Strengthening community nutrition and physical activity initiatives through introductory training in public health research and science
The Leaders in Health (LIH) program strengthens community nutrition and physical activity initiatives through introductory training in public health research and science. The goal of the Leaders in Health program is to build the capacity of our community partners by providing participants with an introduction to the fundamentals of community-based participatory research (CBPR) and nutrition, physical activity, and obesity prevention among children and youth. Individuals who live or work in Boston and are currently involved with a nutrition- or physical activity-related program or project (on either a work or volunteer basis) are eligible to apply. Participants attend interactive training sessions, complete assignments, and receive support to create an action plan to enhance their current work.
The HPRC, the Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness (BCFF), and Harvard Catalyst’s Community Engagement Program piloted the first LIH program in spring 2011 and sponsored the second in spring 2012. All three organizations work with community partners who provide invaluable knowledge of local issues as well as communication and organizing skills essential to the implementation, effectiveness, reach, sustainability, and dissemination of public health work.
Through our conversations with community partners working to improve nutrition and physical activity, many organizations have asked for a program that will help them understand and use the public health approach, community-based participatory research methods, and the science underlying effective evidence-based obesity prevention strategies. This program benefits our work, the work of our organizational partners, and individual program participants. Through working together we can have a more significant impact on improving nutrition and physical activity and reducing overweight among Boston residents.
Topics covered during the Leaders in Health Program include:
- Public Health Principles & Practice
- Community-Based Participatory Research
- Health Equity
- Nutrition & Food Systems
- Physical Activity & Built Environment
- Project Development, Implementation, & Evaluation
- Public Speaking & Policy Advocacy
Between charismatic guest speakers, delicious (and nutritious) lunches from the Haley House, and compelling stories from participants, there is never a dull moment at Leaders in Health. During the first few weeks of the program, members identify a nutrition- or physical activity-related project that they are working on and think could be enhanced by LIH principles. Then, over the second half of the program, participants create action plans, construct logic models, and examine evaluation and implementation strategies to help translate their knowledge into practice.
During the final week of the program, LIH participants give a presentation that outlines key components of their projects, such as specific aims, target population, activities, outcomes, and LIH concepts that they applied. Click on the links below (under “Participants in the 2012 cohort”) to view participants’ complete presentations.
Participants in the 2013 cohort
- Mary Beth Byrnes, Ohrenberger Community Health Center – After School Program Healthy Choices
- Alveta Haynes, Peoples Baptist Church – Reducing the consumption of sugar by replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water
- Chien-Chi Huang, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center – Healthy Chinatown Initiative
- Robert Kordenbrock, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center – Measuring and Impacting the Physical Activity and Food Choices of Chinatown Youth
- Jennifer Munoz, Mother Caroline Academy – Project F.U.N.
- Irene O’Hayer, Brookside Community Health Center – Health Center Garden
- Daisy Ortega, Health Resources in Action – Healthy Girls, Healthy Women Evaluation
- Michael Peck, Boston Public Schools – Nourishing Kids
- Carolina Prieto, Sociedad Latina – Parents, Food, and Community Engagement
- Vickey Siggers, Mattapan Square Farmers’ Market – Promoting SNAP/EBT and Bounty Bucks
Participants in the 2012 cohort
- Mary Barber, The Home for Little Wanderers – Physical Activity Plan for Residential School Programs
- Jennifer Beniquez, South End Community Health Center – Weight Initiative Now
- Aurora Cenolli, Latin American Health Institute – Comadres
- Daryl Golston, Codman Square Neighborhood Council – Codman Square Walk Group and Corner Store Initiative
- Marilyn Fulani Haynes, The Village for Education and Training – Veggie Patch Playgrounds
- Bill Loesch, Codman Square Neighborhood Council – Codman Square Walk Group and Corner Store Initiative
- Mary Lynch, Dorchester House – Healthy Weight for Life Clinic
- Karen Morson, Dorchester Neighborhood Service Center After School Enrichment Program – Project Healthy Living
- Ana Marina Vaquerano, Latin American Health Institute – Comadres
- Wenjun Zhai, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Association – Rock Your Body
Participants in the 2011 cohort
- Linda Brandon, Smart from the Start Program – Adult Physical Fitness and Health Literacy Project
- Brandy K. Cruthird, Body By Brandy and Body By Brandy 4 Kidz – On My Way, On My Bike
- Hector Cruz, Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) - Club Social de Ahorro Infantil
- Judith Ellen, UMass Boston – iTeen: Interlinking Technology, Exercise, Education, Nutrition
- Jen French, Bowdoin Street Health Center – Healthy Champions
- Anne Greenbaum, Sportsmen’s Tennis & Enrichment Center – Healthy Dorchester
- Carmen Johnson, Boston Public Health Commission - Pink and Black Campaign