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KEYS 4 HealthyKids

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KEYS 4 HealthyKids (KEYS) is a grant-funded childhood obesity prevention initiative that has been serving WV’s kids, families, and communities since 2009. Through policy, systems, and environmental changes (or PSEs), KEYS is on a mission to make the healthy choice the easy choice in WV. KEYS is currently focused on two primary sectors for intervention: child care and clinical-community linkages.

Lead Contact for Programs: Merinda Stricklen, PA-C


Phone: (304) 539 - 5642

Specific Initiatives

5210 Rx Program

  • The goals of the 5210 Rx Program are a) to improve health outcomes/food access for children, b) to prevent and treat obesity/diabetes, and c) to address food insecurity.

  • It is a yearlong program focusing on the healthy habits of 5-2-1-0—to eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day, watch 2 hours or less of recreational screen time per day, get 1 hour of physical activity per day, and drink 0 sugary drinks. 

  • The 5210 healthy themes are: 

  • 5—Increase fruit/vegetable intake

  • 2,1—Increase physical activity, decrease screen time

  • 0—Drink more water

  • Providers “prescribe” the 5210 healthy themes to their patients by making 5210 goals with their patients based on these themes (for example, Fruit and Vegetable Prescriptions to encourage increased fruit/vegetable consumption).

  • Patients who participate in the 5210 Rx Program are seen at their provider’s office monthly while they participate in the program.

  • At each doctor visit, after patients make a goal based on one of the 5210 healthy themes, patients are given a 5210 Rx with a goal tracker to record their accomplishments in reaching their goal

  • Patients who come for a follow-up appointment and bring their goal tracker receive an incentive based on the 5210 theme they are working on, such as a water bottle or portable physical activity equipment.


Steps 4 Stronger Families

  • Steps 4 Stronger Families is a family-based free 8-week program offering nutrition, hands on cooking experiences, and family friendly physical activity activities. 

  • Children with either an elevated BMI or who are SNAP eligible are eligible to participate - an adult must participate with their child.

  • In order to participate, children need clearance from a medical provider.

  • Classes are held weekly at the Gateway Center in Smithers

  • Classes are currently on hold until Fall 2022


Hands-On Cooking Classes

  • In-person cooking classes offered by an experienced dietician 

  • Nutrition education is provided during the classes

  • Classes occur every 2nd and 4th Monday from 5:30-6:30 PM at the WV Health Right West Side CommUNITY Center Kitchen

  • Participants receive a Kroger e-card after the class to purchase ingredients to make the recipe again


Medical Nutrition Therapy 

  • Medical nutrition therapy is provided virtually/online by a dietician

  • Patients are referred by their primary care provider

Water Adventures at the Park 

  • Every Thursday in July from 6:00-7:00

  • Location: Little Creek Park at the Pavilion across from the basketball courts

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