Online Program

Direct Education Meets Policy, Systems and Environmental Change: A Unique Statewide Approach To Deliver SNAP-Ed

Monday, November 2, 2015

Michele Polacsek, PhD, MHS, School of Community and Population Health, University of New England, Portland, ME

Pamela Bruno, MPH, School of Community and Population Health, University of New England, Portland, ME
Kira Rodriguez, MHS, School of Community & Population Health, University of New England, Portland, ME
Joan Ingram, MPH, School of Community and Population Health, University of New England, Portland, ME
Patricia Dushuttle, MA, Maine DHHS, Augusta, ME
Introduction: Maine’s relatively new SNAP-Ed delivery model, beginning in 2013, delivers direct education through statewide community-based coalitions funded to improve local policies, systems and environments (PSE) to support healthy lifestyles since 2000. Because the USDA required SNAP-Ed to incorporate PSE strategies in 2014, Maine’s model was well positioned for success. SNAP-Ed is currently the largest chronic disease prevention program in Maine, and the nutrition educators are learning to work on PSEs, while systematically tracking their efforts and progress to evaluate outcomes. Early challenges in effectively aligning PSE work with direct education efforts, and accurately tracking progress, are being addressed. To date, there is little evidence for the success of this approach in SNAP-Ed.

Methods: Evaluation of PSE efforts is accomplished through regular tracking utilizing customized Excel worksheets. A staged framework that includes activities focused on assessment, planning, implementation and sustainability was developed to characterize and track SNAP-Ed PSE efforts.

Results: Types of activities and stage of efforts will be described. Typical barriers encountered and stepwise procedures related to overcoming barriers will be elucidated.

Discussion: Successful evaluation and early results of Maine’s PSE efforts indicate promise for this decentralized approach combining PSE strategies and direct education. Other states or implementing agencies could apply lessons learned to their implementation and/or evaluation efforts.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
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 education

Learning Objectives:
Identify key ways in which policy, systems and environmental (PSE) support efforts for SNAP-Ed can be monitored Name barriers experienced by Maine SNAP-Ed nutrition educators in beginning PSE work Describe key ways in which barriers to PSE efforts may be overcome

Keyword(s): Food Security, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on chronic disease prevention programs for over 20 years and was Principal Investigator on two grants studying school nutrition environments. One of my roles currently is to provide evaluation technical assistance to the Maine SNAP-Ed program. I hold an MHS and a PhD in social and behavioral health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
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.