Community Involvement

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Community Involvement

Current Projects

Child having height measured at KIDSFEST Display

The Pediatric Weight Research and Treatment Center (PHWRTC) collaborates with community organizations and health care providers on many activities aimed at increasing awareness of childhood obesity and using local resources to deal with the epidemic.

Some of these activities include:

  • Participation in local community events
    The PHWRTC participates in a number of community-wide events such as the Eat Smart Move More Fair, held at the Greenville Mall, and KIDSFEST, an event that increases awareness of educational, health and social services for children ages birth to five and their families.

  • ECU Pediatric Healthy Weight Summits
    The summits, held annually, are intended to promote awareness of topics relevant to childhood obesity among ECU faculty, local community organizations, as well as statewide and national audiences. Visit our Summits page for more information on the summits.

  • Pediatric Medical Nutrition Therapy Group
    PHWRTC staff led the formation of a Pediatric Medical Nutrition Therapy Group in Pitt County. The group has developed standardized referrals, medical nutrition therapy protocols and patient education materials to be used throughout the county with overweight children. The group updates the protocol annually. For more information on the pediatric Medical Nutrition Therapy Protocol, contact Ms. Natalie Taft at
Yancey Crawford and guests with poster
  • Presentations on childhood obesity to key community leaders and health professionals
    PHWRTC faculty provide presentations on childhood obesity and related topics to key community leaders and health professionals, such as the Pitt County Memorial Hospital leadership, the Pitt County School Superintendent and Principals, at Brody School of Medicine Grand Rounds and at AHEC conferences.
    • Click here to download a Grand Rounds presentation given by Dr. Kathy Kolasa and Dr. David Collier on April 2, 2009 on the Take Off 4-Health healthy lifestyle camp.

  • Participation on local community task forces and coalitions
    PHWRTC faculty actively participate on local task forces and coalitions, such as Pitt Partners for Health, Pitt County's Healthy Schools Task Force and the NC Action for Healthy Kids, to increase awareness of childhood obesity and collaborate on community-based childhood obesity initiatives.

Past Projects

  • Development of the "Healthy Smile, Healthy Child" Schweitzer Fellowship Project
    Dr. Sara Grossi served as the academic mentor for the "Healthy Smile, Healthy Child" project developed by two Brody School of Medicine Schweitzer Fellows, Shelby Kaplan and Brooke Merritt. The project taught kindergarten students in Pitt County about their health through a tangible vehicle they could understand: their mouths. The children learned about the importance of consuming enough calcium and reducing the amount of sugar they consume daily through a one-hour class taught during the normal school day. The goal of the project was to instill healthy habits in children from a young age to help prevent future development of osteoporosis, tooth decay, and obesity. For information about this project, contact Dr. Sara Grossi at

  • Participation on the Health and Wellness Trust Fund Fit Families NC "Study Committee for Childhood Overweight/Obesity"
    Dr. Kathryn Kolasa, Associate Director for Dietary Interventions for the PHWRTC, is a member of the study committee. The committee was commissioned to better understand the causes of childhood obesity and develop recommendations for addressing the epidemic in NC.
  • Development of a childhood obesity social marketing campaign
    The PHWRTC assisted the Pitt County Memorial Hospital's Pediatric Healthy Weight Case Management Program in developing, implementing and evaluating a social marketing campaign in 2006-2007 to increase awareness of BMI as a way to monitor a child's growth over time.

  • Partnerships with local childcare providers
    PHWRTC faculty have assisted several local child care facilities to improve the nutritional quality of the food they serve and to assess the weight status of their children through BMI screenings.