It’s hard to believe that we have already completed eight months of our Healthy Weights for Children Project – Phase II. As we move ahead in this journey, we wish to provide you with an update on the activities/events that we have been engaged in and our accomplishments so far.
1. Welcome New Members to National Advisory Committee (NAC)
We are extremely pleased to welcome the following members to our National Advisory Committee:
Adam Diamond, President, Youth in Care Canada, and Policy Analyst, Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS)
Alex Scholten, President, Canadian Convenience Stores Association
Andrew Klukas, President, Western Convenience Stores Association
Gordon Phaneuf, Chief Executive Officer, Child Welfare League of Canada
Larry Dow, Consultant, Doceo Global Learning Ltd.
This brings the total to 14 NAC members. During the past six months, the Evaluation Team conducted 13 telephone interviews with the NAC members. Overall, the NAC feedback and expectations for the project was very positive. There was emphasis on how important this program would be for foster children and Aboriginal children, in order to reverse existing challenges within the respected communities. All NAC members agreed that there is a need for this type of intervention and all of them express hopes that Healthy Together can have a long term impact on its target audience.
2. Implementation Partners
All ten implementation partner organizations have signed their third party agreements. We wish to thank each and every one of these sites for their continued interest and commitment in assisting us with implementation and evaluation of Healthy Together program with children and families across Canada.
3. Copyright Approved
The Bridge Youth & Family Services Society has secured the copyright for Healthy Together- Children’s Health Program @ 2013. Any reference to the program in published or unpublished documents needs to include the following disclaimer:
Copyright@ 2013 by The Bridge Youth & Family Services Society. All rights reserved. No part of this program may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior written consent of The Bridge Youth & Family Services Society.
4. Healthy Together Training – First Five Implementation Sites
We successfully completed the first round of Healthy Together training for a team of 24 qualified and experienced personnel from the first five implementation sites. This two and a half days training was held in Kelowna BC on September 10-12, 2013, and included an overview of the program, site visit, interactive activities, Q&A session, and in-depth training for coordinators, facilitators and evaluators.
Feedback from the training has been very positive. All delegates agreed that everyone had fun, learned a lot, and they are indeed ready to implement the Healthy Together program in their own communities. There were many suggestions to make the implementation and evaluation process more user-friendly, and recommendations for next round of training. All of the feedback is being utilized by the Project and Evaluation Teams to further refine the process – in preparation for round two of implementation with the next five sites in 2014-15.
5. Launch of Healthy Together Website
We are excited to launch our program website: www.healthy-together.ca Please visit to check out the latest blogs, list of project partners, program resources and other links. Facilitators and evaluators who have successfully completed the Healthy Together training are able to access, download, and print, with the login details provided, all program related resources and documents necessary to implement and evaluate Healthy Together program. Staff also have the opportunity to network, post/ access resources, and provide feedback using this website. All five sites (round 1 implementation) are gearing up to implement the Healthy Together program within their communities during this fall/winter!
6. Knowledge Development and Exchange (KDE)
a. National Announcement
On June 25, 2013 we hosted the National Announcement by Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Nunavut, and Honorable Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament for Kelowna – Lake Country, who announced $13 million in support of 9 national projects funded under the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) Innovation Strategy for Achieving Healthier Weights in Canada’s Communities. This announcement also highlighted our Healthy Weights for Children Project.
b. Collaborative Healthy Initiatives
We have had fruitful meetings with the Western Convenience Stores Association’s President and Board to develop a collaborative Healthy Convenience Stores Initiative that will be piloted as a family-centred project. The focus is to promote and increase healthy eating choices and awareness for children, youth and families who may be shopping at convenience/ corner stores.
We are in conversation with Doceo Global Learning to develop a Healthy Together web-based application for children, youth and their families, in the form of a healthy choice mobile kiosk that will utilize applications such as virtual education forum, tablet and website delivery to disseminate Healthy Together content. The above Kiosk will provide an opportunity for safe, interactive gaming technology activities for families participating in community festivals and media events, where HWC project team will be showcasing the program.
c. Conference Presentations
HWC Project Team attended the First National Aboriginal Physical Activity Conference in Vancouver, February 2013, where they presented a poster on Phase I findings and outlined Phase II plans.
The Project Team has been accepted to provide a themed oral session at the Fourth International Conference on Health, Wellness and Society to be held in Vancouver, March 2014.
An abstract has been submitted for oral workshop presentation at the Fourth International Conference on Families with Parental Mental Health Challenges, to be held in California, 2014.
d. 2014 National KDE Forum
The Bridge is selected to coordinate and deliver the 2014 Achieving Healthier Weights in Canada’s Communities Phase II Forum. We will be working in consultation with a National Steering Committee comprised of representatives from the 11 National Projects and the PHAC Innovation Strategy Team. The Forum is proposed to be held in Kelowna in March 2014.
7. We Have Moved
The Bridge Youth & Family Services has moved to a new location. Please note our mailing address: