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Report identifies community health centers as America's 'first responders' in fighting obesity
Date:11/8/2011

ng materials that translate to different populations and are under stable helps the success of prevention and treatment.

3. Partnering with Community Organizations developing an environment that encourages the patient to continue to not only seek medical care but allows for healthier choices including physical activity and better nutrition, increases the probability of achieving successful weight loss.

The Alliance's research team explored existing literature and convened experts during a symposium, co-sponsored by The Alliance and The George Washington University's Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy, at the National Association of Community Health Centers' annual Policy and Issues Forum, to determine the preparedness of the CHC workforce to effectively prevent and treat obesity. This also included taking a look at a sample of innovative obesity initiatives taking place in CHCs around the country.

While there were translatable programs found, the research team was quick to note that while innovative, these programs were more the exception than the standard. Expanding them more broadly has its own set of challenges. For example, despite the promising role that community health workers (CHWs) can provide in assisting CHC patients with obtaining obesity-related services, funding to support CHWs is limited, leaving CHCs to forego the use of CHWs or rely on volunteers.

"The good news is that we're able to identify ways to positively progress when addressing obesity, but we need to be able to sustain and broaden the innovation already underway with some programs," continued Ferguson. "While it's up to the individual to be personally responsible, it will take all of us working together to create a sustainable, healthier environment in which good choices are possible for that individual to be successful with their weight-related health issues."


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Contact: Melissa Warren
mwarren@ccapr.com
202-609-6010
Chandler Chicco Agency
Source:Eurekalert

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