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High Obesity Program Recipients

CDC funds 15 land grant universities to work with community extension services to increase access to healthier foods and safe and accessible places for physical activity in counties that have more than 40% of adults with obesity.

High Obesity Program Recipients

Alabama

Recipient: Auburn University (Auburn)

Award Amount: $1,092,000

Geographic Location of Work: Alabama

Counties: Barbour, Bullock, Conecuh, Dallas, Escambia, Greene, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Perry, Sumter, Wilcox

Principal Investigator Contact Information:
Barb Struempler
Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Auburn University
207 Duncan Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849
Tel: 334-750-9559
Email: struebj@auburn.edu

Project Overview: Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s Alabama Preventing and Reducing Obesity: Helping Engage Alabamians for Long-Term Health (ALProHealth) will work on nutrition strategies to improve the food system to increase access to healthier foods. Physical activity strategies will focus on collaborating with partners to connect transportation infrastructure with homes, early care and education programs, schools, worksites, and parks or recreation centers through implementing master plans and land use interventions.

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Arkansas

Recipient: University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service (Little Rock)

Award Amount: $760,804

Geographic Location of Work: Arkansas

Counties: Chicot, Lee, Mississippi, Phillips, St. Francis

Principal Investigator Contact Information:
Lisa Washburn
University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service
2301 S. University Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72204
Tel: 501-671-2099
Email: lwashburn@uaex.edu

Project Overview: The Arkansas Delta Region Obesity Program is: 1) working with food vendors, distributors, and producers on healthier food purchasing and sales; 2) establishing healthy nutrition standards in key institutions; 3) making improvements to state and local programs and systems; and 4) collaborating with partners to connect sidewalks, paths, bicycle routes, and public transit with homes, early care and education, schools worksites, and parks or recreation centers through implementing master plans and land use interventions.

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Georgia

Recipient: University of Georgia (Athens)

Award Amount: $905,777

Geographic Location of Work: Georgia

Counties: Calhoun, Clay, Dooly, Stewart, Taliaferro

Principal Investigator Contact Information:
Marsha Davis
University of Georgia
105 Spear Road
116 Rhodes Hall
Athens, GA 30602
Tel: 706-542-4369
Email: davism@uga.edu

Project Overview: Georgia is targeting places in Calhoun, Clay, Dooly, Stewart, and Taliaferro counties where children and their families interact on a regular basis, including schools, anywhere food is sold, health departments, churches, and parks. Georgia also is focusing on food production and distribution, transportation, and increasing awareness through media and social media. Activities will take place in community settings, at the county level, and the regional/state level for a larger systems change.

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Kentucky

Recipient: University of Kentucky (Lexington)

Award Amount: $500,000

Geographic Location of Work: Kentucky

Counties: Martin

Principal Investigator Contact Information:
Jennifer Hunter
University of Kentucky Research Foundation
102 Erikson Hall
Lexington, KY 40506
Tel: 859-257-38887
Email: jhunter@uky.edu

Project Overview: Kentucky will collaborate with extension programs, school districts, public health, parks and recreation, and other key stakeholders to address residents’ low intake of fruits and vegetables and not meeting physical activity guidelines. These collaborations will lead to an expansion of current extension programs (Plate It Up Kentucky Proud; Cook Together, Eat Together; and Better Bites) while also developing new efforts to improve healthy eating patterns through incentive programs and vouchers and increase physical activity with park challenges.

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Louisiana

Recipient: Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge)

Award Amount: $1,033,822

Geographic Location of Work: Louisiana

Counties: Madison, Tensas, St. Helena, Assumption, Claiborne, East Carroll, Morehouse

Principal Investigator Contact Information:
Denise Holston
Louisiana State University
201 Knapp Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Tel: 225-578-4573
Email: dholston@agcenter.lsu.edu

Project Overview: The Healthy Access, Behaviors, and Communities II (Healthy ABCs) project will build upon previous work from an earlier CDC High Obesity Program (HOP) grant and continue to use and leverage local cooperative extension services to expand the use of evidence-based strategies that increase access to healthier foods and safe and accessible places for physical activity. This work will help reduce the number of people with obesity and the effects of obesity in the targeted parishes.

