We will host an Ambassador training on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Arkansas Department of Health, located at 4815 W. Markham St. in Little Rock. The goal of the training is to provide attendees ideas and tools that can support the creation of projects that generate a culture of physical activity and good nutrition in their school, workplace or community.

Those interested in attending the Ambassador training can RSVP here, or call 501-661-2990 by Sept. 7, 2018. Lunch will be provided.

Pageant contestants and student government representatives from high schools and universities are encouraged to attend. This will be the third year HAA has hosted the training. Past participants include 2017 Miss Arkansas Maggie Benton and 2017 Miss America Savvy Shields. A notable project from the 2017 HAA Ambassador training included Miss Philander Smith College (PSC) Brittany Taylor’s creation of a nursing nook at PSC, making it the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Arkansas to have a designated lactation space for women who are breastfeeding.

“The HAA training was an amazing experience that provided me the tools to tackle health disparities on my college’s campus,” Brittany Taylor, 54th Miss Philander Smith, said. “I am so thankful for the HAA Ambassador Training because it helped me alleviate one minority health disparity on my campus while ensuring accommodations for lactating mothers were made,” Taylor added.

In addition, as a result of the publicity around Philander Smith’s nursing nook, Arkansas Baptist College, another HBCU, has expressed interest in developing a designated space on their campus.

While HAA includes nine priority areas, this training will focus on Priority Area 2: Nutritional Standards in Government, Institutions and the Private Sector; Priority Area 5: Healthy Worksites; Priority Area 7: Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Reduction; Priority 8: Breastfeeding; and Priority 9: Marketing. Representatives from these Priority Areas will offer ideas and guidance on how to identify a project, garner support for, implement and market a project in their school, workplace or community.

“One of the best aspects of the HAA framework is that it offers strategies that can be used by anyone in almost any setting, and some of our best champions for physical activity and nutrition are our youth who can help us develop some innovative, community-led, or student-driven ways to tackle our state’s obesity epidemic,” Dr. Marisha DiCarlo, Interim Executive Manager of HAA and Interim Priority 9: Marketing Lead, said.

Healthy Active Arkansas is a 10-year framework to increase the number of Arkansans at a healthy weight. There are nine priority areas that include evidence-based strategies that impact the health of the state.