The project began with the vision of three Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine (MUJCESOM) medical students, Samantha Cook, MD, Elizabeth Saunders, MD and Jane Wiseman, MD. Samantha graduated in May of 2007 and began her first year of residency in pediatrics in July 2007 at MUJCESOM. Elizabeth also graduated from medical school in May 2007 and began her first year of residency in combined internal medicine-pediatrics in July 2007 at MUJCESOM. Jane graduated in May 2007 and is currently a first year resident in the family practice program at Wake Forest.
This vision was to find a way to make a positive impact on the growing epidemic of childhood obesity in the state of West Virginia. The students submitted a grant in November of 2004 to the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) and were awarded $400 to develop a children's health fair. In spring 2005, over 40 Marshall University medical students traveled to three local elementary schools to teach approximately 150 fifth graders how to become physically fit and eat right. The "Let's Get Moving!" health fairs were extremely successful, and students expanded the health fair goal to reach over 500 children in 10 elementary schools in five counties between 2005-2006.
In the 2006-2007 school year, medical students visited 20 elementary schools in Cabell County. In September 2007, the Let's Get Moving! project was awarded a three year $150,000 grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation ( http://www.benedum.org/) to assist with the continuation of providing health fairs to local elementary schools, as well as begin a comprehensive obesity intervention program. To learn more about our intervention, please visit the Intervention tab on the home page.