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

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

NOLA-LEADs-finds-positive-results-from-citizen-training-program-

NOLA LEADs finds positive results from citizen-training program

Education & Engagement Special Interest Projects (SIPs)

Published: April 10, 2018

Anyone can be a health leader and improve their community, if given the right tools and skills. That’s what the Tulane Prevention Research Center's two-year NOLA LEADs (Leadership Education & Action on health Disparities) citizen-training project has found since completing its work. Keeping with the project's goal of helping all who are concerned about improving the lives of their neighbors and the conditions of their communities, the team has put together a one-page summary to…

Read More

Closing-the-policymaking-gap-Tackling-barriers-to-improving-public-health-in-Louisiana

Closing the policymaking gap: Tackling barriers to improving public health in Louisiana

Education & Engagement

Published: April 08, 2018

When attempting to address Louisiana's consistently low rankings in national health reports, public health professionals can have a positive influence on the policy-making process through research and education, according to recently published work from the Tulane public health researchers. From 2013 to 2014, a team of faculty and staff at the Tulane Nutrition Program and Tulane Prevention Research Center explored strategies for improving public health in Louisiana by conducting policy research and educating lawmakers. The…

Read More

Tulane-graduate-hikes-the-Underground-Railroad

Tulane graduate hikes the Underground Railroad

Education & Engagement

Published: April 05, 2018

Recent Tulane University graduate Chyna Johnson spent five days in March in the footsteps of abolitionist Harriet Tubman this week as part of a 100-mile trek along the route of the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses used by African-American slaves to escape to free states, ran north to the free states and Canada. (Click on the image above to see a slideshow from the trek.) Johnson is…

Read More

Message-from-the-Director

Message from the Director

Education & Engagement Food Environment Research

Published: April 01, 2018

Spring is here and summer is right around the corner. We always think of spring as a time of new beginnings and renewal. Certainly, it can be that way with us as well. The weather is mild (not too hot yet) so it's a good time to think about being outdoors more. Spring is conducive to growth, so it's a good time to plant a garden, especially vegetables. What could be fresher than that? There…

Read More

Tulane-PRC-to-present-core-research-and-other-work-at-Society-of-Behavioral-Medicine

Tulane PRC to present core research and other work at Society of Behavioral Medicine

Core Research

Published: April 01, 2018

The Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) faculty, staff and students are scheduled to give 11 presentations at the Society of Behavioral Medicine's 39th Annual Meeting, held in New Orleans this week. The meeting draws thousands of researchers, public health professionals, community members, and advocates from across the country and the world. Among the topics that will be presented by the Tulane PRC are community-based cooking classes, social marketing for health promotion, community engagement, photovoice, and…

Read More

Tulane-partnership-with-FitLot-provides-students-with-assessment-experience-in-aging-populations

Tulane partnership with FitLot provides students with assessment experience in aging populations

Education & Engagement Physical Activity Research

Published: April 01, 2018

Transforming the built environment of a community can make a difference in how citizens feel about accessibility of physical fitness. Since the start of March, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine faculty and students have been engaging with local participants of The FitLot Method Program, an outdoor, group fitness program designed to meet the needs of adults 55 years and older. FitLot, a longtime community partner of the Tulane Prevention Research Center…

Read More

Community-Partner-Updates

Community Partner Updates

Education & Engagement

Published: April 01, 2018

See what our Community Advisory Board (CAB) members and partners have been up to recently! Click on the photo for a gallery of pictures, and read below for related updates. To find out more about our partners, click here to visit our Community Partners page. Photos 1-5: Women With A Vision Inc. Women with a Vision Inc. has been busy developing a garden with a spirit that transcends the physical space. As a part of…

Read More

Team-Spotlight

Team Spotlight

Education & Engagement

Published: April 01, 2018

This newsletter's team spotlight features four graduating student research assistants who supported numerous Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) projects and programs over the past year. Through one-on-one training and mentorship, these master's students have worked diligently to apply the skills, knowledge, frameworks and strategies learned in classes to the community-based work of the PRC. "These students have worked diligently on community projects, and we are very proud of them," said Tulane PRC Director Carolyn Johnson.…

Read More

Upcoming-seminar-shares-innovative-peer-led-diabetes-prevention

Upcoming seminar shares innovative, peer-led diabetes prevention

Education & Engagement

Published: April 01, 2018

Please join the Tulane Prevention Research Center on Wednesday, April 11, for the Spring 2018 Innovations in Public Health Research and Practice Seminar: "Prevention of Diabetes in India: What evidence is there for scale-up?" Light refreshments will be provided. This seminar is free and open to the public. Wednesday, April 11, 2018, from 12-1:30 p.m. in the Diboll Auditorium, 1st Floor, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, New Orleans Featuring…

Read More

Legislative-Updates

Legislative Updates

Education & Engagement

Published: April 01, 2018

Louisiana Obesity Commission publishes annual report Since 2014, the Louisiana Obesity Prevention and Management Commission has been tasked by state lawmakers to address obesity statewide and its associated diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The commission recently presented its annual report to the state Legislature. The report, published in February 2018, includes recommendations for future Commission activities and highlights the Commission’s activities during the timeframe of April 2017-November 2017. Click here to…

Read More

canary