Memorial Hospital Recognizes Mount Washington Valley Let’s Go! Sites for Their Role Childhood Health & Wellness Movement

December 08, 2016

NORTH CONWAY, NH - On November 15, Memorial Hospital held a celebration to recognize 16 northern Carroll County schools, after school programs, childcare, and health care practices for building environments in which unhealthy food choices are limited and opportunities for physical activity are plentiful. A total of 16 sites are prioritizing healthy habits, by making the healthy choice the easy choice. Let’s Go! Mount Washington Valley presented sites with certificates on November 15th at Cranmore Mountain Resort in North Conway, NH.

President & CEO Scott McKinnon welcomed site representatives including teachers, school nurses, doctors, nurses, business owners and after school program coordinators. The evening recognized their work with Let’s Go!, a program coordinated through Memorial Hospital’s Population Health Department headed up by Sue Ruka and coordinated by Danielle Koffenberger. Memorial Hospital started their Population Health dept. in 2015, in partnership with MaineHealth, in an effort to help their community become among the healthiest in America. Sites participating included:

Childcare

Bartlett Community Preschool
Children Unlimited, Inc.
Vaughan Learning Center
Lilliputian Montessori School
Out-of-School Programs
Home Run Sports Training Center
Madison Recreation Department

Schools

John Fuller School
Josiah Bartlett Elementary School
Kennett High School
Madison Elementary School
Pine Tree Elementary School
A. Crosby Kennett Middle School
Conway Elementary School
Jackson Grammar School

Healthcare

Primary Care at Memorial Hospital
White Mountain Community Health Center
T. Murray Wellness Center Inc.

“More and more communities embracing Let’s Go!’s evidence-based strategies and we’re seeing a difference in the health of our children. Kids are shunning sugary drinks, grabbing fruit during lunch, and making better media choices,” said Dr. Victoria Rogers, Director of the Let’s Go! program. “This is the first year we’ve officially recognized sites in Carroll County, NH, for making healthy eating and physical activity a priority and I’m constantly impressed by their energy and hard work.”

The Let’s Go! Recognition Program identifies and celebrates schools, out-of-school programs, child care programs and health care practices for their role in improving the health of all children. The program focuses on sustainable change and therefore recognizes various levels leading up to policy change: Bronze reflects a site implementing the program’s five, evidence-based priority strategies, Silver acknowledges a site that has communicated these changes to parents and family members and Gold, the highest level of recognition, is reserved for sites that have written all five priority strategies into policy.

Reegan Brown, Let’s Go! Home Office, MaineHealth Implementation Program Manager shared, “I was incredibly impressed with the representation there from almost each and every one of your sites, covering all of the sectors of the Let’s Go! program. Everyone was very enthusiastic about the work and it was evident that the collaboration efforts being made are having a great impact on your community.”

Site champion and Primary Care at Memorial Hospital provider Leona Cloutier, NP, added “You all have done a tremendous job reaching out to our community and getting the program into so many aspects of our families’ lives.”

This year, Let’s Go! is recognizing a total of 657 sites across Maine and in select New Hampshire communities. A list of all 2016 Let’s Go! recognized sites is available at www.letsgo.org.

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About Recognition

Child care, school, and out-of-school sites are recognized for three levels of commitment to Let’s Go!’s five priority strategies:
1. Limit unhealthy choices for snacks and celebrations, provide healthy choices.
2. Limit or eliminate sugary beverages, provide water.
3. Prohibit the use of food as a reward.
4. Provide opportunities for children to get physical activity every day.
5. Limit recreational screen time.

Health care sites are recognized for three practice specific, obesity prevention program components:

Providing consistent 5-2-1-0 messaging in offices.
Calculating BMI for all patients aged 2 and older.
Using the 5-2-1-0 Healthy Habits Questionnaire to have a respectful conversation about lifestyles with their patients.
School cafeterias’ recognition status is determined based on how many Smarter Lunchroom strategies they implemented during the school year. All strategies stem from behavioral economics and range from labeling vegetables with creative names to inviting a local “celebrity” to dine with students.

About Let’s Go!

Let’s Go! is a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program that reaches children and families where they live, learn, work and play. Let’s Go! is committed to changing environments and policies at child cares, schools, out-of-school programs, health care practices, workplaces and communities. The program’s multi-setting approach, daily 5-2-1-0 message (five or more fruits and vegetables, two hours or less of screen time, one hour or more of physical activity and zero sugary drinks) and 10 evidence-based strategies are used to effect change across the states of Maine and NH. Strong leadership from The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center and collaboration across health systems and community health coalitions contribute to the program’s success.