Healthy Eating and Activity Across the Lifespan (HEAL)

Healthy Eating and Activity Across the Lifespan (HEAL) addresses weight-related health disparities through the integration of research, clinical practice, policy and community resources. It is an initiative supported by the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.

HEAL is co-directed by Jerica Berge and Marilyn "Susie" Nanney. The core faculty include Cailtin Caspi, Katie Loth, and Steven Stovitz. The key staff are Amanda Trofholz, and Kate Grannon.

Key functions of HEAL

  • Conduct research
  • Train students and faculty
  • Partner with community initiatives
  • Fund projects that use integrated approaches to address dietary and physical activity issues across the lifespan through a health equity lens

HEAL team members Kate Grannon, MPH, Caitlin Caspi, ScD, Marilyn “Susie” Nanney, PhD, Katie Loth, PhD, Amanda Trofholz, MPH, Jerica Berge, PhD, MPH, Margaret Adamek, PhD, and Steve Stovitz, MD, MS.

HEAL team members. Back row, from left to right, are Kate Grannon, Caitlin Caspi, Marilyn “Susie” Nanney, Katie Loth, and Amanda Trofholz. Front row, from left to right, are Jerica Berge, Margaret Adamek, and Steven Stovitz.

Mission

HEAL integrates research, clinical practice, community resources, and policy to improve healthy eating and activity across the lifespan.

Vision

HEAL inspires a culture of health through innovative partnerships.

Values

HEAL adopts a health equity lens for all facets of its integration work to inspire a culture of health.

  • Pioneering: Be groundbreaking leaders in the field; remain curious and creative
  • Collaborative: Cultivate an organizational culture of shared power; be trustworthy, authentic, inclusive, and respectful partners
  • Strategic: Pursue clear goals with focused intention; anticipate and implement cutting-edge strategies; ensure meaningful impact 
  • Accountable: Be transparent, communicative, and timely with partners
  • Sustainable: Build capacity among ourselves and partners; mentor the next generation of integrators; maintain lasting partnerships
  • Rigorous: Be thorough and evidence-based in our approach to high-quality integration, research, evaluation, and dissemination; commit to excellence

Funding projects

Funding Opportunities

We are not currently accepting funding applications. Please check back again in Fall of 2018.

We seek to support creative pilot projects that are broadly focused on healthy eating and physical activity and have the long-term potential for meaningful and measurable impact on local community health.

Successful projects will demonstrate use of an “integrated approach” to connect:

  • Community resources
  • Research
  • Clinical practice
  • Policy
Current Projects
Round one projects
  • Promoting Community HEALth Where People Live Through a Community-Based Participatory Research Project
    Partners: University of Minnesota School of Nursing, University of Minnesota Extension, St. Paul Public Housing Agency, and Saint Paul - Ramsey County Public Health
  • Walking Forward in Better Health
    Community Emergency Assistance Programs (CEAP)
Round two projects
  • Green Exercise for Cancer Survivors
    Partners: UMN Program in Health Disparities Research, The Loppet Foundation, University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital

Publications and media

Publications

Berge JM, Adamek M, Caspi C, Grannon KY, Loth KA, Trofholz A, Nanney MS. The Mastery Matrix for Integration Praxis: The development of a rubric for integration practice in addressing weight-related public health problems. Prev Med. 2018 Feb 23;111:78-86. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.02.024.

Berge JM, Adamek M, Caspi C, Loth KA, Shanafelt A, Stovitz SD, Trofholz A, Grannon KY, Nanney MS. Healthy Eating and Activity Across the Lifespan (HEAL): A call to action to integrate research, clinical practice, policy, and community resources to address weight-related health disparities. Prev Med. 2017 Aug;101:199-203. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.06.018.

Presentations

Berge JM, Caspi C, Loth K, Grannon K, Shanafelt A. Marilyn “Susie” Nanney: The Impact and Legacy of Her Research on the Field, Community, and Colleagues. University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health Grand Rounds. September 12, 2018.

Pre-conference workshop (Nanney, Grannon). Integrating research, clinical practice, policy and community resources to address nutrition- and physical activity-related health disparities. International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Hong Kong, China. June 3, 2018.

Harnessing the power of research, community, clinic and policy to build a culture of health (Nanney). Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians Innovation & Research spring conference. Bloomington, MN. March 3, 2018.

