MOCAN consists of a Steering Committee and the following work groups and committees. Additional groups may be convened as needed, e.g. membership, funding, evaluation, etc.
The purpose of the Child Care Work Group is to assist child care educators in early care and education settings provide safe environments in which children grow and thrive. Working primarily with children from birth to Kindergarten entry, child care educators are supported in creating policies and enacting processes based on best practices in nutrition and physical activity for young children. This is achieved by providing child care educators with access to training, technical assistance, model policies, and resources.
The purpose of the Healthcare Work Group is to increase support for healthcare professionals and healthcare systems to promote physical activity and nutrition habits that prevent and control obesity and obesity-related chronic disease in Missouri children and adults. We aim to accomplish this purpose through enhancing prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity through improved healthcare professional knowledge, skills, and practices. Our work group sponsors an annual award to both a healthcare professional and pre-professional displaying outstanding advocacy work in the area of prevention or treatment of obesity.
The Healthy Weight Advisory Committee (HWAC) was created within MOCAN in 2018 to provide oversight for implementing recommendations to prevent and treat obesity in a coordinated manner with all work groups.
Obesity is a complex medical, social and environmental problem. A statewide collaboration with diverse representation can provide expertise and guidance to advance and monitor sustainable, evidence-based strategies for decreasing childhood obesity. Statewide collaborations provide an opportunity for joint planning, system-wide problem solving and policy development.
HWAC’s members’ actions are making impressive changes in Missouri’s landscape to prevent and treat obesity in children. These actions and the subsequent accomplishments are highlighted in the 2021 report Changing Missouri’s Landscape to Support Children’s Health—Focus on Healthy Weight. This report describes the process to develop recommendations, subsequent implementation actions, and resulting outcomes between January 2014 and August 2021. The original recommendations published in 2015 can be found in the report Critical to the Health of Our Children: Missouri’s Actions for Addressing Childhood Obesity (PDF) completed by the Subcommittee on Childhood Obesity (SCO), State of Missouri Children’s Services Commission.
Improve collaborative actions by providing expertise and advice to advance and monitor sustainable, evidence-based strategies for increasing the number of children at a healthy weight in Missouri.
The purpose of the Physical Activity work group is to increase rates of physical activity across the state to improve the well-being of all Missourians. This is accomplished by fostering engagement with organizations who are working to improve the built environment, increase opportunity for active transportation, promote physical activity in their sector/setting (ex. parks and recreation, schools, early care and education, etc.); and by coordinating efforts across MOCAN work groups.
The purpose of the Schools Work Group is to assist schools with supporting policies and practices, environments and education that promote healthy food choices and physical activity. This will be achieved by providing the target audiences with access to best practices, training, model policies and resources.
The Worksites Work Group encourages and helps worksites to promote health to their employees statewide. We encourage workplaces to adopt policies and practices that promote healthy behaviors, utilizing the CDC’s Worksite Scorecard, the WorkWell Missouri Toolkit and Award and MO Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) worksite wellness resources. To learn more about these initiatives and resources, visit the MU Extension Worksite Wellness website.
In addition to general membership roles and responsibilities, Work Group members have these additional duties:
Identify two individuals to serve as members of the Steering Committee.
Attend the meetings of MOCAN and work groups, and meet as needed between large group meetings.
Assure work group representation at each MOCAN and Steering Committee meeting.
Join the appropriate work group email lists/communication channels.
Identify, recruit and retain additional members.
Contribute relevant data and other information, e.g., new research or information for evaluation activities.
Provide monthly and annual updates to the Steering Committee.
Provide technical assistance to MOCAN members.
Assist with the revision of the Burden of Overweight and Obesity document and the Plan as necessary.
Address specific time-sensitive needs.
Complete the activities of their respective work groups, collaboratively, as determined by the members.
Utilizing the Plan goals and objectives as a framework, gather and maintain an inventory of member agencies and their activities, and catalogue how they relate to the Plan.
Initiate and facilitate member discussions regarding issues that require action from their individual work groups. Examples include: pending legislation that may affect school wellness programs or policies, or MOCAN as a whole, e.g., legislation and policy issues that cut across all disciplines, e.g., those that would apply to all health promotion and chronic diseases, and may be better addressed through an interagency sub-group.
Actively participate in all of the meetings of MOCAN and their work group.