CHL Meeting
Children's Healthy Living (CHL) Project Principal Investigator Rachel Novotny (front, center) is welcomed by ASCC-CNR staff including Director Tapaau Dr. Dan Aga (back, far left) and American Samoa CHL Co-Principal Investigator Aufa’i Apulu Ropeti Areta (back, far right). Novotny and CHL agents from across the American Pacific will gather here for the CHL Annual Meeting, beginning this Saturday, and hosted by CNR. (Photo: J. Kneubuhl)

ASCC-CNR to Host Annual CHL Meeting

May 30, 2014

By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer

The Children’s Healthy Living (CHL) Program for Remote Underserved Minority Populations in the Pacific Region is a partnership among remote US states and territories including Alaska, American Samoa, the Common wealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Federated States of Micronesia, Hawaii, Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. These jurisdictions, which have US Land Grant Colleges, are united in the Pacific Land Grant Alliance, and are combining efforts to train a public health nutrition work force; to conduct public health nutrition research; to develop a food, nutrition, and physical activity data management and evaluation system; and to communicate nutrition and health related information to the public.

The American Samoa arm of CHL is the Community & Natural Resources (CNR) division of the American Samoa Community College, where efforts have been underway for the past two years to engage the community in awareness of childhood obesity and steps that can be taken to mitigate it. CNR will welcome to the Territory representatives from the above-mentioned regions when it hosts the Fourth Annual CHL Conference, beginning this Saturday, June 7th, and concluding on Friday, June 13th.

Aufa’i Apulu Ropeti Areta, CNR Associate Director and CHL American Samoa Lead Site Investigator, explained that the broad goal of meeting is to capitalize on the synergy of face-to-face interaction between CHL representatives from the many different locations of the program in order to promote integration amongst the collective CHL team. Participants will have the opportunity to share updates on their intervention and training activities, present and discuss analytic progress on baseline data, develop CHL preliminary work plan goals for Pacific-wide data systems and Pacific policy development, develop optimized intervention and dissemination plans, and plan for future grant opportunities to carry on the CHL goals.

“We’re looking forward to the synergy that is produced from this once a year, face to face meeting,” said Aufa’i, “which will also allow the American Samoa team the opportunity to showcase their hard work over the past few years!” The majority of the meeting activities will take place in the Lee Auditorium, but CNR will also present an ava ceremony on the opening day in the Toe Timata Le Upega (Faletele) at Su’igaula Park in Utulei, as well as a field trip to local intervention sites including Leloaloa (Mary the Mother Montessori School), Fagaitua CCCAS, Alofau Elementary School, and Early Childhood Education centers in Aua, Fagaitua and Masefau.

Because the meeting agenda will focus on internal CHL priorities, the meeting sessions will not be open to the public. However, a summary of the meeting results will appear in the local media following the conclusion of the event.