Weight of the State Conference 2017


  • Sunday, April 2, 2017

    Pre-Conference Meeting

    1:30 PM  -  5:00 PM
    Promoting Active Schools Through Physical Education and Physical Activity
    Participants will learn to assess how their schools can provide school-based physical activities to help students participate in the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity and maximize understanding and practice of knowledge and skills learned in physical education through WELNET®’s modules that offer tracking and assessment tools, as well as classroom Brain and Body Boosts. These are designed to both increase students’ fitness and improve concentration and brain cognition. Participants will be expected to review a 90-minute video online prior to this session.

    Pre-Conference Activities

    5:00 PM  -  7:00 PM
    Preconference Registration
  • Monday, April 3, 2017


    7:00 AM  -  8:30 AM
    Registration/Continental Breakfast/Exhibits

    Welcome and Plenary Session

    8:45 AM  -  9:00 AM
    Welcoming Remarks
    9:00 AM  -  9:45 AM
    Ending Childhood Hunger: Improving Community Health and Investing in America's Future
    9:45 AM  -  10:45 AM
    All Teens are Not the Same: Using Segmentation to Promote Health
    Teens are not all the same. Research has consistently identified peer influence as one of biggest factors, if not the most influential factor, in teen behavior. However, peer influence is rarely included in behavior change programs because it seems too allusive and variable to depend on. The concept of “peer crowds,” however, organizes American teens into five “crowds” that share similar interests, lifestyles, influencers and habits. Research on these peer crowds has demonstrated their ability to predict teen risk behavior more effectively than demographics alone. More importantly, each peer crowd has a unique set of values that can be used to create more effective messages and intervention strategies to influence risk behaviors. This presentation will review the science of peer crowds using brand new data from the Virginia Youth Survey. Then, interventions designed to reach specific peer crowds will be discussed, including how messages are tailored to the unique values of each crowd, and how digital and social media can be targeted to their unique interests. By the end of this session, you will be able to: • Identify the role of peer influence in teen health risk behavior • Define peer crowds and describe the five peer crowds in Virginia • Share strategies for reaching peer crowds and addressing health risk behaviors using specific strategies for each


    10:45 AM  -  11:00 AM
    11:00 AM  -  11:15 AM

    Concurrent Session I

    11:15 AM  -  12:30 PM
    Breastfeeding Line-Up: Is Your Team Ready?

    Are you ready to respond to the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to support breastfeeding? Is your team of health professionals ready to make breastfeeding easier for families, employers, and your community? Breastfeeding kick-starts good health, yet Virginia communities continue to see a decline in breastfeeding rates. Learn how two health districts successfully implement strategies and programs that improve local health-care provider knowledge and ultimately also improve breastfeeding rates. Hear innovative strategies for breastfeeding rooms at work sites and community events. Learn how to establish support networks through Certified Lactation Counselors, complete with training and resource guides.


    By the end of this session, you will be able to:


    • Replicate interventions to improve local health-care provider knowledge and breastfeeding care

    • Learn how employer lactation support programs can improve the health of mothers and infants, plus deliver a healthy return on investment

    • Identify potential community partners and breastfeeding resources to support policy, system and environmental interventions when funding is limited

    11:15 AM  -  12:30 PM
    Childhood Obesity Reduction: New Strategies

    Participants in this session will hear success stories from clinical, community and academic partnerships implementing evidence- and family-based childhood obesity treatment programs. Improvements in health outcomes are achievable when using a team model that addresses the key success factor of patient retention in pediatric weight management treatment. Speakers will highlight research, processes and tools used, plus key considerations for success.


    By the end of the session, you will be able to:


    • Share updates on trends in the obesity burden of disease (prevalence and comorbidities), plus communicate findings from research in pediatric weight management

    • Identify a variety of key methods used for development and implementation of family-based childhood obesity treatment programs

    • Describe program process and health outcomes, plus recognize critical barriers/opportunities

    11:15 AM  -  12:30 PM
    Community Collaboration: Maximizing Opportunities for Physical Activity

    Run, bike or walk your way to fitness… that’s the approach used by Virginia counties that collaborate on strategies to improve youth physical activity to address childhood obesity. To achieve the recommended 60 minutes per day exercise, activities are integrated into daily living to counteract adolescent declines in exercise and a lack of safe exercise zones among urban youth. Learn how local health districts and YMCA partners work with local communities to build, provide access to and promote healthy environments for biking and walking and outdoor and indoor recreational opportunities.


