Community initiatives to improve nutrition and physical activity
The HPRC employs community based participatory research methods in all phases of our work to enhance the relevance of this work to population health and the likelihood of implementation, effectiveness, reach, sustainability, and dissemination. Our community partners and collaborators now represent nearly 80 communities and organizations throughout New England.
We currently have a center-level Community Committee (CC) that oversees and guides core projects with the HPRC. The CC provides important links to the broader Boston community, other states, and the National Community Committee of the Prevention Research Centers program. Members provide general guidance, particularly with respect to issues of communication and dissemination.
We also have several community committees focused on specific projects or activities. These include the Maine-HPRC Steering Committee, the Maine Youth Overweight Collaborative (MYOC) Steering Committee, the Out of School Nutrition and Physical Activity (OSNAP) Research Committee, the Physical Activity Policy Group, and the Scientific Advisory Board.
Leaders in Health
In 2011 we started the Leaders in Health community training program in collaboration with Harvard Catalyst and the Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness. The goal of this program is to build the internal capacity of our community partners by providing selected staff with training in community based participatory research methods and nutrition, physical activity, and obesity prevention among children and youth.
Youth Task Force
We run a Youth Task Force (YTF) comprised of a diverse group of youth in grades 10-12 from schools across Boston. Each year the YTF members conduct a research project that builds their own research and leadership skills while informing the work of the HPRC and its community partners.