Addressing Childhood Obesity Through Multisector Collaborations: Evaluation of a National Quality Improvement Effort
The Healthy Weight Collaborative (HWC) represents a national quality improvement effort to increase uptake of evidence-based community-based interventions to address obesity among children. Implemented from 2011 to 2013, the HWC built the capacity of 49 community-based multisector teams (10 teams in the Phase 1 pilot, 39 teams in Phase 2), delivered services to support health behavior changes in children and families, and implemented sustainable social and environmental policy change at the organizational and community levels. Phase 2 teams participated in three virtual collaborative learning sessions interspersed with three “action periods” during which teams implemented the HWC “change package” while receiving tailored coaching and peer-support. All of the teams participating in Phase 2 adopted a healthy weight message, 59% implemented community-wide healthy weight assessments and healthy weight plans, and 31% made progress toward developing and implementing policies to promote healthy weight. By the end of the project, one-third of teams had developed sustainability plans to continue working with this approach. The HWC offers a collaborative team model with the potential to effectively address other public health challenges.