Adult and childhood obesity rates in Vidalia Georgia and surrounding area are well above state and national averages. This increased rate of obesity has a negative impact on the quality of life, health, and economy of the area. Collaborative approaches offer the best hope for improving the obesity epidemic within the area. Previously, a lack of funds prevented an aggressive collaborative approach to addressing this issue. Interested medical providers did not have the human resources or the expertise to organize, build or fund a network project. For these reasons, CHW’s sister organization, Rural Health Works helped Meadows Healthcare, local physicians, community organizations, and 5 area school systems to unit to form the Southeast Georgia Obesity Prevention Network.
Developed over the course of a year-long community wide needs assessment and strategic planning process, the goal of the childhood obesity education project is to implement a sustainable obesity prevention program by creating a network of stakeholders for at risk youth and their families. Our network strives to improve the lives of children and families in our communities through a collaborative effort and optimizing the effectiveness of our resources.
Community Health Works hopes that this initiative will achieve:
- Efficiencies through provider collaboration and coordination
- Expand access to health care services by tackling environmental and cultural barriers
- Improve the quality of health care services by providing providers and their staff with the necessary tools to effectively manage the population
The network is piloting a program in partnership with the Mercer University School of Medicine to utilize motivational interviewing during family counseling to reduce childhood obesity in at-risk youth.