Holyoke Recognized for Healthy Living by “Let’s Move!” Text Size

Event takes place on July 11, 2013 at 12:00 PM until 1:00 PM
Farmer's Market, Holyoke City Hall, 536 Dwight Street, Holyoke, MA 01040

Mayor Alex B. Morse is pleased to announce that the City has been recognized by The National League of Cities (NLC) for recent completion of key health and wellness goals for Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC). This recognition is a major component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s comprehensive Let’s Move! initiative, dedicated to solving the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation. 

Holyoke was recognized for having an active interagency collaboration in early care and education programs, increasing participation in the School Breakfast Program and undertaking initiatives to increase physical activity.

Mayor Morse also announced that citywide Let’s Move! initiatives will be led by Holyoke’s Collaborative for Healthy Weight (CHW), a cross-sectoral team lead by Vinny Biggs, MD at the HolyokeHealthCenter.

“I am proud of Holyoke’s commitment to Let’s Move! and thankful for the Collaborative for Healthy Weight for their ongoing community-wide healthy weight messaging campaign ‘5-2-1-0,’” said Mayor Morse. “These projects complement the City’s Mass in Motion Program (Healthy Holyoke), which has placed community health issues at the forefront of our agenda.”

CHW has focused the “Let’s Move! Holyoke 5-2-1-0” messaging on healthy weight and healthy behaviors. CHW partners include the Holyoke Mayor’s Office, Holyoke Board of Health, Holyoke Mass in Motion Program (Healthy Holyoke), Holyoke Public School District, Greater Holyoke YMCA, Holyoke Health Center, the Head Start of Holyoke, Chicopee & Springfield, Holyoke Food & Fitness Policy Council, and the Holyoke/Chicopee WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Program.

Holyoke was one of 50 locations across the county chosen to participate in the Collaborative for Healthy Weight program by the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ), in partnership with the National Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

A major component of Let’s Move!Holyoke 5-2-1-0 is the development of individualized Healthy Living Plans (HLPs) which survey the current diet and physical activity of children and adults. That information is then used as an aid to develop healthy living goals to improve overall health. The program focuses on encouraging that participants aim for five servings of fruits and vegetables, two hours or less of screen time, one hour of daily physical activity, and zero sugar sweetened drinks every day.

At the HolyokeHealthCenter, over 1000 HLPs have been completed through Well Child and Adult Annual Exams. HLPs were also completed in YMCA afterschool programs and with all families at the Maple St. Head Start. Currently, HLPs are being completed by the 4th grade at MorganElementary School.

“Research has shown that patient/client centered goal setting improves goal completion,” said Dr. Biggs. He added that they are “poised to roll out Let’s Move!Holyoke 5-2-1-0 to all schools and Head Starts in Holyoke, as well as to other early childhood sites, community based organizations and primary care sites.”

The CHW team is also developing policy recommendations to promote citywide healthy living habits. The team supports the School Health Advisory Council’s School Wellness Policy update and hopes to institute Cornell Food Service recommendations along with greater physical education in Holyoke Public Schools. Additionally, the group supported the YMCA’s Event Food Policy and their Halloween Celebration with donations of healthy snacks.

Dr. Biggs praised the collaborative nature of the Let’s Move! Holyoke 5-2-1-0 partners and says teamwork was instrumental to the success of the initiative. “This has been a true partnership. The multi-sector team has been incredibly productive and serves as a model for collaboration across the City. The team is excited to work with the City to promote Holyoke’s Let’s Move! initiatives moving forward.”

For more information about LMCTC, visit:

Posted on July 9, 2013 by