256444 Implementation and evaluation of a tri-state school-based multimodal obesity prevention initiative

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 3:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Alyssa M. Lederer, MPH, CHES , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Mindy Hightower King, PhD , Center on Education and Lifelong Learning, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Danielle Neukam, MPH , Center on Education and Lifelong Learning, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Rhonda Meade, MS , Welborn Baptist Foundation, Inc., Evansville, IN
Background: School-based interventions play a crucial role in ameliorating childhood obesity. Grounded in the coordinated school health model (CSHM), the HEROES (Healthy, Energetic, Ready, Outstanding, Enthusiastic Schools) Initiative aims to promote wellness in schools in order to mitigate rising rates of childhood obesity. Purpose: Evaluators assessed each school's progress in implementing HEROES key components. Supports and barriers for implementation were identified to provide recommendations for strengthening implementation. Significance: HEROES serves as a model CSHM program, and this study provides a valuable framework for evaluation. Given the large-scale nature of HEROES, evaluation results may be generalizable to school systems in other locales. Methodology: Site visits were conducted at each of 22 schools to assess the extent to which each implemented the initiative. A comprehensive site visit protocol was used to examine each facet of the implementation process and to calculate an overall implementation score for each school. The protocol included several interviews and observational indices at each site. Findings/Results: Implementation of HEROES varied between schools, especially in regards to their abilities to increase physical activity opportunities, access to healthy foods, and staff wellness events. Elementary schools more successfully implemented several domains of the model and garnered school-level support from a variety of stakeholders. Conclusions/Recommendations: Implementation of multimodal obesity prevention programs in schools relies heavily on the support of administrators and the ability to leverage broad-based involvement from essential stakeholder groups. These efforts can be supported through technical assistance, financial support, and networking among participating schools.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related research
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1) Identify the core components of the coordinated school health model (CSHM). 2) Describe factors that support and serve as barriers to successful implementation of a comprehensive school-based obesity prevention intervention. 3) Discuss potential strategies for conducting a rigorous evaluation of a CSHM-based intervention.

Keywords: Evaluation, School Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the graduate research assistant for the HEROES Initiative evaluation. I am also a PhD student and Associate Instructor in the Department of Applied Health Science at Indiana University with an emphasis on mixed methods research and program evaluation. My MPH is in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education from the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and I am a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).
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.