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Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities

Creating a culture of health through policies and programs where people live, work, learn, play, and worship.

Our Work

Our research focuses on methods of facilitating changes, from the individual level to system-wide policies, to support healthy behaviors, increase access to healthy foods and physical activity, and reduce risk factors that contribute to chronic disease.

Social Ecological Model: 1) Public policy 2) Community t3) Organizational 4) Interpersonal 5) Individual

Utilizing both the Social Ecological Model (Bronfenbrenner, 1977) and Equity-Oriented Obesity Prevention Framework (Kumanyika, 2019), our work takes place in a variety of settings such as schools, corner stores, and faith-based communities.

Our goal is to examine and affect the different levels of influence that can improve the health and food environment, leading to improved health outcomes and increased resources and capacity in underserved communities.

We address the needs of the individual and community within the social, economic, and cultural contexts where people live, work, learn, and worship.

The current landscape

In the District of Columbia, as well as across the country, where one lives has a significant impact on the opportunities to live a long and healthful life. We’ve often heard the statement “Your zip code may be more important than your genetic code for health.”

Our work is focused in Wards 7 and 8 in Washington, DC, where residents face higher rates of health disparities across many health markers.

News & Notes

Nov 2020: Stacey Snelling, Sarah Irvine Belson, Melissa Hawkins and Robin McClave presented as part of the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) Fall Journal Club Series on the design, implementation, and evaluation of our NIFA Healthy Schoolhouse 2.0 program, including year one results and adaptations made during COVID-19.

Oct 2020: Stacey Snelling, Liz Cotter and Robin McClave, along with partners from DC Central Kitchen and Common Threads, presented multiple perspectives on the delivery of community-based interventions intended to improve fresh food access and nutrition education at the 10th International Conference on Food Studies.

Sept 2020: Caitlin Lavigne, Adrian Bertrand, Robin McClave, Sarah Irvine Belson, Melissa Hawkins and Stacey Snelling shared a poster presentation at the American School Health Association’s 94th Annual Conference on Healthy Schoolhouse through the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) framework: The role of policy and practice.

Healthy Schools

Read about our Healthy Schools work.

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Healthy Communities

Read about our Healthy Communities work.

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