Eastern Virginia Medical School will establish the Eastern Shore Healthy Communities Workgroup on Obesity Prevention, an academic-community partnership to plan, fund and conduct obesity and health disparities research. In three years, the project aims to identify and assess the community's interest in addressing obesity; provide information about obesity, health disparities, social determinants of health, Livable Communities and their linkages; and develop and establish Memoranda of Understanding with community organizations to support community-based participatory research activities and establish the CBPR Workgroup. Together academic and community partners will explore the complex interplay of biological, behavioral and social processes that shape physical, emotional and cognitive growth related to overweight and obesity and its consequent chronic health conditions. Ten opportunities meetings will be held with identified organizational partners along with five open community forums for the community-at large. Topics discussed at these meetings will be informed by community input. An exchange of information and community perspective will guide the ultimate development of a research agenda. A community information campaign will announce meetings, provide summaries of results, and provide health information. The Workgroup/Advisory Board will meet quarterly to plan, implement and analyze results of these meetings. The end product will be an informed and engaged community, an obesity and health disparities research agenda, guided by an engaged and active community's input and sustained by grant funding.
Eastern Virginia Medical School will initiate a partnership with a health coalition on Virginia's rural Eastern Shore to establish an obesity prevention community-based participatory research agenda guided by community input and participation. The project will connect elements of the Livable Communities movement that address social determinants of health to gain new perspective on reducing health disparities in a challenging and significantly overweight population.