Engaging the community to improve

children's health in Hampton Roads


CINCH has been committed to reducing and preventing childhood obesity through education and policy change promotion. We currently have a number of obesity-focused projects underway; you can read more about our projects below. Visit our Resources page for tools and more information on materials associated with the projects.

Current Projects


Reduce Sugary Drink Consumption!

CINCH has developed the #RevYourBev757 education campaign which aims to promote healthy lifestyles by choosing healthy beverages instead of sugary drinks.


Campaign Themes:

Health problems associated with sugary drinks

Amount of sugar in common drinks 

Amount of exercise needed to burn off sugary drinks

Healthy alternatives to sugary drinks: Water, 100% Fruit Juice (AAP Daily Juice Recommendations), 1% or Skim Milk



Take the Pledge to Reduce Sugary Drinks



Education Materials


Tips for Parents


 #RevYourBev757 Sugary Drinks Parent Education

 #RevYourBev757 Sugary Drinks Parent Education (En Español) COMING SOON


Learning Activity Worksheets For Children

     #RevYourBev757 Sugar Stop Light Matching Worksheet

     #RevYourBev757 Drink Type Word Search


Flavor Your Water With Fruit!

  #RevYourBev757 Flavor Your Water Recipe Cards



All #RevYourBev757 Materials, PDF


This campaign supports the Rev Your Bev project, an initiative of Y Street, Virginia’s largest youth-led movement. Y Street is a program of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth. For more information about the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, visit www.VFHY.org.


Schedule a #RevYourBev757 Presentation

The #RevYourBev757 education campaign has a 30 minute interactive presentation for children and adolescents (elementary to middle school aged). Contact CINCH@evms.edu for more information.


Past & Ongoing Projects

Through our Obesity Workgroup, we have developed and implemented several obesity initiatives which have included: 

  • Hosting a series of obesity summits from 2004 - 2006 that brought together organizations from across Hampton Roads to work together regionally on childhood obesity.
  • Partnering with WHRO to produce the 30 min. documentary, Surviving Abundance:  Overweight Kids in Crisis, that was nationally syndicated on the Public Broadcasting Network in 2007. 
  • Developing educational tools and resource kits such as 54321-Countdown to Family Fitness and Healthy Kids Kit for Food & Fitness for schools, PTAs, and community-based organizations that serve children and families.

Jump 4 Life

Did you know that jumping rope for 10 minutes non-stop at 120 beats per minute is the equivalent of running an 8 minute mile?  Who would have thought this simple iconic childhood activity would become popular in fitness training and a growing part of national and international sports competitions?

As a part of a movement to get kids active while having fun with this simple exercise, CINCH hosted a series of jump rope trainings in November 2012 with JumpNRope expert trainers from Colorado.  Seventy-five (75) participants from around the Hampton Roads area representing sports, recreation, youth and after-school program staff attended these high energy and interactive trainings designed to demonstrate everything from proper technique to a variety of jump rope skills and games.  

The goal was for those who attended this training to become jump rope trainers for their respective organizations and start a jump rope program with the youth they serve in 2013.  

We currently have 12 Jump 4 Life programs with over 2,400 kids and counting who have participated in this program since January 2013.  


See our Media page for pictures and videos from the trainings.

Staff:  Amy Paulson - CINCH Director; Keisha Cutler - CINCH Asst. Director;  Laurie McManama - Project Associate

Swim 4 Life

Swim4Life is a partnership between City of Portsmouth, YMCA of Portsmouth, Healthy Portsmouth and EVMS/CINCH to teach children participating in the city's summer program to swim.  This program engaged the city and YMCA to establish a joint use agreement to enable the YMCA to provide swimming expertise and teaching to the children participating in the summer program at Cavalier Manor Pool, the city's only public outdoor pool. The project has provided lessons to over 1,300 children since 2012. The project is funded by a grant from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth. 

