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Community Health Needs Assessment

Kennebec sites honored for improving health of Maine’s youth

Release Date: 12/04/2014

Forty sites in Kennebec County were recognized for their efforts in the Let’s Go! program, and for their commitment to healthy eating and active living for local children and families. The Recognition Celebration, held on November 6 at the Alfond Youth Center in Waterville, recognized eight childcare sites, 10 out of school programs, 11 schools, 13 healthcare practices including Inland Hospital’s Inland Family Care practices and three organizations in the community as Sites of Distinction for the Let’s Go! program or received Certificates of Participation for the 2014 program year. The Let’s Go! Site of Distinction certificate recognizes schools, out of school programs, childcare centers and healthcare practices for their dedication to creating healthy environments and policies where kids live, learn and play.

In addition to recognizing Sites of Distinction at the celebration, the Alfond Youth Center, Waterville Parks and Recreation Department, and Inland Hospital were all acknowledged for their dedication to the community sector of Let’s Go! and for their partnership in Inland Hospital’s Let’s Go! Family Fun Series. The series offers free monthly activities for families to stay active together and connected with more than 300 local families in 2014.

At the celebration, Laura Howell, local Let’s Go! Kennebec Coordinator and VISTA Volunteer at Inland Hospital welcomed sites from across the sectors She shared stories of the accomplishments sites made in the 2013-2014 program year. “A home-based childcare rearranged their living room so the TV wasn’t their go to focal point every afternoon. Now, the TV is nowhere to be seen and TV time has been swapped with activity time,” noted Howell as one example.

The Director of Let’s Go!, Dr. Victoria Rogers, delivered an inspiring keynote address about how everyone has a role to play in Let’s Go! across the sectors. After highlighting the progression of Let’s Go!, Dr. Rogers asked Site Champions share some of their accomplishments and successes, like staff who are now trained in role modeling at an afterschool program and that systematic support for the program has been key to the success of a local school district.

Dr. Rogers stated, “We are thrilled to honor sites across the state for their dedication to children’s health. All recipients have embraced Let’s Go!’s five priority strategies and many have written these strategies into policy. It’s efforts like these that truly impact children’s health and obesity rates.”
A list of all 2014 Let’s Go! Sites of Distinction is available at letsgo.org. For more information about Let’s Go! Kennebec – 861-3392 or kacase@emhs.org

Above: John Dalton, President and CEO of Inland Hospital accepts a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of Inland Hospital for their dedication to the Let’s Go! program and their commitment to Inland Hospital’s Let’s Go! Family Fun Series. Pictured from left to right, Laura Howell, Let’s Go! Kennebec Coordinator, John Dalton, and Ellen Wells, Community Wellness Team Leader at Inland Hospital. 

Above: Dr. Tory Rogers, the Director of the Let’s Go! program during her inspiring keynote. 

Above: Staff representation from the Inland Family Care practices attended to accept awards on behalf of their practices dedication to the Let’s Go! program.