Children's Health Executive Oversight Alignment Team


The strong link between education and health is well recognized by leaders in both fields. A healthy student has a much better chance of achieving academic success than a student who is affected by inadequate diet, chronic illness, or an unsafe or unhealthy environment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states: “Healthy students are better learners. They are better on all levels of academic achievement: academic performance, education behavior and cognitive skills and attitudes.” (CDC "Health and Academic Achievement." CDC - Healthy Youth. CDC, May 2014. Web. 11 Aug. 2014.)


There are six children’s health teams represented in the Alignment Nashville Children’s Health Executive Oversight (CHEO) Team. 

  • Adolescent Sexual Responsibility
  • Healthy Eating and Active Living
  • Primary Care
  • Healthy Starts
  • Behavioral Health/Social and Emotional Living
  • School Nutrition

These pillars were formed out of the Children’s Health Summit held in 2007 by Mayor Bill Purcell. There are a number of strategic plans across the city of Nashville and many of them include different aspects of children’s health. CHEO is charged with bringing those strategic plans together and prioritizing the needs out of those plans. 

This team is comprised from the leadership (chair and vice-chair) of each of the five Children’s Health A-Teams.  Each month the teams discuss what they are currently focused on and garner feedback from the other teams.  This provides a rich forum for what’s happening across the city and in our schools.

On October 6, 2014, CHEO held a second Children’s Health Summit (with support from the HCA Foundation). The half-day summit was held at the new Lentz Health Department with over 70 key children’s health stakeholders from across the city in attendance. A primary focus of the Summit was a report written by Dr. Charles Basch titled “Healthier Students are Better Learners: A Missing link in School Reforms to Close the Achievement Gap”, he pinpoints seven “educationally relevant health disparities for all children.”  These conditions are also recognized within the Coordinated School Health structure through the Tennessee Department of Education and Metro Nashville Public Schools.  These conditions are:

During the Summit, attendees created several action items within each condition that were then presented to CHEO for further discussion.  Each of the children’s health A-Teams is incorporating these action items into their monthly discussions and tactical planning.  

Interview with Marcy Melvin


Which focus area were you matched with at the Children's Health Impact Summit?

I was matched with aggression and violence

What did you hear about educationally-relevant health inequities that surprised you?  

What have you seen in your work that is reflective of the importance of these issues?

I did not hear anything that surprised me, I was excited to hear that there is conversation

surrounding school start times for middle and high school students.  While I am very excited

about the district wide breakfast and lunch provided to all students, I would like there to be more conversation or greater attention/ accountability to the actual nutritional value of the food that is being served.  Providing breakfast (lunch) vs. providing a healthy breakfast (lunch) are two very different statements. 

Based on the discussion at your table, what are some steps we can take as a community to improve our children's health and ability to succeed?  Greater education and communication at multiple levels related to understanding violence and aggression.  At the student level, school staff level, administration level, community level as well as family level.

How will you contribute to this effort going forward? Engage in further conversations with MNPS related to training and supports being offered to school staff and administrators related to understanding as well as managing aggression and violence.


Bill Paul, MD, Chair, Metro Public Health Department

Alison McArthur, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Cel Franklin, Metro Nashville Public Schools

DYuanna Allen, Metro Public Health Department

Glen Biggs, Alignment Nashville

Heather ChalosAlignment Nashville

Jackie Contreras, Nashville Farmers' Market

Jaleesa Johnson, Alignment Nashville

Jo Ann Scalf, Nashville Public Television

Johnsie Holt, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Kathy Gracey, Vanderbilt University

Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge, MD, Tennessee State University

Kyla Krengel, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Latissa Hall, Metro Public Health Department

Lexi Morritt, Alignment Nashville

Lyndsey Godwin, Vanderbilt Carpenter Program

Marcy Melvin, Centerstone

Nicole Proffitt, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Spencer Taylor, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Susan Evans, Metro Nashville Public Schools


Summit Partners

Belmont University


Community Food Advocates

Coordinated School Health, Sate of Tennessee

Cumberland Pediatric Foundation

Family Center of Tennessee

Meharry Medical College

Meharry-Vanderbilt Universities

Mental Health Association Middle Tennessee

Metro Nashville Government

Metro Nashville Public Schools

Metro Nashville Public Schools Board of Education

Metro Public Health Nashville

Monroe Carrell, Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

Nashville Public Television


Tennessee Department of Education

Tennessee State University

TN Child Care Resource & Referral Network

United Neighborhood Health Systems

University of Tennessee Extension

Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health

Vanderbilt University Behavioral Health

Vanderbilt University

Walk Bike Nashville


For more information, contact Glen Biggs, Senior Associate Director.