Online Program

Lessons learned from a community-university-school district partnership implementing environmental and policy physical activity interventions in rural Missouri

Monday, November 4, 2013

Amy Estlund, PhD, MPH, St Louis University School of Public Health, Prevention Research Center in St Louis, St. Louis, MO
Ellen Barnidge, PhD, MPH, Behavioral Science and Health Education, Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice, St. Louis, MO
Freda Motton, MPH, Behavioral Science and Health Education, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO
Pamela Hipp, MPH, Prevention Research Center in St Louis, Washington University in St Louis, St Louis, MO
Elizabeth A. Baker, PhD, MPH, College for Public Health and Social Justice, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO
Ross C. Brownson, PhD, The Brown School & Prevention Research Center of St. Louis, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Background: Although there is growing evidence that physically active children perform better on tests and have improved classroom behavior, schools face challenges in providing the recommended amount of physical activity to students. Purpose: Healthier Missouri Communities, a community-academic partnership in rural southeast Missouri, is working with the Poplar Bluff School District to implement small scale environmental and policy interventions to promote physical activity within schools. Significance: This presentation identifies opportunities and barriers to make these changes and meet the needs of the district. Methodology: Surveys and interviews were conducted with teachers and administrators during the initial planning and implementation stages to understand the barriers and facilitators to making small scale environmental and policy changes. Findings: Data from the initial planning and implementation phases indicate 1) administration is supportive of adopting new environmental and policy changes, 2) after a small sample of teachers can show a new intervention is effective, overall teacher buy-in increases, and 3) when teachers are actively involved in creating evaluation tools they are more apt to utilize them. Conclusions: Lessons learned from our initial work indicate that schools are invested in making environmental and policy change to promote physical activity when these changes can be modified to meet their existing needs and they are effective in not only increasing physical activity but academic performance.

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
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the benefits of forming community and university partnerships with schools. Identify three solutions to barriers of implementing environmental and policy changes. Discuss the necessary steps involved in partnering with schools to implement environmental and policy changes.

Keyword(s): School Health, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked with the Prevention Research Center in St Louis for almost four years and in that capacity, manage the Healthier Missouri Communities project. I work closely and regularly with the school district in this project. Prior to the PRC, I worked for eight years in non-profit directly with students and their families helping to negotiate their health needs in and out of school. I am currently pursing my doctoral degree.
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.