effects of secondhand smoke. 
Example of a 6-8 Skill Expectation: Persuade others to be tobacco-free and avoid exposure to second-hand smoke (Advocacy is the National Health Education Standard).

 

Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies: Improve the health and well-being of mothers and babies in Louisville Metro. One recommendation includes implementing evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs in Louisville. 

My Recommendation: Write and implement a K-12 sexual health policy that includes comprehensive, age appropriate sex education. See model policies through NASBE. Use HECAT to develop a sexual health promotion strand within JCPSs scope and sequence.

 

HIV Prevention and Screening: Reduce human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among Louisville Metro residents.

My Recommendation: Within a K-12 comprehensive health education program and within JCPSs health education scope and sequence that includes age appropriate Healthy Behavioral Outcomes from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Health Education Curriculum Analysis in the area of sexual health. HBOs included should be for both knowledge and skill content standards. Some examples include:

HBO example: Engage in behaviors that prevent or reduce sexually transmitted disease (STD), including HIV infection. 
Example of a 9-12 Knowledge Expectations: Justify why abstinence from sex and drugs are the safest, most effective risk avoidance methods of protection from HIV, other STDs, and pregnancy and summarize ways to prevent pregnancy and the sexual transmission of HIV and other common STDs. 
Example of a 9-12 Skill Expectation: Determine when professional sexual healthcare services may be required (Accessing Valid Information is the National Health Education Standard). 

 

Injury and Violence Prevention: Decrease the prevalence of violence and unintentional injuries in Louisville Metro. The plan includes identifying opportunities to increase educational attainment, close the achievement gap, and reduce the disproportionate number of school suspensions and alternative school placements by race. 

My Recommendation: Within a K-12 comprehensive health education program and within JCPSs health education scope and sequence that includes age appropriate Healthy Behavioral Outcomes from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Health Education Curriculum Analysis in the areas of violence and safety. HBOs included should be for both knowledge and skill content standards. Some examples include:

HBO Violence example: Manage interpersonal conflict in nonviolent ways. 
HBO Safey example: Support others to avoid risky behaviors and be safe. 
Example of a 3-5 Knowledge Expectation: Explain the role of bystanders in escalating, preventing or stopping bullying, fighting and violence. 
Example of a 3-5 Skill Expectation: Analyze how relevant influences of media and technology affect personal violence practices and behaviors (Analyzing Influences is the National Health Education Standard).

 

Mental and Behavioral Health: Improve the mental and emotional well-being of Louisville Metro residents. Plan includes a recommendation around improving mental and behavioral health data collection, including suicide attempts in grades K-12.

My Recommendations: 

1. Work with Kentucky Department of Education to implement CDCs Youth Risk Behavior Survey in all schools.

2. Within a K-12 comprehensive health education program and within JCPSs health education scope and sequence that includes age appropriate Healthy Behavioral Outcomes from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Health Education Curriculum Analysis in the areas of mental and emotional health and violence (where suicide is addressed in the HECAT). HBOs included should be for both knowledge and skill content standards. Some examples include:

HBO example: Get help for oneself or others who are in danger of hurting themselves. 
Example of a 6-8 Knowledge Expectations: Explain the importance of telling an adult if there are people who are in danger of hurting themselves of others and describe the signs and symptoms of people who are in danger of hurting themselves or others. 
Example of a 6-8 Skill Expectation: State a health-enhancing position on a violence prevention topic, supported with accurate information, to improve the health of others (Advocacy is the National Health Education Standard).

 

Obesity Prevention: Reduce the proportion of Louisville Metro residents that are overweight and obese. Included in the plan are to implement a system to monitor BMI through the required school physical exam for children entering kindergarten and sixth grade.

My Recommendations: 

1. Use CDCs BMI Measurement in Schools best practices document when collecting BMI information.

2. Increase Walk and Bike to School Initiatives, using best practice programs.

3. Fully implement Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Healthy School Program.

4. Work with Nutrition Services and JCPSs Coordinated School Health Wellness Committee to review expectations of this plan to JCPSs Wellness Policy. Possibly revise if there are opportunities to strengthen the policy.

5. Set strong recess policies and offer recess before lunch

6. Increase the implementation of Human Vitality among staff. Promote school employee wellness programs.

7. Offer, at bare minimum, the national recommendation of minutes for physical education K-12. Hire qualified PE specialists to teach PE, K-12.

