The National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality Receives $3.25 Million Grant From Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Fight Childhood Obesity
BOSTON, MA, June 16, 2009 — The National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) today announced it has been awarded a $3.25 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic trend across the nation by training, supporting and providing technical assistance to healthcare professionals in becoming advocates for change within their communities.
As part of the grant, NICHQ will partner with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the California Medical Association Foundation (CMA-F) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity (CPCO) to facilitate healthcare professionals becoming community advocates for local change, and to build an online network serving as the "go to resource" for healthcare providers looking for solutions to the childhood obesity epidemic.
"We are pleased to support NICHQ in its effort to help clinicians become advocates for policy and environmental changes that will help us reverse the childhood obesity epidemic," remarked Dwayne Proctor, director of the RWJF Childhood Obesity Team. "Health is not just something that happens in the doctor's office. It happens in the places where all of us live, learn, work and play, and NICHQ's work will advance efforts to make all of these settings healthier."
The prevention, screening and treatment of childhood obesity is at the top of NICHQ's Agenda for Improvement. The rise in the prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents is one of the most alarming public health issues facing the world today. Over the past three decades, the prevalence of childhood obesity in the US has more than tripled. Children in low socioeconomic status families and children in the country's southern region tend to have higher rates of obesity than that of the general population. The current increase is especially evident among African-American, Hispanic, and American Indian populations.
"As a leader in the children's healthcare quality movement in the US, we are committed to tackling this complex issue," said Dr. Charles Homer, president and chief executive officer of NICHQ. "We look forward to working closely with the AAP and CMA-F, as well as with RWJF, to expand our efforts and make significant changes at the community level so that childhood obesity is no longer an epidemic threatening our children's current and future health and welfare."