The Healthy Students, Healthy Community Partnership is committed to developing evidence-based, sustainable, community-based solutions to childhood obesity among underserved and ethnic minority youth in Deerfield Beach.
This project partnership began in 2016 with a phone call from Francine Baugh, the Deerfield Beach Middle School Principal, to Lynne Kunins, President and CEO of FLIPANY. Principal Baugh knew Lynne from previous FLIPANY activities at her school. She had just received a report on her students’ Body/Mass Index scores (a height and weight measurement) required by most school districts based on guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and was upset to see that the school students were ranked in the top 5 in the district and considered unhealthy, at-risk, overweight, or obese.
The previous health intervention at the school had been to add FLIPANY physical activity coaches to physical education classes to make group activities smaller and increase students’ activity choices. More needed to be done. FLIPANY’s Vice President of Programs, Kristine Perez-Carrion, knew current research showed that health initiatives that were built with input from the “patients” were the most effective, so she began building a Parent Advisory Group and a Student Advisory Group to guide health programming at Deerfield Beach Middle School.
Over the years, the school has changed principals, but the Advisory Groups continue to do the work of finding out what students want and need and how they can best be served. FLIPANY is expanding this model to more schools and increasing our partnerships to include DFB Community Cares and other champions in the area.