Trainings and courses

Matchmaking in Public Health: Intentional Integration Across Research, Clinical Practice, Community, and Policy to Promote Health Equity

Join us at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health Summer Public Health Institute!
Tuesday May 29 – June 1, 2018
8 am-12 pm
Academic Course Number: PubH 7200-104 #87975
Academic Credit: 1

For more information contact:
Summer Public Health Institute
Telephone: 612-626-8434
Email: phi@umn.edu

Other Upcoming Courses

Harnessing the power of research, community, clinic, and policy to build a culture of health (GCC 3028/5028)

Our team

Core Faculty
Jerica Berge, PhD, MPH, LMFT, CLFE

Jerica Berge, PhD, MPH, LMFT, CLFE, is a tenured associate professor at the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. She is both a researcher and a behavioral medicine provider at the University of Minnesota North Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program. Her primary research interest is examining risk and protective factors for childhood and adolescent obesity in the home environment.

Berge is the co-director of Healthy Eating and Activity across the Lifespan (HEAL), which focuses on integration across research, clinical practice, policy, and community resources to inspire a culture of health.

She also serves as an associate director of the University of Minnesota Citizen Professional Center, which conducts and promotes community-based participatory research on problems of concern to communities and professionals.


Marilyn S. Nanney PhD, RD

Marilyn S. “Susie” Nanney, PhD, RD, is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota where she leads the population health research area in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. She is the co-founder and co-director of HEAL.

Her research focuses on obesity prevention interventions, nutrition policy research, and health disparities. Nanney has more than 15 years of experience conducting healthy eating and physical activity studies in partnership with community-based organizations and translating research findings to recommended actions for policy makers.

Nanney is a 2016-17 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow.


Caitlin Caspi, ScD

Caitlin Caspi, ScD, joined the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health research faculty in 2014. She was a fellow in the University of Minnesota Cancer-Related Health Disparities Education and Career Development Program where she explored the social and physical environment as a determinant of health behaviors in low-income urban residents. Caspi also conducted research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts for six years. She earned her ScD from Harvard University in social epidemiology.


Katie Loth, PhD, MPH, RD

Katie Loth, PhD, MPH, RD, is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. She is both a researcher and a dietitian at the University of Minnesota North Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program. Her research explores social and environmental influences on child and adolescent weight status and disordered eating behaviors. Specifically, she is interested in identifying ways that parents can work to help their children develop and maintain a healthy weight and a healthy relationship with their bodies.


Steven Stovitz, MD, MS

Steven Stovitz, MD, MS, directs the University of Minnesota Program in Sports Medicine. He also serves as medical director at the University of Minnesota Physicians Sports Medicine Clinic. His clinical work is divided between the University of Minnesota departments of Orthopedic Surgery and Intercollegiate Athletics, where he is a team physician for University of Minnesota athletes. Stovitz’s primary research involves a variety of issues in the study of obesity. He also is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and a senior associate editor at the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Key Staff
Kate Grannon, MPH, RD

Kate Grannon MPH, RD, is a project manager in the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. The research she manages focuses on healthy hunger relief, obesity prevention, and nutrition policy. She has more than three years of experience in project management on research studies that are community-engaged and health equity-focused. Contact her at youn1286@umn.edu.


Amanda Trofholz, MPH, RD

Amanda Trofholz, MPH, RD, is a project director in the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. She manages several research studies exploring the association between risk and protective factors in the home environment and childhood obesity. Trofholz also brings experience in both community-based and qualitative research. Contact her at trofh002@umn.edu.


Amy Shanafelt, MA

Amy Shanafelt, MA, is a Research Project Manager in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. With a degree in Community Psychology, Amy has contributed a community engagement lens to the health equity research projects she has managed during four plus years in the department. Amy's previous work centered around obesity prevention in early childhood and high school aged children while working with Susie Nanney She now has shifted to managing Caitlin Caspi's Minneapolis minimum wage ordinance evaluation, aiming to understand links between wages and health. Contact her at shanafel@umn.edu

Matchmaking network

Map of the United States with blue circles marking HEAL locations

The breadth of location in HEAL's national matchmaking network. 

Matchmaking in science? This is the approach the HEAL Center has developed to accelerate and maximize efforts in addressing health disparities. HEAL matches teams that include representation across research, clinical practice, community, and policy domains to maximize impact and promote sustainability. HEAL not only facilitates matchmaking of community partners and researchers to create evidence-based interventions, but also steps beyond this to ensure that all four domains of research, clinical practice, community, and policy are represented to increase effectiveness and sustainability.

 

HEAL's network of collaborations across local, state, and national levels

Map showing circles of contact in HEAL project

 

 

Contact

For more information, please e-mail us at heal@umn.edu.