Message-from-the-director

Message from the director

I am happy to report that Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) staff and faculty have been very busy presenting their work and the work of the PRC in professional and scientific conferences and meetings around the United States and abroad over the past few months.

At the National Alliance for Black School Educators Conference held in New Orleans this past November, I gave a presentation on the PRC’s school-related work, including partnerships with the Edible Schoolyard, goals for school food service developed by the Food Policy Advisory Committee (FPAC), joint-use agreements between schools and community properties, KaBOOM! playgrounds, complete streets and zoning around schools. The response was enthusiastic and demonstrated an interest in applying these concepts in other parts of the country and working with other PRCs.

At the Excellence in Paediatrics Conference in Istanbul, Turkey, in December, I presented a poster on the enjoyment of physical activity and its relationship to moderate and vigorous physical activity among middle school girls.

In January, Brian Luckett, a PRC post-doctoral fellow, and Adrienne Rathert, a PRC program manager, traveled to Rome, Italy, for the International Scientific Symposium. Brian spoke about evaluating food security programs in a presentation titled “The Impact of Food Aid on the Livelihoods of HIV/AIDS-Affected Households in Rural Kenya: An Evaluation Using Propensity Score Matching.” Adrienne’s presentation on steps to develop food policies was titled “Translating Evidence into Effective Policy Actions: Insights from Efforts to Address Obesity.” Audience questions after Adrienne’s talk sparked conversations about the “double burden” of malnutrition and how obesity is starting to permeate into developing countries.

At the first Black Women’s Health Conference on the uptown Tulane University campus in February, I once again presented the work of the PRC. At the First International Conference on Nutrition and Growth in Paris, France in March, I presented data on wealth and gender differences in adolescent obesity behaviors in Egypt.

At the Active Living Research conference in San Diego in March, Matt Rufo, KidsWalk Coalition program manager, and Kate Parker-Karst, PRC assistant director, co-presented at a workshop titled “Community Assessments: Three Examples of Assessments Used to Address Community Health and Equity.” Audience members were interested in how the KidsWalk Coalition engaged communities in data collection and how the results translated to increased levels of walking. Kate gave an additional presentation on her evaluation of bike lanes in the city titled “Ready to Ride: Impact of Bicycle Infrastructure Improvements in New Orleans, La.” Also at this conference, Dr. Jeanette Gustat presented a poster on her work titled “Association between Characteristics of the Built Environment and Number of People Observed Being Physically Active.”

Next month, the Society of Behavioral Medicine will hold its annual conference in New Orleans, and I will present a poster on the increasing levels of obesity among adolescents in Egypt.

As you can see, the work of the PRC continues to be presented by our energetic and capable staff and faculty. These kinds of presentations can only enhance the work of the PRC, increase the quality and quantity of our community and professional partners, and strengthen our networking programs. In the interest, then, of collaboration and common goals for the health of our community, we welcome information from you regarding any local, national or international presentations or publications that you have been involved in recently. We would like to highlight those for our own knowledge, but also for the information of others with whom we interact in the city.

Carolyn Johnson
Director, Prevention Research Center at Tulane University

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