    By the end of the session, you will be able to:


    • Identify the elements necessary to create and sustain effective partnerships to improve youth physical activity through community-based collaborations

    • Apply recommendations to promote lifelong physical activity among youth through evidence-based obesity prevention strategies implemented locally with community partners

    • Understand practical examples of programming for low-income communities, barriers and evaluation methods

    11:15 AM  -  12:30 PM
    Oasis in a Food Desert

    Good nutritional status requires access to healthy foods, yet almost half a million Virginia children live in low-income communities with limited supermarket access. Learn how leaders are attacking the problem of food deserts through healthy-food financing initiatives coupled with strategies of community collaboration. Participants in this session will come away with a view of the magnitude of the problem, plus solutions to address economic, geographical and social determinates of poor nutritional health.


    By the end of the session, you will be able to:

    • Identify a variety of funding sources for healthy-food financing initiatives

    • Identify key roles and responsibilities for program implementation by growers, grocery retailers and community partners

    • Learn about educational and marketing tactics proven successful to engage the public and sustain support for the battle against food deserts

    11:15 AM  -  12:30 PM
    School Wellness: Moving from Talk to Action

    The CDC reinforces the importance of school wellness policies that guide local educational agencies and school districts in the creation of supportive school nutrition and physical activity environments. Districts may optionally develop policies to meet unique market needs, but at a minimum must outline goals that are based on evidence-based strategies. Learn about peer best practices for putting local school wellness policies into action. Thought leaders and program experts will provide an overview of successful strategies such as empowerment of nurses as school health champions, using a wellness framework to improve school health initiatives and opportunities to advance wellness.


    By the end of the session, you will be able to:


    · Describe the linkages between healthy eating, physical activity and improved academic performance

    · Replicate best practice programs in local school wellness activities

    · Apply policy, systems and environmental changes to formulate partnerships with education and health stakeholders, overcome resistance to new approaches and create a culture of health

    11:15 AM  -  12:30 PM
    Starting Early: Building Healthier Child Care

    Obesity prevention starts in early childhood but requires a lifecycle focus as children age. In Virginia almost 70 percent of children from birth to age 5 spend time in early learning centers, making preschool settings a priority for early obesity intervention. When healthy eating and physical activity habits are acquired during preschool years they can last a lifetime. Learn about Virginia’s experiences implementing national models for a preschool population (Nemours’ Early Care and Educational Learning Collaborative, CDC-funded Go-NAPSACC project) and examples of center-based strategies for creating healthy early childhood education environments.


    By the end of the session, you will be able to:


    • Cite statistics highlighting the importance of establishing healthy eating and physical activity practices in children starting at an early age

    • Describe expert-recommended practices and specific strategies for obesity prevention in early care environments, improving program-level Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA).

    • Share examples of replicable models that can be used by communities interested in partnering with early learning providers to prevent obesity.



    12:30 PM  -  1:45 PM
    Lunch and Plenary Session: Eat Fresh
    Salad bars in schools have the potential to transform the lunch line and transform students’ taste buds. Harnessing the power of choice, salad bars increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables students see, select and consume. By offering variety as well as a greater volume of fresh produce, school salad bars can make a significant impact on children’s habits and long-term health. But, like all great things, salad bars can be challenging: Staffing, stocking, supervising students, ensuring food safety and cleaning are demanding tasks in cafeterias that are already stretched thin. In this session you will learn from a team who tackled these challenges and launched salad bars in 20 Richmond public schools in 2015-16. The panel will discuss the importance of building dynamic partnerships; the nuts and bolts of installing salad bars; essential training for cafeteria staff; tastings to entice students; and the impact salad bars have on more than 9,000 students in the city of Richmond. By the end of the session, you will be able to: • Identify the benefits of having salad bars in school cafeterias • Realize the challenges of sustaining salad bars in school cafeterias • Understand the resources and support necessary to successfully offer salad bars in schools
    1:45 PM  -  2:00 PM

    Concurrent Session II

    2:00 PM  -  3:15 PM
    #RevYourBev #MakeItYours #Winning

    Since 2013 more than 100,000 Virginians have explored how much sugar is in certain drinks, how that sugar can harm their body and how to make healthier drink choices through the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth's (VFHY) Rev Your Bev initiative. In collaboration with community partners, VFHY is making significant strides in supporting reduced consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. Learn the steps to success that resulted in a 46 percent improvement in the rate of high school students who choose not to drink soda in Virginia over the last five years. Session participants will gain insight into strategies for engaging youth in obesity prevention, enhancing collective impact for regional and statewide initiatives and specific tactics to increase awareness and change behavior around sugary beverage consumption.


