263362 Promoting healthy lifestyles for the prevention of overweight and obesity among African American 6th grade students in Memphis, TN: A community-academic partnership

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Michelle Taylor, MD, MS , Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Nichole Saulsberry-Scarboro, PhD , Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering, Memphis, TN
Cameron Cooley, MS , Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering, Memphis, TN
Fannie Fonseca-Becker, DrPH , J&J Community HealthCare Scholars Program, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Background: According to the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, 17% of Memphis high school students were obese (BMI > 95TH percentile for height, weight, and gender). Because of the significant health crisis childhood obesity poses in the Memphis area, the Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering (MASE) designed and implemented the MASE Obesity Prevention Program with technical assistance from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and funding from the Johnson and Johnson Community Health Care Program. This program, for MASE's 6th grade students and their caregivers, has a goal to promote healthy lifestyles for the prevention of overweight and obesity, through nutritional education and physical activity.

Methods: Using a collaborative approach, the MASE team and academic partners helped to enhance the in-house capacity of MASE in monitoring and evaluation by designing the program based on a conceptual framework that informed targeted program goals, objectives, interventions and outcomes. In addition, a data management system was developed using Epi Info. An eight-month pilot phase has been followed by a 20-month implementation phase using revised curriculum, data collection tools and database.

Results: Since its beginning, the MASE program has enrolled 102 students. Preliminary results show improved nutrition and physical activity knowledge. In addition, the program has spawned a creative use of space and time for the intervention activities that has increased MASE's capacity beyond just monitoring and evaluation. Conclusion: In-house capacity building provides a powerful vehicle for program sustainability, and is achievable through effective community-academic partnerships.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1) Discuss the advantage of using a conceptual framework as a tool for program evaluation in community-based organizations. 2) Describe two creative in-house capacity building strategies related to limited space and time within a school-based program. 3) Describe the benefits and challenges of participating in community-academic partnerships.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the student collaborator tasked with providing training and technical assistance to the Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering staff.
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.