Learn more about Swim4Life:

Swim4life - A Healthy Portsmouth Collaboration

PCTV Presents: Avenue Update August 2013 Swim4Life


StairWELL to Better Health

This program builds on a CDC recommended workplace wellness strategy to promote physical activity. The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends placing point-of-decision prompts (signs/visual cues) at highly visible locations to increase the percentage of people choosing to take the stairs rather than an elevator or escalator.

Our Healthy Portsmouth initiative implemented a stairwell promotion program at Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center in 2011, which supports an action identified in Healthy Portsmouth's Community Action Plan. You can learn more about their program by viewing this presentation: StepUP! Stairwell to Health

We are now looking to expand this program in 2013 and plan to implement stairwell promotion programs in 5 locations including:

  • Portsmouth City Hall
  • Norfolk City Hall
  • Portsmouth Health Department
  • Norfolk Health Department
  • One other site (TBD)

This implementation will require significant signage for the landings of each stairwell and point of decision prompts at stairwell entrances and elevator landings. This program will potentially impact over 1,000 employees, notwithstanding the large volume of daily visitors to these locations.  Click here to see examples and resources to promote stairwell programs.

This project is funded by a grant from the Virginia Department of Health and supported in kind by Eastern Virginia Medical School.

 Hampton Roads Child & Adolescent BMI Data Collection Project

BMI_CHART-icon.gifIn 2008, CINCH began exploring an opportunity to test a new and innovative BioMeasure technology developed by BMI 4 Kidz to collect and analyze BMI data for children.  CINCH staff met with the developer and key stakeholders in Hampton Roads including: local school district representatives, academic researchers, health and medical professionals, and community-based organizations.  These preliminary meetings were to learn more about this system; to educate these stakeholders on the need to collect regional data; and to get buy-in from the local school districts to pursue this opportunity.

In 2011 with funding from the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters, CINCH began working with selected schools Portsmouth, VA to pilot test the BioMeasure system.  Once this pilot period was completed and collection methods were refined, CINCH staff along with EVMS faculty  expanded this project work with all schools in Portsmouth and selected schools in Norfolk, Accomack and Northampton counties to implement the BMI measurement system for children in grades K, 3, 5, 7 and 10.  This is an ongoing project with a goal of establishing a regional BMI databank to serve as a resource to track trends over time and help secure funding for obesity prevention strategies.

Project Staff:  Beth Poitras - Project Manager; Amy Paulson - Co-Director; Patti Kiger - Co-Director

Combating Obesity:  The Healthy Hampton Roads Leadership Summit (2011)

On October 21, 2011, leaders from across Hampton Roads came together at the beautiful Portsmouth Renaissance Hotel & Waterfront Conference Center for Combating Obesity:  The Healthy Hampton Roads Leadership Summit.  The summit was a CALL TO ACTION to create shared understanding and commitment to building healthier communities in our cities and across this dynamic region.  See the presentations below for a wealth of information shared at this summit. 


Creating Healthy Communities:  What Can Local Leaders Do?              

Presenter:  Dr. Wayne Giles, Director, Division of Adult and Community Health
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Creating Walkable Communities 

Presenter: Mr. Richard (Rich) Bell, Program Officer
Active Living by Design           

Healthy Communities:  Right Here, Right Now!
  (Click on coalition name below for individual presentations)    

Rev. Gary Miller, Pastor - St. John's United Methodist Church
Eastern Shore Healthy Communities

Irene Ferrainolo, Senior Health Educator - Hampton Health Department
Healthy Hampton

Brannon Godfrey, Deputy City Manager - City of Portsmouth
Healthy Portsmouth

Jaya Tiwari, Executive Director
Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community

To download all presentations from the summit, Click Here

Staff: Keisha Cutler - CINCH Assistant Director; Jason McAfree - Project Coordinator; Amy Paulson - CINCH Director; Laurie McManama - Project Associate. Planning Committee: CINCH Obesity Workgroup members

What's Happening

September 19, 2018
Respiratory Health Workgroup meeting

September 19, 2018
Healthy Start Workgroup meeting

October 17, 2018
Respiratory Health Workgroup meeting


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