'True Community Effort' as One County Commits to Creating a Healthier Future
I commend Oswego County for putting together an initiative that will showcase them as leaders in offering a comprehensive approach to help families make healthy choices. What makes this, in my opinion, a one-of-a-kind project, is that it is a collaboration between the community and the schools, being "driven" by the local hospital and health department.
Oswego county has been ranked fourth in the state for percentage of students from pre-K to 10th grade who are overweight or obese. The goal is to dramatically change that percentage and become one of the healthiest counties in the state. I am honored to be a part of this movement.
Here is how it began:
3 years ago, the county health department called and asked if I would do a Healthy Highway training workshop for two of their elementary schools. The two schools "revved" their engines and data was collected. The results showed an increase in knowledge of healthy food and a change in behavior - students significantly choosing and eating more of the healthy options.
How successful has the Healthy Highway program been?
“We ran out of salad!” said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang, recalling one particularly noteworthy day at Charles E. Riley Elementary School, where the program was instituted in 2015
This past year, the initiative took on new life. The leaders of this initiative spoke with local legislators and superintendents to put together a 3 year plan for the 9 schools districts in the county, which includes 24 elementary schools. Quite an undertaking!
We have just begun and I have to say how impressed I am with the lead team and their determination to implement a consistent program throughout the county.
The three main champions leading this initiative are:
Oswego Health System
Oswego County Legislators/Oswego County Health Department
Richard S.Shineman Foundation
The following organizations are also participating:
Oswego County Opportunities
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Northern Oswego County Health Services, Inc
Oswego County Schools
Each of the 24 schools will set goals to meet their objectives with an action plan designed as a "road map" to complete those goals. Come with us as we drive down the highway to healthy choices!
Greece Police Department (Rochester, NY)
partners with Healthy Highway Founder, Wendy Cooper, to participate in one of the first-ever interactive programs with a police department to talk about the importance for both officers and children to make healthy lifestyle choices