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Let's Go! Among National Experts Selected to Create and Manage New Prevention Center for Healthy Weight to Address Obesity in Children and Families

Portland, Maine - Oct. 6, 2010 - Let's Go!, a Maine-based child obesity prevention project, is among the team of national experts assembled by the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality to create and manage a new Prevention Center for Healthy Weight to address obesity in children and families.

The Health Resources and Services Administration, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, awarded $5 million to NICHQ, which will work with seven organizations across the United States, including Let's Go!. In its role with the new Prevention Center for Healthy Weight, Let's Go! will transfer knowledge, skills and practical approaches to teams of healthcare providers and community members across the United States. Dr. Victoria Rogers, of Maine Medical Center's Barbara Bush Children's Hospital, is a nationally known child obesity expert and will lead the local team.

More than $78 billion in healthcare costs is spent each year to treat obesity- and overweight-related health issues - almost $1 of every $10 spent on healthcare in the United States. Half of that expense is covered by U.S. taxpayers in the form of Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Let's Go! is led by MaineHealth and Maine Medical Center, along with United Way of Greater Portland, Hannaford, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, TD Bank and Unum. The program focuses on key "5-2-1-0" message about physical activity and healthy eating that cut across healthcare, school child care, after school, workplace and community settings. The 5-2-1-0 message refers to five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, fewer than two hours of recreational screen time per day, one hour or more of physical activity each day, and zero sugary drinks.

The new Prevention Center for Healthy Weight will share evidence-based and promising community-based and clinical interventions in preventing and treating obesity. Collaborative teams will be recruited to help states and local communities develop practical approaches that link public health and primary care.

Other partners in the new Prevention Center for Healthy Weight include the National Association of Community Health Centers, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers and the Nemours Foundation.

About Let's Go!
Let's Go! is a community-based initiative to promote healthy lifestyle choices for children, youth and families in 12 Greater Portland communities. Its goal is to increase physical activity and healthy eating for children and youth - from birth to age 18. For more information, go to

About MaineHealth
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit family of leading high-quality providers and other healthcare organizations working together so their communities are the healthiest in America. Ranked among the nation's top 100 integrated healthcare delivery networks, MaineHealth's member organizations include Maine Medical Center, Miles Memorial Hospital, LincolnHealth – St. Andrews Campus & Healthcare Center, Southern Maine Medical Center, Stephens Memorial Hospital, Waldo County General Hospital, Spring Harbor Hospital, HomeHealth Visiting Nurses, Maine Physician Hospital Organization, NorDx and Synernet. Affiliates of MaineHealth include MaineGeneral Medical Center, Mid Coast Hospital, St. Mary's Regional Medical Center and Penobscot Bay Medical Center.


Deb Deatrick
VP, Community Health


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