BANGOR – Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC), the largest Federally Qualified Health Center in Maine, has announced that Penobscot Pediatrics has received the Site of Distinction Award from Let’s Go! The Site of Distinction award is given to health care practices for encouraging patients to make healthy choices every day by following the program’s evidence-based strategies. Those strategies include limiting unhealthy choices for snacks and celebrations, limiting or eliminating sugary drinks and providing opportunities for physical activity every day.
“We see evidence every day that establishing healthy practices with our children leads to an incredible benefit for them,” said Lori Dwyer, president & CEO of PCHC. “Sometimes as a parent it can feel tough to resist the temptation of an unhealthy snack as a treat for our kids, but by encouraging healthy choices they have a greater opportunity to feel better and live better.”
Penobscot Pediatrics achieved the Site of Distinction Award by implementing three strategies:
- Promoting the key message for 5-2-1-0 by placing “Let’s Go” posters and signage in the waiting room and all exam rooms where pediatric patients are seen.
- Calculating each patient’s Body Mass Index (BMI) at all well child visits.
- Using the Healthy Habits Questionnaire at all well child visits to initiate a respectful conversation with patients about healthy behaviors.
“It is an honor to be recognized for the hard work we do for the health or our children and the future health of our communities,” said Kristen Martin, DO, medical director at Penobscot Pediatrics.
Introduced in 2012, the Let’s Go! recognition program focuses on sustainable change. It identifies and celebrates organizations and youth programs for their role in improving the health of children. Let’s Go! partners with 1,587 sites across 292 towns. 1,041 Let’s Go! sites in Maine and New Hampshire met the criteria for recognition this year – a 13 percent increase from 2018. A listing of all recognized sites can be found at https://sites.letsgo.org/
Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC) is a non-profit, Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) founded in 1997 to ensure access to comprehensive, integrated primary health care services for all to improve the health and wellbeing of patients and the Maine communities served. Sixteen practices and program service sites in the Bangor area, and in Belfast and Jackman, offer a wide range of services including family medicine, dental, pediatrics, geriatrics, mental health and substance abuse, specialty services, pharmacy and healthcare for the homeless. Online at www.pchc.com.
Let’s Go! is a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program that reaches children and families where they live, learn, work and play. Let’s Go! is committed to promoting policy and environmental changes at child care programs, schools, out-of-school programs, health care practices, and workplaces. The program’s multi-setting approach, daily 5-2-1-0 message (five or more fruits and vegetables, two hours or less of screen time, one hour or more of physical activity and zero sugary drinks) and 10 evidence-based strategies are used to effect change across the state of Maine. Strong leadership from The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center and collaboration across health systems and community health coalitions contribute to the program’s success.