SCale Down Quarterly Update – September 2015

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SCale Down Quarterly Update

It has been one year since the release of the South Carolina Obesity Action Plan in September of 2014, and we are making great strides in achieving the plan’s 74 objectives. Much appreciation goes to all of the partners who are working to advance the policy, systems and environmental changes that are occurring as we strive to turn the tide on obesity in our state.

Since the launch of the SCale Down Initiative in January, stakeholder involvement has been key to the success of this statewide collaborative effort.  The Action Team (leadership) has provided guidance and strategic input to shape the direction of the Initiative, while the Evaluation Team has provided high-level oversight for evaluating and monitoring progress toward obesity reduction and prevention efforts. The workgroups have continued to actively address the strategies and objectives in each setting of the plan and expand the reach of the Initiative through their partnership networks. Thanks to these dedicated partners, SCale Down is making progress!

SCale Down has also become the unifying link for obesity efforts across the state by creating multiple opportunities for partners to connect and collaborate. During the workgroup meetings in August, several partners reported positive outcomes and promising plans for program expansion and growth.  Highlights of these successful efforts are included in this update.

Highlights of Key Efforts in Obesity Prevention

South Carolina Medical Association Childhood Obesity Taskforce Toolkit

The South Carolina Medical Association (SCMA) Childhood Obesity Taskforce, in collaboration with Eat Smart Move More SC, MUSC Boeing Center for Children’s Wellness, Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC, Dr. James Simmons and SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, has developed and produced a set of tools to facilitate physician counseling of children and their families to prevent and treat childhood obesity. This toolkit includes a questionnaire completed by either parents or an older child and separate handouts about the 5-2-1-0 message (5 fruits and vegetables a day, 2 hours or less of screen time a day, 1 hour or more of physical activity a day and no sugar sweetened beverages). The leadership of the Taskforce provides training in the effective use of these materials for health care providers. In the year since its introduction, over 800 providers have completed the toolkit training. A continuing medical education session is available online on the SCMA website.  In-person trainings are also offered and can be scheduled through SCMA.  The toolkit materials are available from SCMA following the completion of the brief training session.

Collaborative opportunities continue to be explored in an effort to expand the reach of the toolkit to additional target populations. A version of the 5-2-1-0 materials for adults is currently being developed through a partnership between SCMA, Dr. David Keeley and the South Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (SCAPA). A Spanish version of the toolkit has also been developed and is being pilot tested as a collaborative project between SCMA, MUSC Boeing Center for Children’s Wellness and PASOs. Both resources will soon be available to health care providers who have completed the toolkit training.

For more information on the SCMA Childhood Obesity Taskforce Toolkit, please contact Kate Morrow at kmorrow@scmedical.org.

Active Community Environments

Being physically active is one of the most important steps that people of all ages and abilities can take to improve their health. In South Carolina, the Active Community Environments (ACE) Special Project is taking action to improve access and opportunities for physical activity throughout the state. The counties of Barnwell, Colleton, Greenwood, Lexington, Newberry and Richland were recently recognized by Eat Smart Move More SC and the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control for increasing access to safe physical activity through the ACE Special Project.

Project strategies included:  installing road signs; creating bike lanes and bike boulevards; improving school safety with fencing and crossing guard equipment and creating master bicycle and pedestrian plans for future community improvements. The six projects took place from May 2014 – June 2015 and lessons learned will be used to assist other communities that want to create physical activity options for their residents.

The focus of the ACE Special Project was for communities to consider the impact of community design on active living. The program aligns with Step It Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities. One of the Call to Action’s five strategic goals is to design communities that make it safe and easy for people of all ages and abilities to walk. Increasing people’s physical activity levels can significantly reduce their risk of chronic disease and premature death while supporting positive mental health and healthy aging.

For more information on the ACE Special Project, please contact Kelly Kavanaugh at kavanak@dhec.sc.gov.

Expanding Reach

SCale Down partners have provided numerous opportunities to expand the reach and message of the Initiative through their various professional networks. As a result, SCale Down will be featured during the coming months in the following ways:

South Carolina Business Coalition on Health 2015 Hospital Quality Guide – The South Carolina Business Coalition on Health is featuring SCale Down in their annual publication of the Hospital Quality Guide. The guide is distributed to over 25,000 employers and employees via hard copy and electronic formats. A copy of the 2015 guide will soon be available on the South Carolina Business Coalition on Health’s website. For more information, click here.

The South Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants Annual Fall CME Conference – The SCAPA Conference will be held October 11th - 15th in Charleston, SC. The theme of the conference is obesity prevention and SCale Down.  Dr. Bruce Snyder, SCale Down Action Team member, and Dr. Megan Weis, SCale Down Evaluation Team facilitator, will be presenting on obesity, SCale Down and the social determinants of health. Dr. Janice Key, Director of the MUSC Boeing Center for Children’s Wellness, will conduct a training session on the SCMA Childhood Obesity Taskforce Toolkit.  To learn more click here.

South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health: Health Policy Fellows Program – The Health Policy Fellows Program provides members of the General Assembly with clear, evidence-based health policy information in a non-partisan manner. The 2015 program is being presented in three monthly sessions (September – November). The October 13th session will offer an afternoon panel discussion on obesity and chronic disease prevention. Ms. Rozalynn Goodwin and Dr. Bruce Snyder, SCale Down Action Team members, will serve as panelists along with Ms. Karen Fradua, SCale Down Program Manager.  To learn more about the Health Policy Fellows Program, click here.

South Carolina Obesity Summit – The 12th Annual South Carolina Obesity Summit will be held on October 26th at Brookland Banquet & Conference Center in West Columbia, SC. Hosted by Eat Smart Move More SC, the SC Obesity Summit is a premier venue for public health, health care, education and other professionals and community leaders to gather and discuss obesity prevention. Dr. Lee Pearson, SCale Down Action Team facilitator, will provide an update on SCale Down during the general session. Karen Fradua, will represent SCale Down on a panel discussion entitled Strategic Partnerships to Build Coalition Capacity and Sustainability. Dr. Janice Key will be conducting a train-the-trainer session on the SCMA Childhood Obesity Taskforce Toolkit. In addition, many SCale Down partners will be involved in various presentations representing work of their organization as it relates to the Initiative. For more information on the summit, click here.

South Carolina Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (SCAHPERD) – The SCAHPERD Annual Conference will be held on November 13th - 15th in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Health, physical and dance education professionals who work in schools, higher education, community organizations, government and non-government organizations will attend. Dr. Megan Weis will offer a presentation entitled SCale Down: Facilitating a Statewide Approach to Obesity Prevention. For more information, click here.

Southern Obesity Summit – The Southern Obesity Summit, the largest regional obesity prevention event in the United States, will take place on Nov 15th – 17th. Obesity prevention partners from 16 southern states will be attending this 9th annual event in Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. Lee Pearson and Ms. Karen Fradua will be presenting on the SCale Down Initiative. Ms. Jennifer Wright, SC Hospital Association’s Working Well Director, will be presenting a session on South Carolina’s A Healthier State Initiative. For more information, click here.

Connecting the Dots

Since the launch of the South Carolina Obesity Action Plan and SCale Down a year ago, significant progress has been made in advancing the 74 action plan objectives. The dedication and collaborative spirit of key partners and stakeholders are the fundamental reasons for this success. As SCale Down moves into its second year, it is essential that we maintain this collaborative momentum. Together, we can make progress and move the needle to reduce the burden of obesity in our state.

To find out how you can become involved with SCale Down, please contact info@scaledown.org. To learn more about SCale Down, visit SCaledown.org.

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© 2015 South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health