    By the end of the session, you will be able to:


    • Identify the key Rev Your Bev strategies and recommended community partnerships for success

    • Understand tactical implementation methods, community education and messaging to adapt Rev Your Bev to your locality

    • Review measurable outcomes that foreshadow behavior changes for better health

    2:00 PM  -  3:15 PM
    Best Practices in Healthy Food Access

    Increasing access to healthy food, especially in underserved areas, is key to improving the health of Virginians. During this session, participants will learn about best practice initiatives across the spectrum of food production, food distribution, community education and benefit distribution. Hear how public and private partners are collaborating on innovative programs such as mobile markets, farm-to-school programs and systems technology to improve distribution effectiveness of electronic benefits transfer (EBT).


    By the end of this session, you will:


    • Understand the challenges and solutions for improving healthy food purchases in underserved areas  

    • Discover about new EBT processes for WIC and SNAP benefit distribution and assess local readiness for meeting the 2020 mandate requiring WIC benefits be distributed through EBT.

    • Select ways to connect with colleagues using new ideas and best practices to increase healthy food access

    2:00 PM  -  3:15 PM
    Closing the Gap: Community Action Networks Tackling Obesity, Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke

    In order to close the gap on the social determinants of health and achieve health equity, sweeping advances must be made in health care, business, law enforcement, transportation and community planning. The Virginia Department of Health acknowledges that success will depend on the ability of public health leaders to convene public and private stakeholders to establish common goals and cultivate ongoing, strategic, multi-sector collaborations. Through a 2014-2018 funding opportunity from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, five local health districts in Virginia have developed regional Community Action Networks to harness the power of collective impact to establish policies and programs that influence the social, physical and economic conditions within their localities to improve the health of their residents, especially in high-risk areas, in ways that can be sustained over time. Two health districts – Crater Health District and Portsmouth Health District – will share how this comprehensive, collaborative approach has been adapted to two unique regions of the state and discuss how coalitions in Petersburg, Hopewell and Portsmouth have already begun to generate community-wide change.


    By the end of the session, you will be able to:


    • Share VDH’s Community Action Networks initiative and opportunities to partner with the program

    • Identify ways achieve community-wide change through partnerships and community-led initiatives

    • Share successful strategies for creating healthier communities and reducing the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke

    2:00 PM  -  3:15 PM
    Health Communications in Practice

    Food trends evolve over time but often have lasting impact on behavioral choices made by youth. Health leaders who understand the challenges for health promotion caused by food marketing will be better equipped to implement strategies that reinforce healthy behaviors. "Healthy" vending machines can carry point-of-sale messaging and provide healthy alternative snacks to combat the obesity epidemic. Examine messaging that fuels poor food choices and solutions that promote healthy options. Learn about innovative ways to use social media and communication tactics to teach families healthy eating guidelines. Learn to craft a strategy that raises awareness, educates and creates a culture of health to drive behavior change.


    By the end of this session, you will be able to:


    • Identify the major challenges to health caused by food marketing

    • Understand how to implement strategies and tools to counteract health-threatening food and beverage marketing, including communication strategies and improved vending options

    • Gain creative messaging tactics to reach children and the public for behavioral changes

    2:00 PM  -  3:15 PM
    Healthy Students = (Nutrition + Physical Activity) x Schools

    Children spend the majority of their waking hours in school, making this environment a priority for delivery of healthy nutrition policies and practices. Best practices will be shared on how to drive change through collaboration with family and community partners, especially for low-income communities with Spanish-speaking students. Participants will learn how communities have cultivated partnerships that reduced program costs and created sustainable change. Learn how to promote the development of institutional knowledge and expertise within the school environment. Discover ways to increase availability and demand for fresh produce, decrease consumption of sugar sweetened beverages and promote healthy behaviors in the school setting.


    By the end of the session, you will be able to:


    • Identify multiple approaches to changing school environments, including building community partnerships and implementing strategies such as installing hydration stations in elementary schools, changing the layouts of cafeteria service lines to increase availability of healthy fresh fruits and vegetables and using a train-the-trainer approach for impacting change

    • Increase knowledge about creating sustainable change in school environments

    • Leverage evaluation tools to determine behavioral impacts, process success and measure outcomes of environmental and systems changes in schools

    2:00 PM  -  3:15 PM
    Super Snack: Super Heroes of After-School Meals

    After-school meal programs serve millions of children nationally and are essential to many working low- and middle-class families. Yet, in Virginia for every 100 school lunches served to kids in need there are just two after-school meals served. Why the gap? Many schools choose to serve a National School Lunch Program Snack that consists of only two meal components, however the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) at-risk after-school meals program consists of five meal components. Learn about the advantages for student, school and state health in moving to a CACFP after-school meals program.


