Welcome New Action for Healthy Kids Alabama State Coordinator
Grace Perry MA, RD, LD
Grace is a registered dietitian with experience in wellness, education, foodservice, and most recently and extensively, child nutrition. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and a Master’s degree in Health Promotion, both from The University of Alabama.
Grace possesses a passion for the health and wellness of children and has devoted much of her time and energy to seeing these passions be given the attention they so badly deserve in schools. She has spearheaded numerous initiatives throughout her professional career in an effort to see children’s health and wellness be put at the forefront of educational priority lists. These initiatives have included educating students on healthy eating and partnering with schools and school system leaders to effectively implement strong wellness policies. Grace is excited to further her efforts by joining Action for Healthy Kids and see the health and wellness of children across Alabama continue to improve.
In her free time, Grace enjoys spending time and traveling with her husband and two young sons as well as cooking, running, and cheering on The University of Alabama on a fall Saturday.
Contact Grace for more information!
Scale Back Alabama - 2017!
Scale Back Alabama (SBA) is a free, statewide weight-loss program for Alabama’s adults, ages 18 and older. Its primary focus is a competition held each year, starting in January, during which teams of two strive to lose 10 pounds each in order to be entered into a drawing for cash prizes.The program has been a tremendous success with more than 1.3 million pounds lost over the last 10 years.
Through weekly health tips, online resources and social media, Scale Back Alabama creates public awareness of the health issues caused by obesity and empowers Alabamians who are overweight and/or obese to implement healthier lifestyles … eating less and moving more.
The program’s initial focus was the workplace, but it quickly expanded into the community through churches, schools, and other organizations. And, even though it’s geared toward adults, Scale Back Alabama has positively impacted entire families.
Businesses who participate in programs such as SBA, may experience long term benefits such as increased employee productivity, decreased absenteeism, and decreased healthcare costs.
2017 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS:
8 week program
The Scale Back Alabama Phone App for registrants (locates weigh-in sites, tracks nutrition, exercise, and sends health tips) is available for download on both the iPhone and Android! (click to download!)
Health tips and information provided all year long via the SBA app!
Scale Back Alabama is sponsored by the Alabama Hospital Association, the Alabama Department of Public Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.
Alabama Farm to School Program
School Gardens are flourishing in Alabama! According to the Farm to School Census, Alabama is home to 46 school gardens and more are under-way. Monroe County Schools hosted a district-wide walkathon to raise money to fund new school gardens and keep existing gardens growing. Students got outside, stretched their legs, and walked one mile around Monroe City square. Students from Monroe County Technical School where excited to be a part of supporting their garden. One student mentioned she loved learning in the garden and was excited that her little sister was about go to school and she could learn in the garden too!
Alabama Farm to School partners, Jones Valley Teaching Farm, Druid City Garden Project and EAT South urban farm are committed increasing interactive, hands-on learning using school gardens. EAT South in Montgomery hosts elementary school field trips where students learn about STEM topics by engaging with plants and chickens; and learning about compost. Druid City Garden Project develops school gardens and teaches students using school garden, standard-based curriculum that brings lessons to life! Students love selling their vegetables grown in the garden in the budding entrepreneurs program. Druid City Garden Project teamed up with Alabama State University to find students having 3 or more lessons in the garden had 6% lower body mass index, were more likely to try fruits and vegetables, had 20% less candy consumption, and had 31% less soda consumption.
How Do Apples Grow?
Monroeville Walk for Wellness School Garden Walkathon group picture
Druid City Garden Project
Education Coordinator is teaching students how to read a recipe
EAT South Urban Garden
Elementary classes visiting EAT South are taught all about chickens
Year in Review
2016 marked the launch of the statewide public awareness campaign, Get Moving Alabama, to increase physical activity opportunities, educate residents about physical activity benefits, provide relevant guidelines on physical activity, and identify and connect community resources. Here are some of the year’s biggest milestones for Get Moving Alabama:
- 1. Governor’s Proclamation for 2016 as Get Moving Alabama Year
- 2. Get Moving Alabama Promo Video
- 3. Get Moving Alabama Materials Available for Adults & Youth
- 4. Social Media using #GetMovingAL
- 5. Get Moving Alabama Physical Activity Summit
- 6. Mayor’s Panel (watch full video recording)
- 7. I Get Moving By… Video
Stories from Small Towns
Experiences in Advocacy by Alethea Hill
Alethea Hill, PhD, ACNP-BC, ANP-BC and Alabama Obesity Task Force member, received the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association's first ever Advocacy Award for CVD Prevention She recounts her experiences and shares her advice for how to get started with advocacy in this feature.
Universal Trail Access Information Project
Check out the video!
Pelham Oaks Elementary School takes 2nd Place in “Inclusive Physical Education and Physical Activity Video Contest”
Pelham Oaks Elementary School (Pelham School System, AL) won the $750 2nd place prize in the 2016 Let’s Move Active Schools Inclusive Physical Education and Physical Activity Video Contest. U.S. schools were invited to create a short video demonstrating at least one physical education or physical activity best practice for meeting the needs of students with disabilities, ultimately create an inclusive environment that meets the needs of all students.
Check out their video submission!
Alliance for a Healthier Generation features Alabama Teacher as Health Hero
Watch as Patricia Maiden-Lewis, a science teacher from Robert C Hatch High School is featured as a health hero and physical activity champion in her school and district by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Patricia spoke at the December Obesity Task Force Meeting and her presentation can be downloaded here. She was also honored at the ASAHPERD Fall Conference as the first Champion of the Year for the Alabama Champions for Healthy, Active Schools initiative.
Statewide Wellness Forums
Wellness Forums are happening across our state!
Sponsored by Blue Cross blue Shield of Alabama, the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society, the wellness forums are intended to bring wellness coordinators together for networking opportunities and to learn from experts working in model programs in the field of worksite wellness. They are held in various locations in the state every quarter.
Mark Your Calendar!
OTF Quarterly Meeting: February 9, 2017
Thursday, Feb. 9th, 9am-12pm
Ralph David Abernathy Hall – College of Education – Alabama State University
RSVPs are enabled for this event.
Scale Back Alabama 2017
Weigh-out: March 15-22nd
Final Event & Cash Prize Drawings: April 5th
National Walk at Lunch Day Events
Hosted by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium
Partnering with the City of Montgomery
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Birmingham, Linn Park
Partnering with the City of Birmingham
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Huntsville, Big Springs East Park
Partnering with the City of Huntsville and Healthy Huntsville
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Mobile, Bienville Square (locations TBD)
Partnering with Mobile United committee
Calling all Current and New Members of the Alabama Obesity Task Force!
The strength of the Task Force comes from our members and the experiences they share. To help us maintain a membership data base and learn more about your interests, please complete this online membership survey (current and new members):
Membership is FREE!
The Alabama Obesity Task Force is a volunteer membership organization that addresses obesity through advocacy, changes, and programs.
Becoming a member comes with benefits which include:
- Staying abreast of emerging nutrition and physical activity, lifestyle issues, and strategies that affect obesity
- Strengthening leadership skills
- Networking with peers, state, and community leaders
- Influencing advocacy
- Training opportunities
- Collaborating with partners to make decisions
For more information on the Obesity Task Force, visit our website: adph.org/obesity
If you would like to be a part of the Task Force, please complete the online application form.
This newsletter is a semi-annual publication of the Alabama Obesity Task Force. Content submissions will be accepted through May 1, 2017 for the next publication in June 2017 and can be sent to Lita Chatham at email@example.com.