The Healthy Steps for Families program was developed by Canyon Ranch Institute and the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH) to help parents become better role models for their children around issues related to health and wellness. Statistics show that chronic diseases - such as diabetes, heart disease, and asthma - are steadily increasing among America's children. Through a series of interactive group sessions, Healthy Steps for Families provided Tucson-area parents with strategies to help them to become healthier role models for their children and reduce the risk factors for chronic disease.
How We're Making a Difference
Healthy Steps for Families consists of 12 two-and-a-half-hour interactive sessions in which parents of Head Start children participated in physical activity, hands-on cooking demonstrations, and health education sessions. All components were culturally relevant, linguistically appropriate, and grounded in the best practices of health literacy.
In 2010, the Tucson-based Healthy Steps for Families expanded to the border community of Douglas, AZ. Through the program expansion, Canyon Ranch Institute and MEZCOPH sought to reduce health disparities and improve the health status of multiethnic communities primarily in the U.S.- Mexico border region. The program in Douglas served parents at two Head Start facilities and integrated into an additional Family Literacy program housed at the Cochise Community College as part of their adult education initiatives.
Since the launch of the Healthy Steps for Families program in 2008, over 100 parents and grandparents have completed the program, impacting the lives of over 300 children.
MEZCOPH and Canyon Ranch Institute are currently analyzing outcome data from the evaluation of this program. When data becomes available, Canyon Ranch Institute will share that outcome data via scholarly publication, presentations, and here on our website.
¹Journal of the American Medical Association. The Increase of Childhood Chronic Conditions in the United States. Available at http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/297/24/2755.extract; 2007.