    By the end of the session, you will be able to:


    • Clarify the requirements for the CACFP after-school meals program

    • Understand the top reasons to convert from the National School Lunch Program Snack Program to the CACFP after-school meals program

    • Learn from No Kid Hungry Virginia the best practices, successes and challenges from schools that have implemented the program, plus how to obtain ongoing assistance through resources, grants and site visits

    3:15 PM  -  3:30 PM

    Afternoon Plenary

    3:30 PM  -  5:00 PM
    Afternoon Plenary: Healthy Food Goes Mobile!
    Innovative strategies are often required to increase access to healthy foods and nutritious meals. Mobile markets and mobile meal programs used by nonprofits and school divisions throughout Virginia support local agriculture, provide healthy food choices and deliver meals directly to communities. Learn detailed strategies from local organizations about how they started their mobile programs, developed partnerships that helped to grow and sustain their programs, the types of communities they visit and the opportunities and challenges these mobile markets and mobile meal programs face. By the end of this session, you will be able to: • Identify strategies for increasing access to local, healthy foods through mobile farmers' markets • Share best practices in mobile meals programs expanding Summer Food Service • Discuss opportunities for expansion of mobile markets and mobile meal programs in localities throughout Virginia.


    5:00 PM  -  7:00 PM
    Networking Reception
  • Tuesday, April 4, 2017


    7:00 AM  -  8:30 AM
    8:45 AM  -  9:00 AM
    Day 2 Welcoming Remarks
    9:00 AM  -  9:45 AM
    Morning Plenary: Bridging the Nutritional Divide
    On Nov. 20, 2014, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed Executive Order 34 creating the Commonwealth’s Council on Bridging the Nutritional Divide. Since its creation the Council has worked to coordinate efforts and accelerate progress in solving childhood hunger in the commonwealth, promoting Virginia’s agriculture economy and supporting local programs related to community nutrition, food access and health strategies. By the end of the session, you will be able to: • Identify best practices related to child hunger prevention and increasing access to healthy food in Virginia • Utilize the Bridging the Nutritional Divide website to access important Virginia data on child hunger, health and food access. • Share opportunities to partner with the Commonwealth’s Council on Bridging the Nutritional Divide
    9:45 AM  -  10:00 AM

    Concurrent Session III

    10:00 AM  -  11:15 AM
    Can you dig it? Classroom on the Farm Successes

    Virginia’s youth often don’t recognize the sources of healthy foods. Community partnerships between food growers, distributors and school systems are working to improve community understanding of how food is grown and how food affects health and wellness. Partners are engaging children in the basics of farm-to-table process and educating on good nutritional choices. See how the local food economy, school programs and well-being of children is influenced by these successful partnerships. This session will share farm-to-school best practices, resources and programs occurring in Virginia that emphasize hands-on activities, field trips school gardens and farmers' markets.


    By the end of the session, you will be able to:


    • Define ‘farm to school’ and provide examples of how it is implemented in a school environment, including cafeterias and classrooms with support of community partners.

    • Identify program components potentially transferrable to the local community and understand benefits to not-for-profit stakeholders, growers, youth, educators and food service personnel

    • Gain insight into methods for forming strategic partnerships, goals, implementation specifics and program evaluation methodology

    10:00 AM  -  11:15 AM
    Extra Credit: Making Schools More Active

    Physical activities in the classroom and throughout the school days are a key strategy in the battle against obesity. Innovative educators and community partners are developing new ways to engage students in physical activity and develop lifelong habits. Participants in this session will learn how community leaders collaborate with schools to establish new ways for children to exercise in a safe environment with peers and support groups. Schools can receive resources from partners to include staff and training for events and even assist with costs of building walking tracks on school property. Join this session to learn the road map for successful program replication in local markets.


    By the end of the session, you will be able to:


    • Understand the importance of physical activity in improving youth health and self confidence

    • Identify methods used in best practices for physical education in schools

    • Select strategies for local replication and identify partnerships for implementation

    10:00 AM  -  11:15 AM
    Family Engagement Strategies for Improving Health

    Family engagement is key to improving health. Effective lifestyle changes require involvement of the entire family, including parental and influencer role models. Lifestyle interventions can be implemented in both the home and school environments to achieve high-impact results that improve confidence in sustaining healthy behaviors, reduce obesity and lower risk of long-term chronic disease. Learn how to provide comprehensive family education and engagement programs that improve dietary choices and increase physical exercise. Learn techniques that address home eating environments, as what is consumed at school often comes from family kitchen cupboards. Get familiar with best practice resources, parent education and tools to evaluate success.


