For more information on FIC, visit bostonchildrens.org/FIC
Launched in 2005, Fitness in the City (FIC) is a partnership between Boston Children’s Hospital and 11 Boston community health centers. FIC utilizes case managers at the community health center sites to connect overweight and obese children with nutrition education, motivational support and physical activity opportunities within their local community. More than 900 obese and overweight children are referred by their health center-based primary care providers to participate in FIC every year. Case managers are tasked with engaging families to develop wellness goals and then supporting them to reach these goals through nutrition education and referrals to physical activity opportunities. Many of the health centers have registered dieticians on staff to provide nutrition counseling and education, but FIC supports health centers to establish partnerships with other local organizations to increase access to physical activities for families.“Health centers know their populations intimately, so they understand how to best address cultural and linguistic needs for their patients as well as how to leverage resources in their own communities,” says Shari Nethersole, MD, medical director for community health at Boston Children’s. Many FIC sites have reached out to local Boston Centers for Youth and Families or other community organizations such as Boys and Girls Clubs to provide programmings such as karate and yoga.