Online Program

State Leadership in Supporting the Shift to Public Health Approaches in SNAP-Ed

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Kathleen Cullinen, PhD, RDN, 1213 Center Street, Michigan Fitness Foundation, Lansing, MI
Trina Adler Barno, BA, MPH, Health and Nutrition Programs, University of Minnesota Extension Center for Family Development, St. Paul, MN

Public health approaches were recently added to SNAP-Ed strategies, requiring 124 diverse State Implementing Agencies (SIAs) to track activities, results, and impacts in new ways.


In FFY 15, the Association of SNAP-Ed Nutrition Network Administrators (ASNNA) used its listserv to learn what channels (organizations and community institutions) were prioritized for large-scale policy, systems and environmental change and the stage (planning or implementation) for each of 28 community indicators from the USDA Western Regional Office Evaluation Framework (Framework). Simultaneously, the 124 SIA websites on USDA’s SNAP-Ed Connection were scanned, and national data sets and communication formats were reviewed to identify better ways to communicate SNAP-Ed’s diverse activities and impacts.


Of respondents from 20 states, > 5 SIAs reported being in the planning phase in 11 of the 28 possible channels in the Framework, while > 5 SIAs were in the implementation phase in 6 channels. Only 53 websites were ‘live’ on SNAP-Ed Connection, with minimal relevant information. In February, ASNNA provided training on improvements for communicating impact via print and web formats. Results will be reported.


ASNNA’s survey provided essential quantitative and qualitative information about the status of multi-level PSEs to inform training, program development, and a practical national reporting system for measuring population-based reach and impact of PSEs. A PSE reporting system paired with multiple communication strategies are critically important elements for continually improving the impact of SNAP-Ed, a backbone program with potential for significant nationwide collective impact with low-income populations in low-resource settings.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Identify a process for establishing consensus on indicators and channels that are most effective in improving population-based nutrition and physical activity behaviors using policy, systems and environmental change strategies (PSEs); and Describe best practice criteria for communicating impact of PSEs, specifically for needs assessments, partnerships, and systems change.

Keyword(s): Obesity, Poverty

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I currently oversee the programming goals and objectives of the Michigan Fitness Foundation in its role as an Implementing Agency for Michigan’s SNAP-Ed grant. For the last four years, I have taken a lead role on the Evaluation Committee of the Association of SNAP-Ed Nutrition Networks (ASNNA) and actively contributed to its work on evaluating policy, system, and environmental approaches to the prevention of obesity and related chronic diseases in limited resource populations.
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.