    By the end of this session, you will be able to:


    • Understand the risks of obesity and chronic disease, plus the components of successful interventions

    • Communicate the importance of increasing the nutritional quality of foods in the home and those brought into the school environment and identify strategies to improve family home food selections sent to school

    • Identify community partners and potential funding sources for local program replication and leverage tools and models to impact the local community

    10:00 AM  -  11:15 AM
    Food Insecurity: Solutions through Community Collaboration

    Community–based collaboration is a critical success factor in addressing social determinants of health, the problem of food access, insecurity and associated diet-related health conditions. In Virginia, partnerships are proving effective in making changes that promote community health, especially among disadvantaged populations. Innovative programs are implementing strategies integrating gardening, mobile markets, physical education and family nutrition education. Underserved, low-income populations are experiencing benefits, including localities with Spanish-speaking school communities. Participants in this session will learn about the importance of multi-sector collaboration to increase awareness of and access to healthy living programs and receive insights gained from successful family, community and university partnerships in Loudoun and Fairfax counties.

    By the end of this session, you will be able to:

    • Conduct a needs assessment of the local community that identifies the issues, barriers and opportunities leading to food insecurity, associated health issues and potential solutions

    • Identify community partners and stakeholders for involvement in planning a collaborative project

    • Align project objectives and tasks to complement and capitalize on the mission and strengths of partner organizations to ensure sustainability

    10:00 AM  -  11:15 AM
    Going Local with Farm to School

    What’s new in Farm to School successes? Communities across Virginia are working to provide local, healthy food options and education to influence eating behaviors among children. Through the use of local resources and engaged citizens, school systems are benefiting from a strong Farm to School cultural commitment. As a result the state is experiencing healthier communities with a better understanding of how food is grown and how food affects health and wellness. This session will share Farm to School best practices, resources, programs and model programs that are occurring in Virginia.


    By the end of this session, participants will be able to:


    • Define the term “Farm to School” and provide examples of how it is implemented with support from community partners.

    • Build knowledge level and skill set surrounding Farm to School issues and opportunities

    • Increase awareness of Farm to School best practices and model programs occurring in Virginia

    10:00 AM  -  11:15 AM
    GREAT Starts with School Breakfast!

    Children who eat breakfast consistently increase their chances to succeed in the classroom and later in life, yet only half of Virginia children who depend on school lunch start their days with school breakfast. To increase access and participation within the breakfast program, breakfast after the bell models have been implemented across the commonwealth, e.g. Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab and Go, and Second Chance Breakfast. Learn about best practices in which switching to an alternative breakfast model allows schools to reach more children who are vulnerable to food insecurity, improve their chance of achieving higher academic performance and help youth stay more engaged, focused and attentive throughout the school day.


    By the end of this session, you will be able to:


    • Explain best practices, successes and challenges from individual schools and school districts that have implemented one of the breakfast after the bell models

    • Understand how to select the most appropriate alternative breakfast strategy for local schools

    • Leverage ongoing assistance through state partners, grants and site visits to ensure breakfast participation is increased with the new alternative model.

    11:15 AM  -  11:30 AM

    Afternoon Plenary

    11:30 AM  -  12:30 PM
    Closing Plenary: School's Out, Healthy Meals are IN
    Hunger hurts everyone, especially children living in poverty. Children who rely on school meals as their main source of nutrition experience an even greater challenge when school is out for the summer and on average only 13 percent of Virginia kids who rely on free or reduced-price school lunches are also getting free meals in the summer through the Summer Feeding Service Program. Learn how one community’s YMCA and city library partners are building and expanding a unique feed-and-read summer outreach program. Experts will share success stories and best practice advice for localities. By the end of the session, you will be able to: • Understand the problem of hunger in Virginia and solutions through summer meals sponsorship and summer meals sites • Obtain strategies on how to replicate programs, collaborate with partners, organize volunteers and advertise summer meals sites to engage the community • Learn best practices, successes, and challenges from communities that have implemented the program, plus know how to obtain ongoing assistance through resources, grants and site visits
    12:30 PM 
    Conference Adjourns


    12:35 PM  -  1:00 PM
    Lunch - Grab & Go

    Post Conference Meeting

    1:00 PM  -  4:00 PM
    Making the Grade with School Wellness Policies
    In Creating a Culture Ready for Wellness, participants will learn how to communicate to school communities and foster support for nutrition- specific local wellness policies; break down the key components of the final rule, including food and beverage marketing and food and beverage items served outside of the School Meal program. Participants will also identify tools and resources to support policy monitoring and implementation.