Savannah’s COPE for Change Director Selected to Address Childhood Obesity in Congressional Report

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

Founding Executive Director Sandy Baker of Savannah’s COPE for Change, Childhood Obesity Prevention + Education, has been recognized by Congresswoman Dr. Robin Kelly (D-IL) for her contributions to the 2015 Kelly Report.

The Kelly Report is a call-to-action for Congress to make improving health outcomes in diverse communities a top priority, bringing together Members of Congress, medical professionals and public health thought leaders to examine the root causes and impact of health disparities in America and provide a comprehensive set of legislative and policy recommendations to reverse them.

As the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, Dr. Kelly is committed to promoting the need for trusted, independent information and innovative solutions that respond to the major health issues facing our nation and its people.

“I thank Sandy Baker and COPE for their contribution to the 2015 Kelly Report,” said Congresswoman Kelly. “Now is the time to address the issue of obesity in America, particularly in children. As the Kelly Report mentions, children with obesity are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, insulin resistance, diabetes, sleep apnea, asthma, discrimination, and self-esteem issues. As we continue the conversation about reducing health disparities and achieving health equity in a generation, we must put childhood obesity at the forefront in the discussion.”

Baker’s findings included in the report reveal how the COPE for Change model can change childhood obesity outcomes though family-based, after-school programs that target three major areas to reduce and prevent childhood obesity. These are: nutrition education, physical fitness, and a therapeutic/behavioral component. “COPE’s inclusion of behavioral health as well as a parent component could be what is needed to change the outcomes we are seeing in the childhood obesity epidemic,” noted Baker. “We have the results to prove our method is a game changer.”