On June 28, Live Well Omaha Kids Director Sheena Helgenberger, MA & Denise Schmitz, MA, RD, LMNT at Charles Drew Health Center, Inc. presented at the Factors of Health: Addressing the Systems Influencing Childhood Obesity conference in Kansas City, Missouri. This summit was put on by Children’s Mercy Kansas City, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health in Region VII.

The overall goals of the summit were to:

  • Bring together regional stakeholders from diverse sectors to share knowledge and discuss the “Factors of Health” (i.e., socioeconomic factors, physical environment, health behaviors, and healthcare) that influence childhood obesity.
  • Amplify regional evidenced-based practices, community-based efforts, and policy strategies that address the “Factors of Health” in an effort to promote and sustain healthy lifestyles of the region’s children.
  • Recognize opportunities to leverage systems of obesity to further programs and policies that aim to address the “Factors of Health” (i.e., socioeconomic factors, physical environment, health behaviors, and healthcare).

Sheena and Denise each shared lessons from their work with community partners to promote healthy weight in youth. You may watch Sheena’s presentation here and hear from Denise here.

Some insights from Sheena’s presentation:

  • Connect with other groups doing similar work in your state or country. Learn from them and share what you know.
  • Set a common agenda with your partners to ensure there is buy-in from everyone.
  • Make the best decisions you can with the data available – you have to start somewhere!
  • Modify and adapt your timeline to ensure meaningful collaboration can take place.
  • Communicate the wins, lessons learned, and power of partnerships with the community (we use social media, a blog, and an e-newsletter) so that others understand what you’re working on, the impact, and how supporters can get involved.