Division of Community Health researchers awarded $523,149 grant by Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust recently awarded the Division of Community Health a $523,149 grant to continue and expand their evaluation work of Healthy Places N.C., a $100 million place-based initiative to improve health in some of North Carolina’s poorest counties.

Over the past year-and-a-half, a team from the division — including Mina Silberberg, Ph.D., associate professor of community and family medicine and vice chief for research and evaluation in the division; Matthew Dupre, Ph.D., associate professor of community and family medicine; Alicia Nelson, MSW, MPH, research analyst; and Anna Hrovat, research secretary — has been conducting formative evaluation of Healthy Places N.C.

The team was awarded an additional two years of funding to continue and expand their evaluation work, including bringing onto the team Jan Willis, MS, MBA, research project manager, and Angie Arrington, staff specialist, from the division; Jonathan Morgan and Akram Al-Turk from UNC-Chapel Hill; and Allan Parnell from the Cedar Grove Institute for Sustainable Communities.

As in the first phase of their work, the team has subcontracted services from the Duke Network Analysis Center.

Goals for the second phase of the evaluation include:

  • Assess change in the Healthy Places N.C. counties in five domains.
  • Identify factors facilitating progress or creating barriers to progress, including community perceptions of and responses to Healthy Places N.C. strategies.
  • Participate with other Healthy Places N.C. team members in developing a broad conceptual frame for the Healthy Places N.C. work that acknowledges its emergent and context-specific nature; and in:
    • Compiling and integrating data in a centralized “place” where those involved in evaluation, performance assessment, and strategy design/refinement can access it for analytic purposes.
    • Standardizing data to allow for aggregated data analysis.
    • Aggregating data to answer key questions about the role of Healthy Places N.C. actions in promoting change in the counties.