263468 Evaluation and Assessment Strategies to Document Improvements to the Nutrition and Physical Activity Environment in Pima County Schools

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 8:30 AM - 8:45 AM

Rebecca Drummond, MA , Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Martin Celaya, GRA , Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Arizona ranks 49th in per pupil expenditures. The state has few to no mandates on school nutrition or physical education. Many schools no longer have PE and Health Education is virtually non-existent. To improve academic and social outcomes in youth, a coordinated school health approach is recommended. This approach includes the designation of a lead health coordinator, functioning School Health Advisory Council (SHAC), assessment of the school health environment, and planning for action. Additionally the development, implementation, and evaluation of Local Wellness Policies (LWPs) are critical to long term systemic change. METHODS – In Pima County, AZ, county level YRBS data were collected for the first time. School Wellness Coordinators (WCs) were recruited and provided with substantial resources and professional development to form SHACs and conduct the School Health Index (SHI). District WCs conducted the WellSAT to assess LWPs. At the end of the initiative, WCs completed a survey assessing process and outcomes. RESULTS – The YRBS was administered to 1300 students in 22 schools yielding a 61% response rate. Approximately 150 WCs were recruited. Nine school districts (60%) completed the WellSAT. Approximately 80 schools completed the SHI and developed action plans. A summary of assessment results, action plans, and project outcomes will be presented. Results of the WC process and outcome survey will be presented. DISCUSSION – A county wide approach to building infrastructure for obesity prevention in schools presents many challenges to the evaluation process; but initial results suggest it may build a regional culture for school health.

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

Learning Objectives:
•Describe county-wide strategies to promote coordinated school health and obesity prevention •Identify school health assessment tools addressing policies, systems and environment •Describe relationship between assessment results, action planning, and outcomes •Describe benefits and challenges to large scale efforts and sustainability

Keywords: School-Based Programs, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the co-principal investigator for evaluation of the Pima County Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative. I coordinated the administration of the YRBS in Pima County, supervised graduate research assistants in the development of a database to manage School Health Index data for over 70 schools, and the results of 9 district WellSAT assessments. I am also the evaluation consultant to the state Department of Education for their CDC CSHP grant.
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.