“Get Fit Taos Kids” is part of a national effort aimed at battling childhood obesity.
The National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) is leading the effort, called Collaborate for Healthy Weight — a nationwide effort to reverse obesity through building community partnerships. Only 50 programs nationwide have been chosen to participate and the “Get Fit for Life” program from Taos was the only team selected from New Mexico.
This program is a collaboration between TCCY (Taos Clinic for Children and Youth), Holy Cross Hospital CATCH (Collaborative Action for Taos Community Health)
program, Taos Swim Club and AuraFitness. The team is led by Dr. Sylvia Villarreal, owner of TCCY and local Pediatrician. “Dr V” has been interested in childhood obesity since her early training and sees this team effort as a first step in focusing on kids improving their health through physical activity, good nutrition, and local food.
“The Get Fit for Life program is not a weight loss program”, Dr. V emphasizes. “It is a program whereby adolescents are medically referred due to obesity and/or diabetes.” The after-school sessions run for six weeks and provide supervised exercise and swimming for the students as well as nutritional training for the family. Team members are looking to expand physical activity options, involve more local businesses and emphasize local healthy food choices.
Members of the team led by Dr. V are: Dr. John Hutchinson from Holy Cross Hospital; Dave and Aura Garver, certified personal trainers from AuraFitness; Lisa Davis and Taylor Jaramillo-Etchemendy, coaches from the Taos Swim Club; Nic Villarreal, COO of TCCY and Director, ECHO Kids; Amy Espinoza, EMT, Medical Assistant and parent of a student in the program; and Dr. Anne F. Foster, Medicaid Medical Director in Santa Fe.
This national recognition enables the Taos team to be part of a virtual learning community, exchange ideas and learn best practice models. Statistics show, nearly one-third of all kids and teens in the U.S. are overweight or obese. It’s why the Get Fit for Life program is part of a national effort to raise awareness about childhood obesity and promote healthy living.
If you need more information or would like to donate, please contact:
Nic Villarreal, Director of ECHO Kids
1393 Weimer Road Taos, NM 87571