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Originally developed by the Strang Cancer Prevention Center with founding supporter, MetLife Foundation, the HCHF professional staff and Advisory Board lead and manage the HCHF programs.
HCHF continues to expand. Now in six cities, HCHF is expected to establish operations in several more locations during 2008-2009. As part of its growth, HCHF this year began a new association with the American Academy of Pediatrics, with its Grand Families Initiative. HCHF will deepen its relationship with the clinical and research arms of the Weill Cornell Medical College, establishing collaborative programs with the Clinical Nutrition Research Programs, directed by Richard Rivlin, M.D. As another sign of growth, HCHF has established its own independent not-for-profit corporation called Healthy Directions Inc., which will manage HFHC. Its Board of Directors, along with its long-standing Advisory Board, will provide these established programs, and new HCHF's programs with long-term platform for growth and expansion.


Healthy Directions Inc., a 501 (c) 3 organization, develops, designs and implements materials and programs targeted to intergenerational populations for obesity prevention and related health/social issues. Our programs focus on underserved populations through the Healthy Children Healthy Futures (HCHF) program.


Healthy Directions recognizes the need to address the high rates of obesity and lack of physical activity among our nation’s children and adults. Obesity, long known to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, is now documented as a major risk factor for cancer, especially in our underserved populations.

According to national trends, only four States had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Twenty-two States had a prevalence equal or greater than 25%: two of these states (Mississippi and West Virginia) had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30%.
Trends show consistent increases in obesity levels among children as well. Surveys show a more than two-fold increase in overweight among pre-schoolers, aged 2-5; a nearly three-fold increase in those aged 6-11; and about a three and a half-fold increase for those aged 12-19.
To assure a healthy weight, there are numerous barriers to behaviors that enhance the nutrition and fitness habits of children and their families.


Healthy Children Healthy Futures is a replicable nationwide after-school program for children to become advocates — through their schools, families and communities — for healthy eating and increased physical activity.
Young people are offered a process and a forum to advocate healthy food alternatives and physical activities for their peers primarily through media messaging. These messages, by and for children, in the format of posters, radio, and animated spots are reviewed by peers and then disseminated to large numbers of children and their families through a variety of school-based and community-based networks. The parent component, based on an innovative parent-to-parent advocacy model, is the core for a series of training workshops with volunteer parents from participating school and community sites.
Our program partners have included After-School All-Stars (The Arnold Schwartzenegger Youth Foundation) (, LA’s Best After-School Enrichment Program (, TASC (New York) (, Georgia State PTA (Atlanta), the New York City Department of Education (, and Mentoring USA (New York) (, The After-School Institute (Baltimore) (, Cooperative After School Enrichment (Houston) (, Chicago Public School/After-School All-Stars (Chicago) and Community Council of Greater Dallas (GCGD) (Dallas) ( The first school to pilot Healthy Children Healthy Futures was PS 240 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.


Child health survey results indicate that children involved with the Healthy Children Healthy Futures program showed improvements in their knowledge related to physical activity, intake of fruits and vegetables , healthy screentime, and portion sizes.
Preliminary parent survey data indicate that parents who participate in the parent program component reported changes in activity and eating behaviors.These findings ( in progress) will be reported in a peer-reviewed journal.
Children and parents have become advocates for healthy eating and physical activity in their communities.


Medical Director, Christine Williams MD


Healthy Directions’ Boards include a group of visionary professionals from the public and private sector who have wide-range of expertise and experience in media/technology, medicine, public health, academia, research, government, communications, marketing, sports, education, strategic planning, publishing and nutrition

Healthy Children Healthy Futures, Program Director
BJ Carter, MS

Christine Williams, M.D., MPH

Tabetha Ewing, Ph.D
Thom Gatewood
Lisa Hark, PhD
Woodie Kessel, M.D., MPH
Carolynn Lucca
Richard Lipkin, MBA
Laura Pensiero, R.D.
Richard S. Rivlin M.D

Child Health Advisory Board

Woodie Kessel, MD, MPH
Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS (Ret)
Matilda Raffa Cuomo
Mentoring USA
Dorothy Adams
Dispute Settlement Center Inc.
Heidi Arthur
The Advertising Council, Inc.
Sharon Bush
Angelica Cantlon
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
Bruce Charash, MD
Doc to Dock
Alwyn Cohall, MD
Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Anna Maria Cugliari
Veronica Fortunato RD
Weill Cornell Medical College
Thom Gatewood
Former Member NY Giants
Leslie Goldman
NY Academy of Medicine
Freddi Greenberg
Editorial Consultant
Keith Hernandez
Former Member of New York Mets

Avrum L. Katcher MD, FAAP
American Academy of Pediatrics
Richard Lipkin
Gerald M. Loughlin, MD
Weill Cornell Medical Center
Michael P. Osborne, MD
Beth Israel Medical Center
June Park


United States


Texas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New York



HUNTINGTON, NY 11743-1557

Phone: (212) 794-4900

EIN: 20-8641946

A Gift Card

Eating Healthy

One Family Guide

This gift will provide a Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Guidebook to one underserved family. A tool that is easy to use and focuses on simple, healthier choices. Based on the 8 Habits of Healthy Kids, it provides quick and easy recipes, shopping and cost-saving checklists, cooking together and healthy eating in and out of the home.