30-years-of-Building-Healthier-Communities-Together

30 years of Building Healthier Communities Together

The Prevention Research Centers (PRCs) Program, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2016. Throughout the year, the Tulane PRC will share stories about its community-based work and partnerships. Click here for more about the 30th Anniversary.

ReFresh: Research and cross-sector partnerships support innovative community health hub

Many neighborhoods in New Orleans have historically lacked a full-service grocery store, preventing residents from easily buying healthy foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, according to research from the Tulane Prevention Research Center (Tulane PRC). A 2012 study from the Tulane PRC found that higher quality food environments decrease the risk of obesity and overweight for people living in southeast Louisiana. Another PRC study found that each additional linear meter of store shelf space devoted to vegetables linked to an additional daily intake of .35 servings of vegetables. Knowing this, the Tulane PRC has worked in one neighborhood to support the launch of a new grocery store before and after it opened in February 2014 and an associated health promotion collaborative.

The store – a modified Whole Foods – is housed within the ReFresh site, a multi-tenant building focused on providing healthy food choices, as well as programs and services related to community health. In addition to the grocery store, the building houses a teaching kitchen for medical students and community members, a cafe that trains and employs young adults and provides healthy, locally sourced meals to area schools, a community farm where gardening classes are provided to community members, and offices of nonprofits that promote healthy living and provide community assistance.

Before the ReFresh site opened, the Tulane PRC formed Makin' Groceries, a partnership of community organizations, residents and health-focused groups and clinics in the neighborhood and a comparison neighborhood that did not have such programs and services. Makin' Groceries aimed to identify food shopping and diet habits of residents in the neighborhood surrounding ReFresh. Tulane PRC staff and research assistants went door-to-door in the two neighborhoods to ask about these habits and other health-related issues.

"I became involved in the Makin' Groceries project because my neighborhood was a food desert. It was an eye opener to me. I didn't know it was as bad as it was,” said Leonetta Terrell, a resident of the Treme neighborhood and a Makin' Groceries Steering Committee member. “It showed people in the community that people care about them.”

The Makin' Groceries project collected a total of 900 household surveys in the two neighborhoods. Among the results, the project found the average distance to the closest supermarket was 1 mile, but the average distance people traveled to buy groceries was farther – 2.75 miles. The survey results have been presented at national gatherings including APHA and a paper is being prepared for publication in a scientific journal. Other data about frequency of shopping trips, preferences for certain foods and store types, and eating habits, benefited the ReFresh site because it provided insights into their target audience – residents of the ReFresh site's surrounding neighborhood.

As a member of the site's ReFresh NOLA Coalition, the Tulane PRC has also given guidance and technical assistance by providing training sessions for evaluating the site's impact, recruiting public health graduate interns to plan and evaluate ReFresh programming, and collaborating on grant applications. The Tulane PRC is also working with ReFresh to examine collective impact of the coalition and develop and evaluate a community health outreach program, which includes training and deploying community health workers.

For more about the ReFresh project, its partners, and its coalition, visit the ReFresh website and Facebook page.

(Video credit: Tulane PRC. Above photo credit: Paula Burch-Celentano/New Wave. Click the photo at the top of the story for a slideshow of pictures from the ReFresh site, including a photo of the Makin’ Groceries Project Steering Committee members.)

Topics:   community advisory board , food environment , community health

Other Related Posts

To-track-impact-Tulane-PRC-relaunches-toolkits-online

To track impact, Tulane PRC relaunches toolkits online

Education & Engagement

Published: February 07, 2018

Acquiring information is a first step to helping communities become healthier, and the Tulane Prevention Research Center is relaunching three of its most recent toolkit publications to re-invigorate interest and track the impact these materials may have with the community. Since its inception in 1998, the Tulane PRC has created an excellent library of educational and scientific materials – from reports to research briefs to articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals – and has posted them…

Read More

Spring-seminars-focus-on-health-racism-communication

Spring seminars focus on health, racism, communication

Education & Engagement

Published: February 07, 2018

SAVE THE DATES! Three public seminars at Tulane University’s downtown campus this spring will feature local and national health leaders and their work related to addressing health disparities and systemic racism by focusing on a variety of communication strategies. For 10 years, the Tulane Prevention Research Center and the Tulane Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health have partnered to host a seminar series on communication skills meant to enhance traditional public health education…

