HCHW section image 3

Growing Healthy Kids

Mon - Fri
9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Hannah Bills
GHK Program Director

Alyssa Dorsey
GHK Child Care Program Manager

Ali Segna
GHK Coalition Chair

About Us

Growing Healthy Kids (GHK) is designed to prevent childhood overweight and obesity by promoting healthy weight and growth in all children, starting with the youngest age group - birth to five years old. 

GHK partners with early care and education centers and community based organizations to provide practical policy and practice recommendations that promote a healthy environment for children to live, learn and play at their best.

  • Growing Healthy Kids Child Care Program provides technical assistance for local early care and education centers to achieve the Ohio Healthy Programs designation which is recognized by the Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association (OCCRRA) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). Previously known as Healthy Children, Healthy Weights, the GHK Child Care Program changed their name to be more weight inclusive and focus on a healthy environment for all children. 
  • Growing Healthy Kids Columbus Coalition (GHKC), which is facilitated by Columbus Public Health and the Ohio State University Extension, brings together over 40 organizations with the goal to provide children the earliest possible opportunity to develop a healthy lifestyle and to reduce their risk of overweight and obesity. 

Growing Healthy Kids' 5 Goals

  • Increasing physical activity
  • Reducing screen time
  • Establishing healthy eating habits
  • Welcoming breastfeeding
  • Promoting water first for thirst

Program Timeline 

  • 2004 Columbus Public Health develops the program concept for Healthy Children, Healthy Weights (HCHW)
  • 2005 HCHW is piloted with 10 Head Start centers
  • 2008 HCHW is evaluated by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and is found to be an evidenced-based, theory-sound program
  • 2009 HCHW Convenes the Growing Healthy Kids Columbus Coalition 
  • 2010 Ohio Department of Health provides funding for the Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association to partner with HCHW to develop a statewide designation program, known as Ohio Healthy Programs
  • 2017 HCHW receives funding from the Ohio Department of Health to modify the Ohio Approved in-person trainings to both self-paced and webinar based online training
  • 2018 Change Lab Solutions chose GHKC Coalition to be part of a cohort of 8 communities across the country focused on creating policy, system and environmental changes, funding from RWJF
  • 2019 Healthy Children, Healthy Weights formally changes the program name to Growing Healthy Kid
    Click to view the full program timeline

Awards and Accomplishments

  • 2005 Model Practice award from National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
  • 2012 Honorary presenter at Weight of the Nation National Conference
  • 2015 Presenter at American Public Health Association Annual Conference
  • 2015 Award for Excellence in Community Partnership from The Ohio State University
  • 2017 Received two Model Practice awards from National Association of County and City Health Officials
  • 2018 Presenter at American Public Health Association Annual Conference
  • 2018 Culture of Health Priester Award Winner
  • 2019 Presenter at 10th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference