Nancy Findholt, Ph.D., R.N.

Nancy Findholt

Oregon Health & Science University
School of Nursing La Grande Campus
One University Blvd., SN-EOU
La Grande, Ore. 97850
Phone: 541 962-3648
FAX: 541 962-3737


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My research focuses on prevention of childhood obesity in rural communities, with an emphasis on environmental influences on children's physical activity and diets. I am also interested in rural community participation in health promotion. Since 2005, I have been Principal Investigator for U.C. (Union County) Fit Kids, a community-based participatory research project for childhood obesity prevention in Union County, Oregon. My community partners include the public schools, OSU-Union County Extension Service, Center for Human Development Public Health Department, and other community organizations. Through our research, my partners and I have identified numerous barriers to physical activity and healthy eating among rural children, including limited recreational resources, street-related hazards, inadequate physical education, limited availability of healthy foods in small food stores near schools, and school practices that support consumption of high-fat/high-sugar foods. Our current studies are aimed at creating healthier food environments within rural schools and nearby small food stores to promote healthier eating habits among all children who interact with these environments. These studies involve mixed methods, including survey, in-depth interviews, focus groups, and field observation.

SNACZ study

Service Activities

Member, Advancement, Promotion, and Tenure Committee, OHSU School of Nursing


Current Research

Community-based strategies to increase access to healthy snacks and beverages in food stores near three rural Oregon schools (Findholt, PI)

USDA/National Institute of Food & Agriculture
Engaging Youth as Advocates to Create Healthy Snacking Zones around Rural Schools
(Findholt PI, Shannon, Izumi, Nguyen & Smith).

Completed Research

Betty Gray Rural Health Development Fund
Evaluation of the SNACZ Food Store Checklist
Findholt, PI

Betty Gray Rural Health Development Fund
Practices, Barriers, and Training Needs of Rural Health Care Practitioners Relevant to the Management of Pediatric Obesity
Findholt PI, Michael, & Davis

A Community-University Partnership to Prevent Obesity in Rural Children
Findholt PI, Michael, Jerofke, & Brogoitti

Northwest Health Foundation
Strengthening Community capacity for Childhood Obesity Prevention in Union County, Oregon
Findholt PI & Brogoitti

Northwest Health Foundation
Assessing the Influence of the Rural School and Community Environments on the Physical Activity Patterns and Food Choices of Rural Children
Findholt PI, Michael, Jerofke, & Brogoitti

Betty Gray Rural Health Development Fund
Development of a Community-University Partnership to Prevent Overweight in Rural Children
Findholt PI

Northwest Health Foundation
The Influence of Rurality on Community Participation in a Community Health Development Initiative
Findholt PI

Selected Publications

Findholt, N.E., Izumi, B.T., Shannon, J., &Nguyen, T. (2016). Food-Related Practices and Beliefs of Rural U.S. Elementary and Middle School Teachers. Rural &Remote Health, 16: 3821. Available:

Mabry, J., Farris, P.E., Forro, V.A., Findholt, N.E., Purnell, J.Q., &Davis, M.M. (2016). Environmental, Behavioral, and Cultural Factors that Influence Healthy Eating in Rural Women of Childbearing Age: Findings from a PhotoVoice Study. Global Qualitative Nursing Research, 3, 1-10. Doi: 10.1177/2333393615622176

Izumi, B., Findholt, N., Pickus, H. (2015). Formative evaluation to increase availability of healthy snacks and beverages in stores located near schools in two rural Oregon counties.  Preventing Chronic Disease.

Findholt, N., Izumi, B., Nguyen, T., Pickus, H., & Chen, Z. (2014). Availability of healthy snack foods and beverages in stores near high-income urban, low-income urban, and rural elementary and middle schools in Oregon. Childhood Obesity, 10(4), 342-348.

Izumi, B., Findholt, N., Pickus, H., Cuneo, M., & Nguyen, T. (2014). Inter-rater reliability of a food store checklist to assess availability of healthier alternatives to the energy-dense snacks and beverages commonly consumed by children. Childhood Obesity, 10(3), 266-271.

Findholt, N., Davis, M., & Michael, Y. (2013). Perceived barriers, resources, and training needs of rural primary care providersrelevant to the management of childhood obesity. The Journal of Rural Health, (29), s17-s24. doi:10.111/jrh.12006.

Findholt, N., Jerofke, L., Michael, Y., & Brogoitti, V.W. (2013). The influence of the rural environment on children’s physical activity and eating behaviors. In C.A. Winters & H.J. Lee (Eds), Rural nursing: Concepts, theory, and practice (4th ed., pp. 393-400). New York: Springer.

Findholt, N. (2013). The culture of rural communities: An examination of rural nursing concepts at the community level. In C.A. Winters & H.J. Lee (Eds), Rural nursing: Concepts, theory, and practice (4th ed., pp.367-376). New York: Springer.

Findholt, N.E., Michael, Y.L., Jerofke, L.J., & Brogoitti, V.W. (2011). Environmental influences on children’s physical activity and eating habits in a rural Oregon county. American Journal of Health Promotion, 26(2), e74-e84.  Available at 

Findholt, N.E., Michael, Y.L., & Davis, M.M. (2011). Photovoice engages rural youth in childhood obesity prevention. Public Health Nursing, 28(2), 186-192.

Findholt, N.E, Michael, Y.L., Davis, M.M., & Brogoitti, V.W. (2010). Environmental influences on children’s physical activity and diets in rural Oregon: Results of a youth photovoice project. Online Journal of Rural Nursing & Health Care, 10(2), 11-20. Available at: