"I am honored to have the opportunity to visit communities across the country, like Tampa, and meet first-hand with those actively engaged in finding ways to prevent childhood overweight and obesity," said Galson.
The “Fit Families for Life” program, presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, in conjunction with the Lightning Foundation and The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County focuses on helping sixth grade students and their families from Academy Prep Center of Tampa make significant changes in exercise routines, eating habits and general wellness. This three-year pilot program consists of classroom lessons that feature guest speakers including Registered Dietician and Nutritionist, JoAnn Loiselle and Janice Lackey a health educator from MORE HEALTH, Inc. who teaches students about bone health and nutrition. Other sessions during the nine-week program, feature the YMCA and Monarch Training and Consulting.
Throughout the program students and their families create healthy meal plans, recipes, family fitness/motivational goals and cooking activities. Tampa General Hospital provides health screening which includes blood pressure, cholesterol and BMI. Field trips to Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute and the Central City YMCA will take place this spring for all sixth grade students. Students cook a healthy meal for their families at the conclusion of the spring semester.
As part of the Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future initiative, the Surgeon General is visiting communities to highlight prevention programs and recognizing “Champions” for their commitment to building partnerships and implementing programs to help kids stay active, encourage kids’ healthy eating habits, and promote healthy choices.
The Surgeon General’s Champion Award identifies and celebrates outstanding organizations that have implemented innovative and creative approaches to preventing childhood overweight and obesity.
Galson has served as the Acting Surgeon General of the United States since October 2007. As the nation’s top public health physician, the Surgeon General communicates the best science, evidence, and data to the American people in order for them to make healthy choices that impact their health, safety, and security. Additionally, he serves as the operational Commander of the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service, a uniformed force of 6,000 health professional officers dedicated to promoting, protecting, and advancing the health and safety of the people of the United States.