Read More

Public-health-innovations-take-stage-at-upcoming-trainings

Public health innovations take stage at upcoming trainings

Education & Engagement

Published: February 07, 2018

SAVE THE DATES! Please join the Tulane Prevention Research Center for two seminars in the Spring 2018 Innovations in Public Health Research and Practice Series: Thursday, March 8, 2018 from 12-1:30 p.m., Room 1206, 12th Floor, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, New Orleans LA 70112 Featuring: Diego Rose, PhD, MPH, Director of the Nutrition & food Security Program, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine; Amelia Willits-Smith,…

Read More

Studying-nutrition-gives-students-at-Tulane-PRC-skills-in-community-programs

Studying nutrition gives students at Tulane PRC skills in community programs

Education & Engagement

Published: February 07, 2018

A class of Tulane dietetic interns who are training to be Registered Dietitians, did a one-week rotation with the Tulane Prevention Research Center in fall 2017. While at the Tulane PRC, the 20 students created five single nutrition education workshops. The students not only designed the didactic information, activities and evaluation of the workshops but facilitated the workshops as well. The information in the workshops had to be evidence-based, but also relevant, engaging and interactive.…

Read More

Message-from-the-Director

Message from the Director

Education & Engagement

Published: February 06, 2018

It's the beginning of the new year 2018, and what an exciting year it promises to be. The staff and faculty at the Tulane PRC are looking forward to a lot of interaction with our community organizations, partners and associates. Being well into the fourth year of our five-year funding cycle, we have a lot of work to do, and with the community's help, it will get done. But I think it is important to…

Read More

New-Orleans-launches-survey-to-identify-citys-pressing-health-issues

New Orleans launches survey to identify city's pressing health issues

Education & Engagement

Published: February 02, 2018

Every five years, the New Orleans Health Department and community partners conduct a city-wide Community Health Assessment in order to identify the most pressing health issues facing New Orleans residents and opportunities for health improvement. This year a Community Health Survey is one of the many ways that community voice is being incorporated into the assessment process. The goal of the survey is to align the city government's priorities with that of its residents for…

Read More

Legislative-Updates

Legislative Updates

Education & Engagement

Published: February 02, 2018

New Orleans food policy report released, feedback requested. The New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee (FPAC) recently released it's 2018 Policy Recommendations. These recommendations stem from the recent report, Policy Matters: Assessing the Policy Gap and Opportunities in the New Orleans Food System and are aimed at increasing the equity, opportunity and collaboration in the New Orleans Food System. FPAC also completed its three-year strategic plan which focuses on the three working groups – food…

Read More

Help-Tulane-PRC-take-1-Billion-Steps

Help Tulane PRC take 1 Billion Steps!

Education & Engagement

Published: February 02, 2018

Walking is one of the easiest ways to improve your health – and it's more fun if we do it together. That's why the Tulane Prevention Research Center is participating in the American Public Health Association’s 1 Billion Steps Challenge. As part of this challenge, we've created "Team Tulane PRC" and we'd love for others to join us. To join, go to https://stridekick.com/challenges/107816/tulane-prc When you join, you'll be able to track how many steps you…

Read More

Staff-Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Education & Engagement

Published: February 01, 2018

Naomi King Englar is the communications and dissemination coordinator for the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC). She is responsible for all the center's communications campaigns, including educational materials, electronic newsletters, social media, website, and traditional publications. Additionally, Naomi coordinates the center's Health Promotion Practicum Program, which places public health graduate students in internships with the PRC's community partners. She also coordinates the social marketing components of the PRC’s core research project Movin’ for LIFE (Lasting…

Read More

Active-Steps-Changing-Up-Exercise-Routines-for-Better-Bone-Health

Active Steps: Changing Up Exercise Routines for Better Bone Health

Education & Engagement

Published: February 01, 2018

Physical activity is a key component of improved health and is associated with a decreased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. Not surprisingly, exercise also strengthens muscles, can improve balance, and is linked to better mental health.(1) With the many positive aspects of remaining physically fit, it is also important to remember to diversify one's exercise routine. Sure, yoga or biking are great for health and can be…

Read More

canary