5. Within a K-12 comprehensive health education program and within JCPSs health education scope and sequence that includes age appropriate Healthy Behavioral Outcomes from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Health Education Curriculum Analysis in the areas of healthy eating and physical activity. 

 

Oral Health: Improve the oral health of Louisville Metro residents by reducing tooth decay and gum disease. The plan includes to expand school-based dental sealant programs in schools with the greatest need. Improve oral health data collection for youth and children in Louisville Metro. 

My Recommendation: None at this time, but oral health plays a role in attendance of students. It is imperative to have a school-oral health plan. Screening and education.

 

Public Health Infrastructure: Ensure LMPHW has the infrastructure to provide Louisville Metro residents public health services at an optimal level on a daily basis as well as during emergencies. 

My Recommendation: None at this time.

 

Social Determinants of Health: Create social and physical environments that promote good health for all Louisville Metro residents. 

My Recommendation: None at this time.

 

Substance Abuse: Reduce the number of Louisville Metro adults and youth engaging in risky behaviors such as binge drinking and drug abuse. Plan includes a recommendation to adopt and implement a “reality-based approach” as opposed to an emphasis on “abstinence” or “zero-tolerance” as a prevention strategy for teen drug and alcohol use. A reality-based approach provides teens with honest, science-based information; promotes an understanding of the legal and social consequences of drug use, and prioritizes safety through personal responsibility and knowledge.

My Recommendation: 

Within a K-12 comprehensive health education program and within JCPSs health education scope and sequence that includes age appropriate Healthy Behavioral Outcomes from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Health Education Curriculum Analysis in the areas of tobacco and other drugs. HBOs included should be for both knowledge and skill content standards. Some examples include:

HBO example: Avoid experimentation with alcohol and other drugs. 
Example of a 9-12 Knowledge Expectations:  Describe the effects of using alcohol and other drugs on school performance, job performance, job absenteeism, and job loss.
Example of a 9-12 Skill Expectation: Generate alternatives when making a decision related to alcohol and other drug use (Decision-making is the National Health Education Standard).  

Phew! Yup- that was a lot of work. However, this Healthy Louisville 2020 blueprint can be used to advocate for a stronger Coordinated School Health program and K-12 comprehensive health and physical education program locally. Let's embrace it and work together for a healthier community! 

What does a National School Health Consultant do?

A lot of people ask me what a school health consultant does. Instead of abstractly communicating my mission, I'm going to share my current contracts and I think it will paint a clear picture of what we do!

  • I will be the content lead for a conference dedicated to health disparities and childhood obesity funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in partnership with Clinton Foundation's Health Matters Initiative. Being the content lead means I work with all the content for the conference- videos to speakers to the bios that go into the program. I have the opportunity to have calls to brief all the speakers, moderators and strategic partners making commitments. It's a fabulous role that connects me to great people! This event will be in Newark, NJ, May 9.
  • We are working with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation on a project related to their Healthy Schools Program and sustainability. That work will take me to Portland, Indianapolis and a few other TBD locations from now through mid-summer.
  • We are completing a paper for the Colorado Legacy Foundation on school health supporting education accountability measures… how does addressing the health and well-being of students and staff increase test scores/grades, graduation rates and attendance? This work will be completed very soon and available. I will share once the document is public. 
  • Maine Department of Education has hired me to do a keynote presentation at their School-site Wellness Conference late June at Sugarloaf Mountain. Looking forward to addressing a large audience of school teams. More to come on my speaking objectives and content!
  • I will be facilitating the Kentucky Youth Health Network through a strategic planing process late March. This group, formerly called the KY Teen Pregnancy Coalition works on sexual health promotion and risk behavior prevention among youth in Kentucky. We will be reviewing state level sexual health and risk data among youth, developing a vision, bold steps and a 5 year blueprint for action. The hope is that with clear direction, more funding opportunities will be available to do work within the blueprint/strategic plan.
  • I will be facilitating a webinar on Comprehensive School Health Program/Coordinated School Health for SPARK on March 19th at 6pm EST. The objectives for the 75 minute webinar include:
    -Understand the relationship of health issues to education accountability measures
    -Understand the CSH model and how CSPAP fits into the model, and hear examples
    -Learn how to build sustainable school health programs
    -Be encouraged to set one next step goal around what they learned on the webinar
    More information on how to participate soon!
  • I'm co-facilitating a full day pre-conference at the National AAHPERD/SHAPE in St Louis on April 1 for Let's Move Active Schools; Physical Activity Leader Training with Judy LoBianco, 2013 AAHPERD National Physical Education Administrator of the Year 2013
  • Next week I head to Connecticut to facilitate a CDC School Health Guidelines Training for CT Department of Ed (DOE) and CT Department of Health (DOH) and their 1305 grantee school districts. I will be doing a similar training for Tulsa County Public Schools in June. 
  • Jamie Sparks and I will be traveling to Alaska in October to co-facilitate the Systems Thinking Systems Changing simulation for AK DOE and AK DOH for their 1305 grantee school districts. 

