ERIC Number: EJ958744
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Evaluation of Public Health Professionals' Capacity to Implement Environmental Changes Supportive of Healthy Weight
Gantner, Leigh A.; Olson, Christine M.
Evaluation and Program Planning, v35 n3 p407-416 Aug 2012
Community-based interventions to promote healthy weights by making environmental and policy changes in communities may be an important strategy in reversing the obesity epidemic. However, challenges faced by local public health professionals in facilitating effective environmental and policy change need to be better understood and addressed. To better understand capacity-building needs, this study evaluated the efforts of the Healthy Start Partnership, a university-community project to promote healthy weights in young families in a rural eight-county area of upstate New York. Qualitative interviews (n = 30) and pre/post surveys (n = 31) were conducted over three years of the intervention. Challenges faced by partners significantly slowed progress of environmental interventions in some communities. First, many partners did not feel their "regular" jobs afforded them sufficient time to do community work. Second, many partners did not feel they had the personal political power to work on broader environmental, policy, or system change issues. Third, facilitating and policy change and reaching out to non-traditional partners, like businesses, required developing a new set of public health skills. Fourth, the long-time frame of environmental and policy work meant that many efforts would exceed the grant period. Building local public health leaders for environmental and policy change necessitates that these challenges are acknowledged and addressed. (Contains 2 tables.)
Descriptors: Public Health, Health Personnel, Body Weight, Obesity, Intervention, School Community Programs, Universities, Capacity Building, Rural Areas, Interviews, Surveys, Policy, Environment, Change
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York