WNC Health Network | 1200 Ridgefield Blvd, Suite 200 | Asheville, NC 28806 | 877.667.8220
Providers Working Together
Who We Are
NEW! WNC Healthy Kids, along with the 16 county region, is promoting a social message called '5-2-1-Almost None.' It is an opportunity for the region to come together with a unifying message on promoting healthy kids.
Who We Are
WNC Healthy Kids is a population health program of WNC Health Network, an association of hospitals and health departments in our region. The program is designed to reduce and prevent childhood obesity in Western North Carolina. Sixteen rural Appalachian counties are collaborating on this program, including Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Yancey and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.
Other key partners include:
• The North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness at UNC-Asheville
• NC Center for Healthy Aging at MAHEC
• Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) Health Sciences Library
• Healthy Carolinians Partnerships - Western Region
• North Carolina Public Health Incubator – Western Partnership
• Be Active Appalachian Partnership
• Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation – Kids in Parks
• Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP)
In addition, our partnership includes: the Cooperative Extension in WNC; YMCA of Asheville; Community Care of WNC; Partnership for Children NC; Head Start programs in WNC; Cherokee Choices; Mission Children’s Hospital; Western Carolina Medical Society and local school principals, superintendents, and child nutritionists who are champions of the project.
What We Do
Childhood obesity is an epidemic across the US and also in Western North Carolina—some 33% of children in WNC are overweight or obese. A broad collaboration among all the partners listed above is required to turn the tide of this epidemic. That’s the goal of WNC Healthy Kids—to facilitate a comprehensive approach focused on children and families, mobilizing the larger community and the schools, addressing public policy issues and barriers to healthy living, and communicating and coordinating successful regional efforts.
How We Add Value
WNC Healthy Kids program components add value by sharing new information and best practices with others who wish to reduce childhood obesity.
• A website designed by MAHEC’s Health Sciences Library www.wnchealthykids.net, has been established. Primarily for use by regional partners in childhood obesity prevention, the website provides information about activities in each county, best practices, and links to other healthy living initiatives.
• A WNC Healthy Kids goal is to help standardize Body Mass Index (BMI) data collection in WNC so that the data is easily used with children, teachers, and parents. BMI is commonly used as a measure of obesity or an overweight condition. WNC Healthy Kids supports Fitness Gram implementation that includes BMI and also other fitness measures.
• There are many proven intervention programs already available to schools and communities, and WNC
Healthy Kids facilitates sharing their successes. Some programs include Eat Smart Move More NC, Energize, NAP SACC and SPARK. The SPARK program is for NC Physical Education teachers, and includes the Fitness Gram. Energize programs work with pre-diabetic children to enhance nutrition, physical activity