239791 Establishing partnerships between universities and communities to address childhood obesity

Monday, October 31, 2011: 4:45 PM

Richard W. Christiana Jr., MA , College of Public Health, Health Promotion and Behavior Department, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Marsha Davis, PhD , Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Greg Coop , Moultrie YMCA, Moultrie, GA
Emily Watson , Archway Partnership, University of Georgia, Moultrie, GA
Mel Garber, PhD , Archway Partnership, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Establishing partnerships between universities and community leaders is vital to promote healthy communities. Without the proper support from the community, programs designed to promote healthy living environments will not be successful or sustainable. This presentation will address the ongoing partnership between the University of Georgia (UGA) College of Public Health (CPH), the UGA Archway Partnership, and the rural community of Colquitt County in southern Georgia. With its creation in 2005, UGA began repurposing the traditional land-grant university agricultural extension model to address a wider range of concerns faced by communities through the Archway Partnership. For those communities where health is a top priority, collaboration between the CPH and the Archway Partnership has led to the placement of a Public Health Professional who oversees community-based health initiatives and the formation of a community committee that directs health activities. Community members of the Healthy Colquitt Coalition include representation from the YMCA, United Way, county schools, higher education institutions, regional medical centers, Chamber of Commerce, and the county health department. The Healthy Colquitt Coalition has been instrumental in numerous community wide initiatives such as renovating an old rail system to a walking trail and bringing in farmer's markets. Currently, the partnership between the CPH, Archway, and Colquitt County has been engaged in the development of a community-based participatory intervention to address the problem of childhood obesity. This presentation will describe how these partnerships were established, the role that each partner plays and their importance, the current work being conducted, and future plans.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe the development of an ongoing academic-community partnership to address childhood obesity. 2) Discuss the benefits of community involvement in academic public health research. 3) Identify the future directions for academic-community partnerships.

Keywords: Community-Based Health Promotion, Community Participation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a 4th year doctoral candidate in Health Promotion and Behavior and have been working closely as a graduate research assistant on all aspects of the community-based health promotion program that will be presented.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.