OHSU School of Nursing March Scholar
Nancy Findholt, Ph.D., R.N., Associate Professor"A Community- University Partnership to Reduce Childhood Obesity in a Rural County"
The focus of my work is on prevention of childhood obesity through social and environmental change. I have long had an interest in community approaches to addressing health disparities, particularly those that affect rural populations. Shortly after moving to Union County, in rural northeastern Oregon, I began working with school administrators and community members to develop a school health program to address the unmet health needs of children living in the small, outlying communities of our county. Through this work, I became aware of the high prevalence of childhood obesity in this region. Building on the relationships that I had established with the schools and other local organizations, I initiated a community-based participatory research project to address this problem. The long-term goal of this research is to create an environment within Union County communities and schools that supports physical activity and healthy eating among children. Affecting change has been a slow process, but our collaborative effort is beginning to make a difference. I am grateful to my community partners, research colleagues, and students who have contributed their time and energy toward making this project a success.