Leaders in Health Community Training Program

Program Overview

[Note this program has ended.] The Leaders in Health (LIH) program strengthened community nutrition and physical activity initiatives through introductory training in public health research and science. The goal of the Leaders in Health program was 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. Participants attended interactive training sessions, completed assignments, and received support to create an action plan to enhance their work.


The HPRC, the Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness (BCFF), and Harvard Catalyst’s Community Engagement Program, worked with community partners who provided 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 asked for a program to help better understand and use the public health approach, community-based participatory research methods, and the science underlying effective evidence-based obesity prevention strategies.


Topics covered during the Leaders in Health Program included:

  • 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

Within the first few weeks of the program, members identified a nutrition- or physical activity-related project that they were working on which they thought could be enhanced by LIH principles. Then, over the second half of the program, participants created action plans, constructed logic models, and examined evaluation and implementation strategies to help translate their knowledge into practice.

During the final week of the program, LIH participants presented an outline of the key components of their projects, such as specific aims, target population, activities, outcomes, and LIH concepts that they applied.

Program Dates: 2011-2014
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