Harlem Children’s Zone® (HCZ) is a leader in the fight against childhood obesity. Anchored in best practices and research, HCZ created Healthy Ways to help HCZ youth and the Harlem community build lifelong healthy habits that support learning, achievement, and growth. The Catalyzing Communities team is working with HCZ to support the replication of Healthy Ways in new communities, first with stakeholders within HCZ and now with communities around the country who are ready to implement and evaluate the evidence-based program.
Applying our approach at the organizational level
Like communities, individual organizations are complex systems involving relationships and feedback between diverse actors. As such, the success of obesity prevention initiatives rests in large part on factors within that system: leadership buy-in, organizational climate, and willingness to change, among others.
Replicating Healthy Ways would require not only codifying core programmatic components, but also understanding contextual factors that enable the initiative’s success. To that end, we adapted elements of our Stakeholder-driven Community Diffusion approach and, together with HCZ, engaged leaders and other stakeholders at multiple levels within the organization to answer a key question: what makes Healthy Ways successful?
Implementation and evaluation for impact
Built on the strong foundation of our first phase of work together, the second phase focuses, in part, on helping communities replicate Healthy Ways, evaluating implementation in those new communities, and making adaptations to the replication process to optimize future scaling efforts.
Thank you to HCZ for allowing the use of their photos throughout the site.
Healthy Ways is designed to prevent childhood obesity and positively affect health outcomes for youth and the community by increasing healthy eating, nutrition knowledge, and physical activity. Ultimately, we hope to create a culture of health across replication communities by providing learning opportunities and promoting the adoption of policies and environmental supports that make the healthy choice the easy choice. Read more about the evidence-based approach and its impact on child health.