For Immediate Release
September 10, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

September conference to focus on
Kansas Coordinated School Health program

Kansas schools are critically important to creating healthy communities and provide opportunities and resources for addressing many aspects of health. 

According to the Kansas State Health Officer, Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, “Improving the health of Kansans requires a more ‘upstream’ approach; addressing the root causes of the most common diseases such as hypertension and diabetes early in life.  Because of this, schools are critical partners in helping to create environments that promote and encourage healthy living.” 

Dr. Eberhart-Phillips will be a featured speaker at the 2009 Kansas Coordinated School Health conference.

Kansas Coordinated School Health (KCSH), a collaborative program between the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas State Department of Education, will be hosting their 4th annual conference in Wichita on September 21 and 22, 2009.

Conference sessions will focus attention on the importance of improving policies and practices in schools and school districts which can impact the wellness of students and staff.  Physical activity, nutrition policies, nutrition education, tobacco policies, and community involvement are traditional topics addressed.

Unique opportunities will include a “whistle-stop” where participants will have the opportunity to learn about successful school-level programs across the state. In addition, two sessions will feature panel discussions focusing on engaging parents and the role of healthcare providers in school health initiatives.

The keynote speaker, Beth Kirkpatrick, will present “Educating and Energizing One Another To Live Better”. Kirkpatrick is the pioneer for heart rate monitor use and development for education. Her presentation will inform and inspire.

Conference attendees will also have the opportunity to learn about a project within KCSH that is just underway, “Kansas Fitness Information Tracking” (K-FIT).  With generous sponsorship from the Kansas Health Foundation, KCSH will be able to provide a tool to schools in Kansas (Fitnessgram®) which will allow schools to assess students on personal fitness and develop individual plans.

Online registration for the conference is available through the KCSH website, www.kshealthykids.org.  The registration fee is $50.