Virginia Healthy Youth Day: January 17, 2013

September 13, 2012   
VHY Day1

Prevention Connections is a proud partner of the third annual Virginia Healthy Youth Day, scheduled for Thursday, January 17, 2013 at the Virginia State Capitol Bell Tower.  Established by a Virginia General Assembly resolution, Virginia Healthy Youth Day is held every January and promotes physical fitness, good nutrition and healthy lifestyles for Virginia’s children.

Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell will be the keynote speaker at an hour-long Virginia Healthy Youth Day event on the lawn of the State Capitol from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. About 400 students from local schools will be in attendance.  In addition to the Virginia Healthy Youth Day celebration at the State Capitol, dozens of other Virginia Healthy Youth Day events will take place across the state on January 17.


Garden Planting at the Executive Mansion

September 10, 2012   
Heidi at mansion garden

In partnership with the Office of the First Lady of Virginia, Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) Executive Director Marty Kilgore and Prevention Connections Board Member Heidi Hertz helped coordinate a fall garden planting at the Executive Mansion on September 10, 2012.  Twenty children from the Child Development Center at Wyndham assisted in planting vegetables and herbs. The Executive Mansion Chef, Darren Rounds attended the garden planting and shared with the youth how many of the vegetables and herbs would be used in cooking and meal preparation.


Weight of the State Conference: April 11-12, 2013

August 13, 2012   

Prevention Connections and the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth are pleased to host Virginia’s third Weight of the State conference on childhood obesity prevention to be held April 11-12, 2013, at the Westin Richmond hotel in Richmond, Va.  Virginia’s 2013 Weight of the State conference will showcase the latest approaches in childhood obesity prevention and control. Hundreds of attendees from across the Commonwealth will gather to hear national, state and local experts sharing cutting-edge tactics for reducing and preventing obesity, including community-based approaches and policy changes.

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Y Street Youth Claims National Award

May 17, 2012   
judy wins yaya

VFHY’s award winning youth-led empowerment movement – Y Street – had one of its own members honored before more than 400 public health, political, civic and business leaders at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ 16th annual gala in Washington, D.C. on Thursday May 17.

Judy Hou has been named the 2012 Southern Region Youth Advocate of the Year by the CTFK for her leadership in the fight against tobacco.  With Y Street, she has surveyed Virginians to demonstrate they want smoke-free restaurants, and helped lead the Meltdown campaign, which focused attention on dissolvable and other smokeless tobacco products.

Judy was asked to provide testimony of Meltdown’s findings to the FDA’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, and has presented to Virginia’s two U.S. senators and Attorney General.  Judy was also invited to attend the FDA Youth Stakeholder meeting in Boston, as well as the FDA’s Washington news conference to unveil new graphic warning labels for cigarettes. Y Street was the winner of the 2011 Youth Advocates of the Year Group Award from CTFK.

PC provides emergency funds to keep Virginia’s tobacco quit line running

April 24, 2012   

Prevention Connections has provided one-time emergency funding to bridge the service gap in the Virginia Quit Line from the beginning of February to the end of March 2012.  These funds provided 757 tobacco users who were ready to quit with the critical cessation counseling services they needed.  Based on the Virginia QuitLine success rate of 15.3% (versus 3-5% of smokers who quit on their own) and a per tobacco user cost to Virginia of $6,374; PC’s generosity saved the Commonwealth approximately $500,000.

Smoking kills more people each year than illegal drugs, alcohol, car crashes, AIDS, murders, and suicides combined. For every person in Virginia who dies from smoking, there are approximately twenty more that suffer from other tobacco-caused health problems.  The annual health care expenditures in the Commonwealth of Virginia caused directly by tobacco use is $2.08 billion.

Tobacco users in Virginia who call 1-800-QUIT-NOW are 5 times more likely to succeed in staying quit than those attempting to quit on their own.  The Virginia Quit Line provides a multi-call, personalized counseling plan with fully trained Quit Coaches to those who are ready to quit using tobacco for good.  Based on the Virginia quit rate and a per tobacco user cost to Virginia, the Virginia Quit Line saved the Commonwealth approximately $2.9 million last year.

Walk to School Day at Crestview Elementary

October 4, 2011   

First Lady of Virginia Maureen McDonnell will celebrate International Walk to School Day on Wednesday Oct. 5 with more than 350 children from Crestview Elementary School in Henrico County. Mrs. McDonnell and the children will be joined by Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. Bill Hazel,

Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton, State Health Commissioner Dr. Karen Remley, and the J.R. Tucker High School marching band on their half-mile walk from Christ United Methodist Church to Crestview Elementary beginning at 7:50 a.m.

Funded by a grant from Richmond-based nonprofit Prevention Connections, the Walk to School Day event aims to promote increased physical activity among schoolchildren. “We hope this event will inspire communities across Virginia to participate in the national Safe Routes to School program,” says Danny Saggese, chairman of Prevention Connections. “The number of children who walk and bike to school has decreased by 73 percent over the last 40 years, and we need to turn that around.”

As of 2009, 13 percent of children ages 5 to 14 walked or bicycled to school, compared to 48 percent of students in 1969, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS).

Held in connection with Virginia’s second annual Weight of the State childhood obesity prevention conference, 40 other elementary and middle schools throughout the commonwealth will also be observing International Walk to School Day .

Following the walk to school, Crestview Elementary will hold student activities throughout the day emphasizing good nutrition and physical activity. “As part of our school’s Continuous Improvement Plan, one of our goals for the year is to promote healthy life choices, which in turn improves student academic achievement. In the past, we have found that students who participate in physical activity return to the classroom more focused and ready to learn,” says Crestview Principal Karen Rawlyk.

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