The Planned Approach to Community Health (PATCH) dates back to 1983 when the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and in partnership with various local health departments, a few community groups worked together to provide a model that can be used to deal with issues of public health. The purpose of PATCH was to enable an integrated and comprehensive mechanism that combines the effort of the community, state health departments and other agencies. Such a mechanism can be applied in dealing with childhood obesity as outlined in this paper (Minkler&Wallerstein, 2005).
Mobilizing the community-this entails bringing the community into the process by encouraging their participation. Most important, the program should target parents with small children and those below the age of majority. This is because statistics show that childhood obesity is a growing epidemic and at an alarming rate with over double for children and quadrupled in adolescents over the past 30 years (Lytle, 2012). Other members to bring on board include the state health offices, universities, local leaders and NGOs that support such programs.
Collecting and organizing data-the important of data collection is to statistically analyze and draw logical conclusions on the subject. This helps in arranging and coordinating for the program. This requires partnership from agencies such as National Bureau of Statistics and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). They not only provide the statistics but also detailed analysis of the population and samples.
Choosing health priorities-this establishes the order in which key objectives in the health programs are to be executed. For instance, while engaging children in physical activity is an immediate and effective way of dealing with childhood obesity, education on healthy lifestyles should supersede every other activity in the program. Such a process would require the involvement of health specialist ranging from medical doctors, nutritionists to normal class room teachers.
Developing a comprehensive intervention plan– such a plan is designed to drive positive change in the life of the obese children. It aims at ensuring that the objectives of the program are realized while the children do not feel overburdened or suffer from any form of withdrawal. Since the importance of such a plan cannot be overemphasized, key individuals play a focal role in the program. Such include therapists, counsellors and medical doctors since, in some cases, surgery is an option.
Evaluation-this is the last phase of PATCH. The results of the process are used to justify the means. It entails getting feedback which can be obtained from normal physical observation and detailed medical examination reports of the obese children in the weight loss program. It is important in not only, measuring the level of success in dealing with the problem, but also in establishing areas that should be prioritized in subsequent programs and also ways of improving efficiency and productivity.
Lytle, L. A. (2012). Dealing with the childhood obesity epidemic: a public health approach. Abdominal imaging, 37(5), 719-724.
Minkler, M., &Wallerstein, N. (2005). Improving health through community organization. Community organizing and community building for health, 26-51.