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Mississippi

Recipient: Mississippi State University (near Starkville)

Award Amount: $1,091,568

Geographic Location of Work: Mississippi

Counties: Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Leflore, Sharkey, Sunflower, Washington

Principal Investigator Contact Information:
David Buys
Mississippi State University
Box 9805
202B Ballew
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Tel: 662-325-3060
Email: drb73@msstate.edu

Project Overview: Mississippi State University Extension Service (MSUES) will promote community-driven programs that 1) improve the food system to increase access to healthier foods and 2) bring together partners to connect sidewalks, paths, bicycle routes, and public transit with homes, early care and education, schools, worksites, and parks or recreation centers through implementing master plans and land use interventions.

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North Dakota

Recipient: North Dakota State University (Fargo)

Award Amount: $568,750

Geographic Location of Work: North Dakota

Counties: Rolette, Sioux

Principal Investigator Contact Information:
Megan Ditterick
North Dakota State University
Dept 7270, FLC 219
P.O. Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108
Tel: 701-231-6515
Email: megan.ditterick@ndsu.edu

Project Overview: North Dakota State University will target the communities of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Sioux County and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in Rolette County. This project will increase access to places that provide healthier and culturally-appropriate foods, including schools, group meal settings, childcare centers, and retailers. Another outcome of this project is to increase safe, culturally-appropriate, and accessible places for physical activity for these communities.

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Oklahoma

Recipient: Oklahoma State University (Stillwater)

Award Amount: $464,730

Geographic Location of Work: Oklahoma

Counties: Adair, Muskogee

Principal Investigator Contact Information:
Deana Hildebrand
Oklahoma State University
315 Human Sciences
Stillwater, OK 74078
Tel: 405-744-5059
Email: deana.hildebrand@okstate.edu

Project Overview: This project will increase access and use of healthy food and physical activity resources in Adair and Muskogee counties, including Oklahoma’s Native American citizens. Cooperative extension, trusted professionals, and Native American and county partners currently using policy, systems, and environment efforts will work together. Methods include a healthy eating and active living referral program and Cooperative Extension Master Wellness events designed to connect people to healthy food options and safe places for physical activity.

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South Carolina

Recipient: Clemson University (Clemson)

Awardee Amount: $836,418

Geographic Location of Work: South Carolina

Counties: Hampton, Lee, Marion

Principal Investigator Contact Information:
Sarah Griffin
Clemson University – Department of Public Health Sciences
507 Edwards Hall
Clemson, SC 29634
Tel: 864-656-1622
Email: sgriffi@clemson.edu

Project Overview: Multidisciplinary Extension Teams (MDET) in Hampton, Lee, and Marion counties will include five different extension agents representing health and nutrition, food safety, horticulture, agribusiness, and 4-H. MDET will collaborate with state and local organizations to develop, adapt, extend and/or expand programs addressing obesity within each county. These programs will address 1) what local vendors, schools, and food pantries are able to offer and make healthy and local foods accessible; 2) marketing and information sharing for local farmers to help them make their food more accessible locally; 3) community gardens; 4) planning, adoption, and sustainability of safe places for physical activity; 5) promotion activities to encourage use of physical activity locations; 6) helping schools change to increase physical activity; and 7) lifestyle behavior change.

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South Dakota

Recipient: South Dakota State University (Brookings)

Award Amount: $500,057

Geographic Location of Work: South Dakota

Counties: Buffalo, Ziebach

Principal Investigator Contact Information:
Suzanne Stluka
SDSU Extension
SWG 435, Box 2275A
Brookings, SD 57007
Tel: 605-688-4038
Email: Suzanne.Stluka@sdstate.edu

Project Overview: South Dakota State University is building upon successful work in tribal communities in Buffalo and Ziebach counties under previous CDC High Obesity Program (HOP) funding. The project will continue to partner with the established Wellness Coalitions but will also establish school-based coalitions to help schools serve as centers for healthier food and will provide physical activity opportunities for communities in extremely rural areas.

