Active and Healthy Families (AHF) is a family-centered pediatric overweight group appointment program for Latino children. This program was developed by Contra Costa Health Services in California. The goal of the pilot was to assess whether the culturally tailored family-based program leads to significant decreases in child body mass index (BMI) and other measures and risk factors of obesity among our target population.
The AHF curriculum is available to providers who want to replicate the program in their own clinics. With the guidance of these comprehensive materials, Centro SOL began piloting an AHF program in 2019 at the Children’s Medical Practice of the Bayview Medical Center.
Expanding to a stronger child health
In 2022, our team in collaboration with the University of Denver, Colorado UC Health, was awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health to expand the program. Due to the pandemic, we initially adapted the program to a virtual format and had strong participation. Currently, the sessions are in-person and held at local churches or recreation centers in East Baltimore. A community outreach specialist and physician work together to provide an interactive and dynamic program to families.
We are pleased to see so many Latino families learning healthy eating and exercise habits and we hope to obtain valuable outcomes from this research. An unexpected benefit of the program is that it is filling a critical role in many families coming back from the isolation from the pandemic into the community and has provided a unique opportunity for them to participate in group activities again. The benefits of the AHF program are, perhaps unexpectedly, two-fold with both an educational and social component that is yielding positive results in many ways in our community.
Supporting our families beyond research
This summer we will be resuming Embajadores de Salud on Saturdays to support families in their journey to an active and healthy life. Join us! The program will start with a free nutrition workshop between July 8 through August 26. Registration is free! Click this link to register https://tinyurl.com/SOLembajadoresdesalud
This project is possible thanks to the support from the National Institutes of Health High Priority, Short-Term Project R56 Award, and the Rite Aid Healthy Futures Award.