The Healthy Habits All-Stars
The Healthy Habit All-Star program has been designed to assist in educating children about public health topics. Animated videos are used to communicate complex health information to children in an age appropriate manner. "Henry's Shots" was the first video developed. In this video, the Healthy Habits All-Stars help Henry understand how getting vaccinated helps protect his health as well as others in his community. In the second video, “Charlotte’s Sick Day” the team helps Charlotte understand why it is important to stay home when sick, how to cover a cough, and the importance of handwashing.
In addition to the videos, instructors have access to games and support materials like coloring books, activity pages, and posters to help reinforce the messaging. An outline has been developed to assist instructors in presenting the materials. The outline includes descriptions of the characters, key terms, introductions to the videos, an interactive game to support the concept of herd immunity, and support materials for educating on handwashing. All the identified resources and materials can be accessed through the Healthy Habit All-Stars resources page.
IDPH needs each educator's assistance to measure the effectiveness and reach of the program. Five survey questions have been developed to measure students understanding of the material before the program is provided and their understanding after the education. Data can be entered through this Program Evaluation link. Educators will also be asked how many students were educated, grade of the educated students, location of the education, and feedback on the training. The data collected through this process will be used to help sustain the program and identify priorities for ongoing program implementation.
Introducing the Healthy Habits All-Stars
The Healthy Habits All-Stars are a group of animated characters designed to educate children about health related issues. These characters are easy for children to relate to while delivering age appropriate health messages. The characters spread their health messages by intervening when a child has a health problem.
In Lucy’s Workshop, learning about healthy habits is easy and fun! Lucy’s Workshop (aka: a nook in Lucy's parents’ garage) is where the Healthy Habits All-Stars hang out. The All-Stars are made up of Lucy, Miss Roberta, Glen and D.O.G. Lucy created Miss Roberta 3000, an education robot, so she could help kids stay healthy. Whenever a kid has a health related problem, D.O.G.’s wheelchair antenna lights up and he alerts Glen, Lucy, and Miss Roberta to spring into action. Miss Roberta projects a portal to the child with the health problem and the team jumps in to help.
Lucy is super smart, loves learning, and enjoys working on upgrades to Miss Roberta. Lucy is the serious one of the bunch. Her goal in life is to help as many kids as she can develop health habits and maybe work for NASA someday.
Miss Roberta 3000 knows everything there is to know about health-related topics. She’s a robot, but has many human characteristics. Along with projecting portals to children in need, she loves to sing and dance to help kids remember the importance of good health.
Glen is clever and likes to make everyone laugh. He is an outside of the box thinker and is always ready for an adventure. Since Glen is funny and relatable, kids like talking to him. Glen and D.O.G. are best pals.
Dimitri Orlando Gustavus, or D.O.G. for short, is attuned to everyone's feelings and wants to help those in need. Lucy made a special collar to help D.O.G talk. Everybody loves good-natured D.O.G. Any time a kid needs help, D.O.G.’s wheelchair antenna lights up and then he explains the problem to the team.
IDPH and the Emergency Medical Services for Children Advisory Council
In early 2017, the Bureau of Emergency and Trauma Services (BETS) Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program began exploring mechanisms to integrate needs of the pediatric population with Public Health and Hospital Emergency Preparedness and other public health initiatives. The EMSC program set out to create a program that educated children about public health issues, assisted in creating a positive health culture for children, and empowered children to make healthy choices.
The Emergency Medical Services for Children Advisory Council was consulted to identify priority areas for pediatric education. The committee reviewed available data regarding injuries and illnesses and discussed significant public health and hospital concerns related to pediatric health. The committee recommended the program initially be focused on immunizations and educating children in ways to reduce the spread of disease.
The EMSC program, the Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Hospital Preparedness Program, and the Bureau of Immunization and Tuberculosis collaborated to develop the Healthy Habits All-Stars. Grant funding for this project was provided through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
Engagement of Private Partners
IDPH established an agreement with ZLR Ignition following a formal bid process. ZLR Ignition provides IDPH with assistance with marketing campaigns. IDPH approached ZLR Ignition requesting development of a pediatric outreach campaign using animated characters. ZLR Ignition developed seven animation concepts for review, ultimately Lucy's Workshop and the Healthy Habits All Stars were selected to spread the department's health messages.
ZLR Ignition coordinated with IDPH to develop all the support materials for the program including the activity pages, coloring book, and posters. ZLR Ignition worked with Grasshorse Studios to develop the animated videos.
Grasshorse Studios is an Iowa based animation company specializing in hybrid animation techniques with 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional animation. Grasshorse Studios used ZLR Ignition's concept and script for Lucy's Workshop and the Healthy Habit All-Stars to create the animation. Grasshorse Studios used multiple techniques including drawings, storyboards, computer animation of the characters and backgrounds to develop the animation. The character's voices were recorded and the animation and voices were integrated to create the final videos. The videos are available through the Healthy Habits All-Star resource page.