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World Health Organization reconfirms KU research group as collaborating center

Tue, 04/16/2013

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas’ Work Group for Community Health and Development has been redesignated as an official World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Community Health and Development for another four years.

Stephen Fawcett, Kansas Health Foundation Distinguished Professor, and Jerry Schultz, associate director of the KU Work Group on Community Health and Development, will continue to direct the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Community Health and Development at KU.

“We are honored to continue in this extraordinary network of centers working to assure conditions for health and human development,” said Fawcett. “As a WHO Collaborating Centre, we have opportunities to learn and contribute with those who are working for health equity around the world.”

WHO originally selected the KU Work Group to be a collaborating center in 2004, joining a small group of centers with a similar mission in the Americas, including those at the University of Toronto, University of São Paulo and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A WHO collaborating center is designated by the WHO Director-General to be part of an international collaborative network to carry out activities in support of WHO’s mandate for promoting international health.

The KU Work Group will continue to work closely with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), one of WHO’s six regional offices. The primary objectives of the KU Collaborating Center are to expand the evidence base for health promotion efforts and to build capacity for community health and development globally using the resources of the KU Work Group’s online Community Tool Box (CTB).

The Community Tool Box is a free, public web site that distills decades of the Work Group’s research and practice to take groups – from grass-roots to government - through planning, implementation and evaluation of community health and development initiatives. The site houses more than 7,000 pages of resources that are used by more than 2.3 million users in 224 countries. Those resources include learning modules and training resources for building skills in community assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, advocacy and sustainability.

In collaboration with PAHO, the CTB is now available in Spanish to help build capacity in the Americas. Site users can access in-depth support for developing a strategic or evaluation plan and can read case examples of culturally grounded work on issues such as promoting maternal and child health, nutrition, physical activity, and sanitation and water quality.

The Center is located at 4081 Dole Human Development Center on the KU Lawrence campus.



When looking to tackle the issue of obesity in rural America, where should we start? The answer is not what you might think. Empathy, says Christie Befort, an associate professor at KU who has just won a $10 million award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to investigate solutions to rural obesity. Many physicians are embarrassed talking about weight—especially in a small town where everybody knows each other, Befort says. By providing obesity treatment options in rural primary care, she plans to start a conversation, and maybe a revolution, in rural health care. For more details on Befort's efforts, check out the 2015 Chancellor's Report: http://bit.ly/1D5A5MO and her video: http://bit.ly/1C5xYZa Tags: #KUcommunities #Obesity #Health #Rural #Midwest Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute - PCORI

#KUfacts : KU scientists work to measure, monitor, preserve #Ogallala Aquifer. http://t.co/nKLRxtdURe #KUcommunities
Lauded race and class historian becomes KU Foundation Professor David Roediger’s award-winning research and writing has already transformed how historians view the growth of social freedoms in America though the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, and labor. Now Roediger, as KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor of History (http://bit.ly/1AbAqYw), will continue to break new ground in those fields as he leads KU’s departments of American Studies and History. Roediger likes to study historical flash points — where one particular change brings a cascade of wider cultural changes. His latest book, “Seizing Freedom, Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All,” makes the point that as slaves began freeing themselves across the South during the Civil War, their emancipation inspired and ignited other cultural movements for freedom — such as the women’s movement for suffrage and the labor movement for better working conditions and an eight-hour day. Understanding the individual stories of average people who wanted to make their lives better, including slaves or factory workers, is important to understanding the wider political movements and elections, Roediger said. “It's tempting to think that all the important political questions have been decided,” he said, “but actually people are constantly thinking about what freedom would mean for them.”


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