Leaders in Health Community Training Program

Program Overview

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.

LIH group (lih_group_smaller.jpg)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.

For more information, contact Rebekka Lee

Past Participants and Presentations

2013 Cohort

Leaders In Health 2012 Participants (2012_participants.jpg)2012 Cohort

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