Kirsten Davison, Lisa Berkman honored at annual Alice Hamilton Award lecture

Kirsten Davison delivers the 2017 Alice Hamilton Award lecture.

May 12, 2017 – Kirsten Davison outlined two potential approaches for improving childhood heath and preventing obesity during the seventh annual Alice Hamilton Award lecture on May 10, 2017, at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Before her talk, Davison, Donald and Sue Pritzker Associate Professor of Nutrition in the departments of Nutrition and Social and Behavioral Sciences, received the 2017 Alice Hamilton Award. Presented by the Committee on the Advancement of Women Faculty (CAWF), the award recognizes the impact in public health and the future promise of a woman faculty member and honors the memory of Hamilton, a pioneer in the fields of toxicology and occupational health who was the first woman appointed to the faculty at Harvard.

In her lecture, Davison discussed an intervention called “Manville Moves,” which involved having students in a Boston school ride stationary bikes during gym class, and which helped reduce disruptive classroom behaviors. Davison said that in the future she and other researchers hope to scale up the program in order to test it in more schools.

A second intervention, Communities for Healthy Living (CHL), focuses on preventing childhood obesity by promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors to children and their parents. Such behaviors include limiting sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, reducing screen time, and having parents model good physical activity habits. The three-year trial launched this year and will reach more than 4,000 children, Davison said.

Lisa Berkman speaks after receiving the 2017 Mentoring Award.

During the event, the CAWF also recognized Lisa Berkman, Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy, Epidemiology, and Global Health and Population, and director of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, with its annual Mentoring Award. The award celebrates the essential role of mentors in the success of Harvard Chan school faculty members and the growth of the School community. Laura Kubzansky, Lee Kum Kee Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Karestan Koenen, professor of psychiatric epidemiology, presented the award to Berkman, citing the important role she played in each of their careers.

Noah Leavitt

Photos: Sarah Sholes

Watch Kirsten Davison’s lecture below: