On behalf of the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and the Hartford Childhood Wellness Alliance, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with the American Heart Association in an effort to reduce and prevent childhood obesity. I was fortunate to have joined with my colleagues from the Connecticut Coalition Against Childhood Obesity at the recent Voices for Healthy Kids regional advocacy training in Tarrytown NY to learn more about how best to address the growing epidemic of overweight children in our cities and state. Over the three day training, I was repeatedly energized to be a part of this national effort to coordinate messaging around six priority policy areas that can most effectively impact this obesity crisis.
Our 40+ organizational Alliance members in Hartford dedicate the great work they do to one or more of these same priority areas. Our collaborations have ranged from providing Hartford families with double value for their SNAP and WIC benefits at local farmer’s markets for produce purchases, to implementing a study funded by the National Institute for Health that delivers positive support, early feeding recommendations and nutrition information to new mothers and their infants. 2014 promises to be a productive year as the Alliance continues to strive toward an ecological approach to improving our children’s health by facilitating new partnerships across all sectors of the community. The collective work of Alliance members supports our vision at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center to make Connecticut’s children the healthiest in the nation.