Online Program

Menominee Journey to Wellness: Leveraging Community-Academic Partnership to Prevent Obesity through Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change

Monday, November 2, 2015

Lauren Lamers, MPH, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Keshena, WI
Wendell Waukau, MA, Menominee Indian School District, Keshen, WI
Jerry Waukau, BA, Menominee Tribal Clinic, Keshena, WI
Scott Krueger, RD, CD, CDE, Menominee Tribal Clinic, Keshena, WI
Emily Tomayko, PhD, RD, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Kate Cronin, MPH, Department of Family Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Ron Prince, MS, Department of Family Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Alexandra Adams, MD, PhD, Collaborative Center for Health Equity, Institute for Clinical and Translational Research UW School of Medicine & Public Health, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, WI
Background:  American Indian children experience disproportionately high rates of obesity.  Through an ongoing community-academic partnership, community and university partners on the Menominee Reservation have drawn on research and community engagement to implement broad policy, systems, and environment (PSE) obesity prevention interventions.

Methods:Partnership efforts over 15 years include epidemiologic  surveys, 2 NIH-funded randomized-controlled early childhood healthy lifestyle interventions, and numerous community interventions.  A multi-sector Community Engagement Workgroup was formed to address obesity and other child health issues.  The partnership developed the Menominee Broken Hoop Model to facilitate community understanding of how historic and current trauma, adverse childhood events, and unhealthy coping mechanisms contribute to poor health.

Results:  PSE changes include improved school and worksite nutrition policies, open gym, development of community gardens, and increased availability of healthy foods.  The collaboration has also built infrastructure for long-term planning, implementation, and evaluation of community health initiatives.  This includes a comprehensive child obesity surveillance  system including anthropometric , demographic, and behavior  measures collected at Head Start, WIC clinics, schools, and the Youth Risk Behavior Survey.  In addition, the models conceptualizing the impact of trauma on community health facilitated alignment of diverse community health initiatives around underlying social determinants of health.

Conclusion:  This long-term community-academic partnership has worked within broad community engagement to promote policy, systems, and environmental changes to reduce childhood obesity in the Menominee community. This has built strong infrastructure for the community to address additional health issues in the future and may serve as a model for other Tribal communities.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe the outcomes of community-academic partnership in building infrastructure and promoting policy, systems, and environmental change for obesity prevention Identify key elements for sustaining equitable, long-term community-academic partnerships in tribal communities Discuss how the synthesis of local community engagement and community-based research may facilitate the development of broad community-driven health initiatives

Keyword(s): Native Americans, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health professional based in a Wisconsin tribal community working to build community capacity for epidemiology, program planning, and evaluation of broad community health initiatives. My focus areas include chronic disease prevention, behavioral health,community engagement and collective impact, and social determinants of health. I have also collaborated closely with researchers on a number of community-academic partnership research projects and grants.
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.