Funded Projects

Grant Status: Active

Training Category: Children's Healthy Weight State Capacity Building Program

Grant Title: Children's Healthy Weight State Capacity Building Program

Project Director(s):

Karen L Probert
Association of State Public Health Nutritionists
PO Box 37094
Tucson, AZ  85740-7094
Phone: 970-424-2508
Email: karen@asphn.org

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: ASPHN developed this application in collaboration with state health agency staff from three states just as a global public health crisis began spreading throughout the United States. The public health event is unlike anything in many of our lifetimes. Professional and personal life has changed drastically as people adjust to the reality of a highly contagious and little-understood virus that causes mild to severe respiratory illness and for which there is not yet a vaccine or approved treatment. In January, when this funding opportunity was announced, the overarching need for the Children's Healthy Weight State Capacity Building Program was "limited" to addressing the nations top health concerns for children and families that are linked to poor nutrition and physical inactivity, including infant mortality, obesity, and diabetes. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has amplified the essential role of nutrition for the maternal and child health (MCH) population and underscores the need for state Title V capacity to work with other programs and assure access to healthy food for the MCH population. During a crisis, public health nutritionists make sure that the most vulnerable populations including infants, pregnant and breastfeeding woman, children, and families have healthy food. Plus, the ongoing work to promote good nutrition across the lifespan will ensure that all mothers, children, and families reduce their risk of preventable chronic diseases and reduce their risk of poor health outcomes related to the coronavirus. Our proposed project will build the MCH nutrition capacity in North Dakota, Oregon, and Wisconsin. These three state Title V programs are ready to do this work and will become models of excellence at integrating nutrition into state Title V programs. The state models can then be implemented and replicated in states nationwide. The approach of our Childrens Healthy Weight State Capacity Building Program is to increase the MCH nutrition competency of the state Title V workforce and optimize MCH nutrition-related data sources. For ND, OR, and WI we will provide individualized technical assistance that is specifically tailored to the unique conditions and context for their state. We will also hold virtual networking and training sessions and share resources from our work supporting the states. This capacity building program will build on the lessons learned from the Childrens Healthy Weight CoIIN, and we are working with the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, plus we have support and involvement from several child obesity and MCH nutrition experts. We believe that these state teams will successfully integrate nutrition into their state Title V programs, and we will, together, develop several useful resources for all states that will help build a resilient nation of healthy children and families.