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Get Involved

Local and State Health Departments

Local and state health departments across the country are getting involved with We Can!™ by implementing We Can! in their communities and using the We Can! resources as helpful tools to plan local and state obesity prevention activities and ongoing state-based obesity prevention efforts. We Can! sites, such as the Alabama Deprtment of Public Health and Boston Public Health Commission are using program materials and messages to improve community health.

Alabama Department of Public Health
Montgomery, Alabama

The Alabama Department of Public Health’s Worksite Wellness Division (WWD) and the Nutrition and Physical Activity (NPA) Division worked collaboratively on the We Can! project. The WWD extended its work with afterschool programs across the state by offering CATCH Kids Club and parent programs to augment nutrition and physical activity information. The site participated in three community events, including “Success by Six” and “Parental Involvement and 21st Century Community Learning Center Health Screening and Health Awareness Fair”, that attracted over 700 community members and disseminated We Can! materials along with other public nutrition materials in different areas of the state.

The WWD worked with its partner, Success by 6, to implement the Parent Curriculum to a group of adults that met on a regular basis. By offering the program in three sessions, meeting once per week for three weeks, they were able to accommodate the parents’ schedules. The site also worked with the Parent Teacher Organization and local media to publicize its activities and programs. These efforts resulted in creating and displaying large We Can! banners in high-traffic areas of the city and radio and newspaper coverage of their Annual Black Belt Community Health Fair.

The WWD was successful in reaching a broad range of different areas throughout the state with We Can! programming and many of the sites have expressed an ongoing interest in continuing to implement the program.

Read more about the Alabama Department of Public Health

Boston Public Health Commission, Boston Steps
Boston, Massachusetts

Boston Steps, run by the Boston Public Health Commission (the City of Boston ’s health department), is a community mobilization effort to address the burden of obesity, diabetes, and asthma in the highest-risk neighborhoods of Boston. Boston Steps collaborated with four partners to implement We Can! together with Boston Steps. Two of these partners, the YMCA of Greater Boston and community health centers, supported both youth and parent activities. The Boston Organization of Nutritionists and Dietitians (BOND) of Color supported parent education, and the Boston Public Schools assisted in the recruitment of parent groups.

Boston Steps primarily reached out to the community by partnering with youth-service organizations to reach parents. Those outreach efforts included health fairs, school programs, and health center settings, such as the Summer Camp Fair held in June 2005. Whenever opportunities for outreach arose, such as instructional meetings for teachers, consortium meetings, weekend classes, or other Boston Steps activities, We Can! materials were distributed and participation in the Parents Curriculum was encouraged.

Key successes included the Parent Curriculum implementation outreach efforts which brought in parents from the YMCA as well as families from a transitional shelter. As well, Boston ’s BOND of Color instructors culturally adapted the lessons and reached multinational and diverse audiences, including participants of African American, Caribbean , and Latino descent who shared recipes and discussed physical activities that parents and children were accustomed to and could build into their daily lives.

Read more about Boston Public Health Commission, Boston Steps

We Can!™ is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.