An Association of County Children and Families Commissions
Investing in Nutrition and Physical Activity For Children Birth to 5
There are many different factors that lead to positive children’s health outcomes, a fundamental goal for First 5 San Joaquin programs using a coordinated systems approach. Health outcomes are improved with healthy lifestyles and habits that promote nutrition and physical activity, health insurance screenings and referrals, and referrals to a medical home.
The First 5 San Joaquin Health Access Initiative, though Child Wellness Projects, provides families in high need areas with curriculum-based home visitation services that promote healthy eating and physical activity. Primary home visitation curricula include: Happy, Healthy Me, Go Grow Glow, and Eating Smart, Smart Being Active. Working in conjunction with the University of California, Davis Cooperative Extension First 5 San Joaquin funds programs that utilize health educators in sixty-five elementary school areas throughout San Joaquin County. In addition, the Health Access Initiative works in combination with local partner agencies and community-wide collaborative groups to engage the community in quarterly health messaging efforts to provide consistent health information throughout San Joaquin County.
The First 5 San Joaquin Breastfeeding Initiative promotes systems change by coordinating activities for six county hospitals to select and implement Breastfeeding Model Hospital Policy recommendations. The Breastfeeding Initiative provides for collaborative efforts with the Breastfeeding Coalition, with a major focus to increase the number of International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) in San Joaquin County hospitals. To increase the number of pregnant women receiving services on early and adequate prenatal care, First 5 San Joaquin also funds a nurse home visiting program and prenatal case management through its Safety Net Initiative.
Because children with health insurance are more likely to receive well-baby preventative medical care and are less likely to rely on the emergency room for medical care, all children participating in First 5 San Joaquin programs are screened and referred for health insurance. These well designed and sustained campaign efforts afford a county-wide momentum with the goal of improving health and well-being outcomes for San Joaquin County’s children and families.