Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pilot Study Kicks Off for SCMA Childhood Obesity Toolkit

The SCMA Childhood Obesity Taskforce, comprised of health care leaders and physicians across the state all with a vested interested in combating childhood obesity in South Carolina, has recently launched a pilot study of one of its biggest endeavors—the SCMA Childhood Obesity Toolkit.
“The toolkit will benefit pediatricians by providing access to resources designed to reach and appeal to both parents and children, said Dr. Deborah Greenhouse, president of the SC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and member of the Taskforce . “This will allow pediatricians the best opportunity to deal with the problem of obesity by involving the entire family in the process.”
The toolkit consists of several resources and tools developed from organizations like Eat Smart, Move More South Carolina, the SCMA, and DHEC. All the resources have been evaluated as effective from various pediatricians. Further, the goal is to not only provide the resources to pediatric practices, but to train pediatricians on how to effectively teach their patients how to use each tool and evaluate their progress.
“Through the Taskforce, several recognized leaders in the fight against childhood obesity have had the ability to come together and identify noteworthy projects--- one of which is the toolkit,” said Dr. Vincent Degenhart, chair of the Taskforce. “Through the many talents of the Taskforce, it is a shared belief that providing the resources is not enough. We must also effectively train physicians on how to share these resources with their patients and motivate them to use them.”
Currently, the toolkit is in a pilot phase. The toolkit is being piloted by several practices identified by Eat Smart, Move More South Carolina, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the SCMA. Through the pilot phase, pediatricians will be able to help identify what works and what doesn’t work before the toolkit is available for the mass pediatric audience.
How will the toolkit work? Physicians will be able to sign-up to receive a toolkit, but will be required to go through motivational and assessment training before receiving the toolkit for their practice. Physicians will be able to complete the training through an online webinar or by having training staff come to their office.
What’s next? After the pilot phase, the toolkit will be available online for all South Carolina pediatricians. Pediatricians will also have the option to opt for a hardcopy of the kit along with an on-site training. The SCMA will be communicating with pediatricians to let them know when it is available.
How do I sign-up for the pilot? The SCMA is currently looking for interested pediatricians to participate in the pilot study. Space is limited and pilot toolkits will be sent out on a first come, first serve basis. If you are interested in being a part of the pilot study, please email Kate Crosby at