Yup- that's what we do! We have some pending work on the horizon. All our work is very different and very exciting. But, all related making schools healthier places for students and staff!

 

Genuineness and Accessibility

Yesterday was what I call, a "home day". Those days, I have the opportunity to focus on local meetings and work. Most of my consulting business keeps me in my office (when not traveling 50% of the time) working in, with and on communities from afar. Yesterday was a Louisville day. Which is exciting considering I just relocated here in November. I started my day with a walk over to tea at a place downtown with a new friend, Sarah, who works in Congressman Yarmouth's office. I met her at a New2Lou event and since then we have tried to regularly connect. We are both passionate about health and have similar stories- strong, active, divorced women. It's great to connect with her on personal and professional issues. From there I walked to Humana and met with the Humana Foundation. I ate lunch in their yummy cafeteria and met with Jeannette. We chatted about some of the work the Foundation is doing and alignment to the work I do. I then walked over to the building where Chrysalis Ventures is, a growth capital company that funds transformative businesses in the industries of healthcare and technology. I was connected to them through a mutual friend and it was a wonderful conversation about my relocation here to Louisville, and the intersections of our work. I then walked back towards my apartment late afternoon and met briefly with Kristi King at the UofL, Jamie Sparks from KY DOE and Ben, ED from the YMCA Youth Association. They were planning a presentation for next week's Southern District AAHPERD in Lexington and I was invited to 'crash' the party for a little and meet both Kristi and Ben. In a small world way, a lot of the people I met with yesterday know each other and David Jones from Chrysalis, Ben from the YMCA and I are all speaking at the upcoming Best of Leadership Louisville Summit March 18.
PHEW! What a fabulous day. Commuted by walking to four meetings, all around local community issues in my new town. All passionate, genuine and accessible people looking to collaborate on things we find important. Life is good when you begin feeling part of a community…! Life is good here. Very good.

Let's Move Active Schools in Kentucky

Today, the Lane Report shared news that our Education Commissioner, Terry Holliday  is "committed to improving the health and wellness of Kentucky's students. ‘Let’s Move!’ helps schools create active environments that get students moving every day and supports their success in school.”

What a breathe of fresh air! A leader that recognizes the link between health and learning! Nearly 50 Kentucky school districts have signed up for the initiative that supports schools using a needs assessment tool, like the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Healthy Schools Program Inventory, developing an action plan and working on overall physical education, physical activity during/before/after school and professional development/support to school staff to get more kids moving during their time on school grounds.

Yes, I love that my new home state is implementing national initiatives that bring together an array of strong partners. But, I'm most impressed that our educational leader sees that our students won't achieve to their full potential unless they are healthy.

More from the article:

The Kentucky Board of Education Health Subcommittee will officially recognize all Kentucky school districts that have made a commitment to the “Let’s Move!” Active Schools initiative at the Southern District American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) convention Feb. 20 in Lexington. Shellie Pfohl, executive director of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition (PCFSN), will be a featured speaker and will help present recognition certificates to participating district superintendents.

AAHPERD and PCFSN serve as the managing partners of the “Let’s Move!” Active Schools program and work closely with organizations across sectors to support the program. Participating schools receive priority for physical education and physical activity grants associated with the program, customized technical assistance and professional development. Any U.S. school can enroll and receive assistance and support at no cost. For more information, visit letsmove.gov.