The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) announces the publication of, “Community-Driven Efforts to Increase Equity in Communities Through Policy and Systems Change: Outcomes and Lessons Learned From 9 Years of Food & Fitness Community Partnerships,” a special supplement of its peer-reviewed journal Health Promotion Practice (HPP).
The supplement features 12 articles and two commentaries, including three case studies highlighting the processes, partnerships and local policy changes needed to overcome barriers and create community-driven equitable change in food and fitness environments. Six culturally diverse community partnerships experiencing high rates of health inequities and poverty comprised the Food & Fitness (F&F) Initiative, which was funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation beginning in 2006. Researchers from The University of Michigan School of Public Health (U of MI) provided guidance to the communities from 2007-2016 and conducted the cross-site evaluation, which helped document the lessons learned in this special issue.
“A critical focus of this initiative has been to use community-determined approaches to create changes in policies, infrastructures, and systems that will lead not only to change but also to sustainable change that positively influences health equity,” says Dr. Laurie Lachance, HPP co-guest editor and U of MI principal investigator. “Engaging communities early in the process and developing leadership capacity of community members were among the vital elements for success.” The cross-site evaluation revealed six characteristics related to program sustainability necessary for long-lasting program outcomes.
The articles present other important lessons learned over the nine-year program, including those relevant to other funders interested in addressing social determinants of health. Through the project, a new catalytic model of leadership for community change also was documented, focusing on the collective contributions of multisector partnerships rather than focusing on individual contributions. Case studies in the supplement identify factors that can derail community-driven work such as unequal power sharing, racism, and hierarchical structures in organizations.
HPP’s deputy editor Dr. Holly Mata notes, “The stories and data within these pages reflect the commitment of stakeholders in communities everywhere to doing their work purposefully, inclusively, and sustainably. Each of these articles — and the issue as a whole — should challenge and inspire us to learn from and build upon the work described in the following pages.”
For more information, please contact Ms. Jeanine Robitaille, MS, CHES,® editorial & project manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.408.9804 ext. 165.
About Health Promotion Practice
Health Promotion Practice (HPP) is an official journal of SOPHE. Published bimonthly, the journal is a forum for authoritative research, commentary, practical tools, and promising practices that strategically advance the art and science of health promotion and disease prevention. HPP’s scope includes policy, programs, professional preparation, and career development in diverse settings, including communities, health care, work sites, and schools.