30th-Anniversary-Research-and-cross-sector-partnerships-support-innovative-community-health-hub-ReFresh

30th Anniversary: Research and cross-sector partnerships support innovative community health hub ReFresh

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.

By Naomi King Englar, Tulane PRC

<iframe width=“560” height=“315” src=“https://www.youtube.com/embed/vDQ4CFOunk8” frameborder=“0” allowfullscreen></iframe>

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.

Topics:   community advisory board , food environment , community health , PRCs 30th Anniversary

Other Related Posts

Message-from-the-Director

Message from the Director

Education & Engagement

Published: September 26, 2019

September 27, 2019 is the day that the Tulane PRC funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta will come to an end. This does not mean that the PRC will come to an end. It simply means that the core funding and its related research wil no longer exist for the next five years. However, the remaining PRC personnel will continue to use the name and continue the work that…

Read More

Movin-4-LIFE-Fit-NOLA

Movin' 4 LIFE & Fit NOLA

Education & Engagement

Published: September 26, 2019

The Tulane Prevention Research Center’s Movin 4 LIFE program will transition under the community sector of Fit NOLA, a partnership between the City of New Orleans and local organizations. Fit NOLA is currently working with two churches to expand the Bike 4 LIFE program. For those unfamiliar with Fit NOLA, here is an overview. Fit NOLA was established in 2012 after the National program-Let’s Move. The initiative was created to address the rankings of health…

Read More

Tulane-PRC-20-Years

Tulane PRC: 20 Years

Education & Engagement

Published: September 26, 2019

For two decades, the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) has been working to prevent obesity and sedentary lifestyle by building a healthier environment across New Orleans. Unbeknownst to most, the focus of the PRC’s work began with lead abatement research and interventions in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. During this time, all Prevention Research Centers around the country, through funding and direction from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), contributed to this…

Read More

Active-Steps-Bike-Share-Communitys-Movement-Towards-Sustainability-and-Health

Active Steps: Bike Share, Community’s Movement Towards Sustainability and Health

Education & Engagement

Published: September 26, 2019

Cycling has come a long way! It has been used to get from one area to another and, over time, has evolved for recreational purposes, competitive sports, and exercise. One thing that remained constant is the need to push the pedals with your feet to get the wheels going. It is this basic idea that makes cycling a great form of exercise as well as a sustainable form transportation. Using a bike can be costly,…

Read More

Nutrition-Bites-Sneaky-Source-of-Salt

Nutrition Bites: Sneaky Source of Salt

Education & Engagement

Published: September 25, 2019

When it comes to dietary sodium, it is nothing new that Americans are consuming more on average than the recommendation – nearly 50% more than the recommended daily quantity. The body needs a small amount of sodium to carry out functions such as muscular contraction and nerve transmission, but with so much salt added during commercial food processing and preparation in the United States, it is hard to stay away from a high sodium diet.…

Read More

Message-from-the-Director

Message from the Director

Education & Engagement

Published: June 11, 2019

Our Movin for LIFE Guide to Community Health is ready! This Guide will be very helpful for residents interested in enhancing the health of the neighborhoods in which they live. The Guide is based on the Movin’ for LIFE activities over the last five years and contains information about community-wide health promotion activities, focus groups, community assessment and community engagement. This Guide is not to be missed. Better yet – come to our Make Your…

Read More

NOLA-LEADS-Publishes-Article-on-Community-Leadership-Trainings

NOLA LEADS Publishes Article on Community Leadership Trainings

Education & Engagement

Published: June 11, 2019

In an effort to increase community participation in civic and political activities to address health and promote health equity, Tulane Prevention Research Center faculty and Community Advisory Board partnered with Tulane School of Medicine to develop NOLA LEADS (Leadership Education and Action on Health Disparities). This program was designed to educate lay New Orleans community residents about improving community conditions and build leadership skills through addressing social determinants of health. The program’s curriculum built upon…

Read More

Movin-for-LIFE-Guide-to-Community-Health-Makes-Its-Debut

Movin’ for LIFE Guide to Community Health Makes Its Debut

Education & Engagement

Published: June 11, 2019

Over the past year, Tulane PRC faculty, staff, and community partners have worked together to write the Movin’ for LIFE Guide to Community Health. This Guide encourages the dissemination and replication of community-wide health promotion activities developed for Movin’ for LIFE, a community-based prevention/intervention and research program implemented initially in the 9th Ward of New Orleans. During the span of Movin’ for LIFE, a variety of physical activity activities were conducted, from Yoga for LIFE,…

Read More

Active-Steps-Keeping-Up-with-the-Summer-Slim-Down-on-the-Go

Active Steps: Keeping Up with the Summer Slim Down on the Go

Education & Engagement

Published: June 11, 2019

Summer is here and everyone is many are working towards their summer body physical activity goals. It can be a daunting task but with these easy tips and the right mindset, anything is achievable. You may find yourself with challenges, whether that’s staying active on a family trip you are trying to keep your fitness goals on track while traveling for business. Studies have shown that 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) each week…

Read More

Nutrition-Bites-Smart-Snacks-for-Crazy-Car-Trips

Nutrition Bites: Smart Snacks for Crazy Car Trips

Education & Engagement

Published: June 11, 2019

Car trips with the family can be stressful to begin with – not only on the mind, but on the body as well! With these simple tips, we hope to help take the guess work out of choosing smart snacks and drinks for on-the-go. In the Cooler: Fruit: Fruit can be easy on the go snacks because they typically require little preparation. Apples, bananas, oranges, berries, grapes, and pears are all great on the go…

Read More

canary