Cambridge Healthy Children Task Force

The Healthy Children Task Force (HCTF) is a community coalition of parents and professionals, formed in 1990, who meet monthly to promote the health of children in Cambridge.


Hours of operation

  • This organization does not have specific hours. You can contact them at any time.

Additional information

The founding members of the Healthy Children Task Force (HCTF) in Cambridge included Cambridge Public Schools, the Institute for Community Health, and the Cambridge Public Health Department. Nonprofit organizations, such as CitySprouts and the Green Streets Initiative, also have participated.

The Task Force is a multidisciplinary coalition of elected officials, educators, health care, and public health professionals, researchers, and parents that has provided a forum for collaboratively addressing children's health issues since 1990.

In 2000, the Task Force prioritized healthy eating and active living and identified increasing “healthy weight” (BMI ≥5th and <85th percentile for age and gender) and fitness among K-8th grade children as community goals, using a Community-Based Participatory Research model. Task Force partners, both individually and through the institutions they represented, became involved in elements of both the intervention and the evaluation. Task Force partners created  5-2-1 guidelines for K–8 (eating five or more servings of low-energy fruits and vegetables daily, increasing energy expenditure by limiting inactive or sedentary time to 2 hours or less of TV or screen time daily, and increasing moderate and vigorous physical activity to at least 60 min of age-appropriate physical activity on all or most days of the week). The 5-2-1 slogan served as an awareness campaign and provided goals for community-level interventions. 

Other areas the Healthy Children Task Force has addressed are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), health disparities, wellness policy guidance for Cambridge Public Schools, and disrupting the "School-to-Prison Pipeline." Since 2018, the focus of the task force has been parent education.

It is co-chaired by City Councillor Marc McGovern, MSW, and Avra Goldman, MD.

Marc McGovern

HCTF Co-Chair


Is this page inaccurate or outdated? Please let us know! Report Inaccuracy

Last updated July 15, 2022.