Creating a Community Coalition to Prevent Childhood Obesity in Yakima County, Washington: Rev It Up! 2008
Robin Johannsen Faubion, MN; Jessica Brown, BSCH; Ruth C. Bindler, PhD, RNC; Kris Miller, PhD, RN
Suggested citation for this article: Faubion RJ, Brown J, Bindler RC, Miller K. Creating a Community Coalition to Prevent Childhood Obesity in Yakima County, Washington: Rev It Up! 2008. Prev Chronic Dis 2012;9:110243. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd9.110243.
One-third of the US population is obese, and childhood obesity has tripled since the late 1970s. Childhood obesity is a significant health issue requiring interventions on individual, interpersonal, community, organizational, and policy levels. Community coalitions offer successful strategies for engaging community partners with health improvement goals.
In 2008, Yakima County, an agricultural community in eastern Washington, was ranked the eighth fattest city in the United States. Recognizing the obesity problem, the Yakima Health District (YHD) established 2 objectives: to decrease rates of childhood obesity in Yakima County and to recruit and establish a community coalition of key stakeholders and experts to help address the problem.
The YHD spearheaded a movement to create a community coalition. The coalition applied for and received state and federal grants. In September 2008, the YHD held the first recruitment event for Rev It Up!, its community-based effort to address the obesity problem in Yakima. YHD invited the Washington State Department of Health to advise the coalition-building and action-planning process.
The community coalition achieved 5 of 7 objectives, including developing a common vision, creating an advisory committee, and conducting a community inventory, prioritization process, and action plan. However, unexpected public health challenges in the YHD delayed coalition efforts.
Creating the Rev It Up! coalition met a community need and engaged community partners. Some potential partners were dissuaded by the 6-month period required to establish the coalition. Rev It Up! continues as a community effort to reduce rates of obesity in Yakima County.