Tree of Hope shines for children’s health

Fundraising partnership created between Tree of Hope initiative and UBC Okanagan child health research program.

  • Nov. 26, 2016 12:00 p.m.

The Christmas Tree of Hope in Kelowna.

A new partnership established by UBCresearchers may lead to a more targeted approach to children’s health and well-being, and the specific health risks children face in the Southern B.C.  Interior.

Pediatric exercise physiologist Ali McManus, along with Lesley Lutes, a registered clinical psychologist, a health psychologist, and a UBC associate professor of psychology, will lead a pioneering, two-year, research and outreach project investigating the health and wellness status of children and adolescents in Kelowna.

Their study aims to determine whether the physical and emotional health issues of youth in Kelowna reflect national trends or if they are unique to the region.

Their goal is to eventually create a scalable, evidence-based health and wellness index for Kelowna children and youth.

The project, made possible by the Tree of Hope campaign with $100,000 in funding from both TD Bank Group and Landmark Centre, will launch in the new year.

“By identifying the health and wellness needs of young people in Kelowna, we will provide the stimulus for the development and delivery of future targeted health and wellness initiatives,” said McManus, an associate professor of health and exercise sciences at UBC Okanaga.

“Most importantly, this health and wellness screening tool will act as a long-term evaluation system of future health and wellness initiatives.

“We are grateful to TD and the Landmark Centre for their support of this research and for helping us move towards addressing some important issues in children’s health.”

Previously, McManus has developed and tested a variety of materials to help measure health, including wearable technologies, wearable microelectronics, mobile body composition measurements, mobile measures of cardiovascular risk and measures of psychological health.

In Lutes’ previous research, she has conducted randomized clinical trials to improve well-being and happiness, and multiple health behaviour-change interventions focused on under-served and rural populations, as well as studying people who struggle with chronic health conditions and depression.

“Tree of Hope is committed to supporting initiatives that solve local challenges with innovative solutions,” said the Tree of Hope’s Carolyn Stober.

“We are delighted to facilitate a donation from TD and Landmark Centre that supports professor McManus’s research that we believe will improve the lives and well being of children and youth in our community.”

“TD is proud to support this important community initiative led by UBC with the aim to improve the health and well-being of children in BC and across Canada,” addedDale Safinuk, district vice-president – BC Southern Interior, TD Canada Trust.

“Supporting this project is one of the many ways TD is giving back to the communities in which we live and work.”

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, there are a number of health issues affecting Canadian children, including obesity, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. The study will also look at psycho-social indicators of health such as levels of anxiety experienced by study participants.

Just Posted

Lake Country rescue held for couple stuck in snow

The couple was taking late night photos when their vehicle became stuck

More early childhood educator positions created

Announcement in Kelowna for a new work experience project at the YMCA

Foundry linked with new youth mental health web site

New website to improve mental health and wellness for young people in B.C.

Kelowna woman only Canadian to train in Danish sailing program

A Kelowna sailor compares her life at sea to manning an old… Continue reading

Good Deeds: Family for the food bank

Taking advantage of the food banks purchasing power, funds were spent at Kelowna’s Superstore

Your Jan. 19 Morning Brief

Check out the top stories of the day in the Okanagan-Shuswap with Carmen Weld’s Black Press Morning Brief.

Letters: Peachlanders will have plenty to say at public hearing

A development proposal for Beach Ave. in Peachland, south of Kelowna, has people fired up

Kelowna’s Community Calendar

A partial listing of upcoming events in the Kelowna area

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Police seize fentanyl and other drugs from Vernon home

Five people arrested in alleged dial-a-dope operation

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

Letter: Dog beach deserves nice biffy too

Kelowna letter-writer says facilities are kind of disgusting at her dog beach

Albas takes on mortgage changes in town hall

Conservative MP mostly echoed chamber of commerce concerns but sparred with one attendee on details

Christopher Garnier appealing murder conviction in death of off-duty cop

Jury found Garnier guilty in December, rejecting his claim she died accidentally during rough sex

Most Read