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Tennessee

Recipient: University of Tennessee (Knoxville)

Award Amount: $500,335

Geographic Location of Work: Tennessee

Counties: Hardeman

Principal Investigator Contact Information:
Soghra Jarvandi
University of Tennessee
218 Morgan Hall
2621 Morgan Circle Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996
Tel: 865-974-7328
Email: Sjarvand@tennessee.edu

Project Overview: Tennessee plans to put together a coalition from the eight distinct communities located in Hardeman County to work on improving food systems; to establish healthy nutrition standards in public and community institutions and food pantries; and to assess transportation needs to create an active living plan for each of the eight towns.

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Texas

Recipient: Texas A&M (College Station)

Award Amount: $1,036,246

Geographic Location of Work: Texas

Counties: Hudspeth, Maverick, Starr, Webb

Principal Investigator Contact Information:
Jamie Rae Walker
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
17360 Coit Road
Dallas, TX 75252
Tel: 972-952-9214
Email: jamierae.walker@ag.tamu.edu

Project Overview: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Prairie View Extension, with support from the Texas Transportation Institute, the Texas Department of Transportation, and community partners, will establish a Working on Wellness Environments program in Hudspeth, Maverick, Starr, and Webb counties. Through education, programming, and policies, local leaders and organizations will help reduce obesity by improving access to healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables and routine physical activity for residents.

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Virginia

Recipient: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Blacksburg)

Award Amount: $500,000

Geographic Location of Work: Virginia

Counties: Petersburg (city)

Principal Investigator Contact Information:
Kathryn Hosig
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Department of Population Health Sciences
Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Tel: 540-231-6637
Email: khosig@vt.edu

Project Overview: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University will continue partnerships and initiatives built through previous funding from CDC to improve access to healthier foods and opportunities for physical activity in Petersburg. Partnerships with the Virginia Cooperative Extension (Virginia Tech and Virginia State University) and the Virginia Department of Health (state and local) will strengthen and enhance existing collaborations.

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West Virginia

Recipient: West Virginia University (Morgantown)

Award Amount: $551,262

Geographic Location of Work: West Virginia

Counties: Clay, McDowell

Principal Investigator Contact Information:
Emily Murphy
West Virginia University Extension Service
605 Knapp Hall
P.O. Box 6031
Morgantown, WV 26506
Tel: 304-293-8589
Email: emily.murphy@mail.wvu.edu

Project Overview: This project will build upon and strengthen the existing programs and partnerships to develop targeted approaches to improve access to healthy foods and physical activity opportunities for all residents of Clay and McDowell counties. We will use several coordinated approaches to carry out obesity-prevention strategies. We will work with both early care and education and community coalitions to increase residents’ opportunities and access to physical activity and healthy eating.

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Wisconsin

Recipient: University of Wisconsin (Madison)

Award Amount: $531,874

Geographic Location of Work: Menominee Indian Reservation, Wisconsin

County: Menominee

Principal Investigator Contact Information:
Amber Canto
University of Wisconsin-Extension, Cooperative Extension
432 N Lake St, Room 329
Madison, WI 53706
Tel: 608-265-4975
Email: amber.canto@ces.uwex.edu

Project Overview:

The Kemmaceqtaq project will focus on collaborating with partners 1) to establish new or improved active transit systems using indigenous design strategies and 2) to establish healthier food purchasing practices and nutrition standards in key community settings. These settings include the Menominee Tribe, afterschool and recreation centers, food pantries, senior meal sites, concession stands, and Tribal, county, and local government meetings and events. This project also will improve access to healthier foods at community venues and events and local programs.

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