Recommended Webinars | Illinois Prevention Research Center | University of Illinois at Chicago

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In particular, we aim to increase the capacity of public health professionals and communities in Illinois to plan, implement, and evaluate changes in policy, programs, and the environment for stronger community health.

Below, the Illinois PRC Training team recommends a variety of online training sessions that discuss disease prevention initiatives, especially obesity prevention. These resources are organized under several themes:

Evaluation  |  Health Equity  |  Nutrition Policy  |  Physical Activity  |  Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change | Worker Health


Evaluating the Economic Impacts of Local and Regional Food Systems

Two webinars present (1) best practices for evaluating the economic impact of local food system initiatives, and (2) a guide to community discussions, assessments and decisions in two webinars. Recorded in December 2015 and January 2016, the webinars were developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service, Michigan State University’s Center for Regional Food Systems, and the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Food and Environment Program.
View here:
Learn more and download the toolkit at

Obesity Evaluation Toolkit Resources for Evaluating Community Level Obesity Prevention Efforts

In 2013, the Institute of Medicine released Evaluating Obesity Prevention Efforts: A Plan for Measuring Progress. In addition to a national plan for planning, implementing, and evaluating the results of obesity prevention–related policies and programs, the report outlines a plan that identifies key components of implementing evaluations of obesity prevention efforts at the community level. This August 2015 webinar provides an overview of the key steps and principles in a community-level evaluation, and the page links to related resources, including the Community Tool Box.
Presenters: Leslie Sim, National Academy of Medicine; Lawrence Green, University of California, San Francisco
Sponsor: National Academy of Medicine
Access the YouTube video and other resources here.

Setting Goals and Establishing an Evaluation Baseline: Planning for Farm to School Success

How do you know if your activities are helping local farmers and improving student health? Learn how to integrate program planning and evaluation tools and techniques that will document outcomes and show the impacts of farm to school programs. This webinar was recorded in January 2016.
Presenter: Lyn Kathlene, director, Spark Policy Institute
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Agriculture
View webinar here:
See her presentation (pdf)


Communicating About Health Equity and Prevention

This program is archived by the Collaborative Center for Health Equity at University of Wisconsin-Madison, which provides this introduction: “Creating healthy communities is not a task that public health professionals can accomplish on their own. Developing solutions requires the buy-in and engagement of a number of different audiences, including policymakers and the general public. A specific set of communications skills are required to be effective in making the case for prevention to engage diverse stakeholders.”
Presenters: Prevention Institute and Berkeley Media Studies Group

Minnesota’s Healthy Minnesota Partnership and Health Equity in All Policies Approach

The Healthy Minnesota Partnership is an example of a state health agency transforming its approach to integrate health equity through a state-wide partnership between community partners and the Minnesota Department of Health. In this August 2014 webinar, speakers discuss the policy levers and partnerships that led to the creation of the Healthy Minnesota Partnership and the report to the legislature, Advancing Health Equity in Minnesota (pdf), as well as the strategies, resources, and tools implemented through these initiatives to promote health equity in the state of Minnesota.
Presenters: Ed Ehlinger, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Public Health; Jeanne Ayers, Assistant Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Health; and Melanie Person-Kickey, Acting Director of the Center for Health Equity
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National Equity Atlas: Data to Build an Equitable Economy

The webinar, posted on YouTube in June 2016, features “a live demonstration of the Atlas, which provides 31 indicators of demographic change, racial and economic inclusion, and the potential economic gains from racial equity for the 100 largest cities, 150 largest regions, all 50 states, and nationwide. Beyond its charts and maps, the Atlas also shares policy ideas, data analyses, and community equity profiles, examples of how communities are using equity data to drive policy change, and more.”
Speakers: Carla D. Thompson of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which supported the development of Atlas; Sarah Treuhaft and Angél Ross of PolicyLink; and Pamela Stephens and Justin Scoggins of the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE).

The Role of Community Culture in Efforts to Create Healthier, Safer, and More Equitable Places

Those who have worked on community change initiatives know that designing strategies that reflect a community’s unique culture and characteristics remains critical for success. For those endeavoring to create policy, systems, and environmental improvements, the notion of community culture is centrally important to the work. A community’s culture influences health and safety behaviors, which in turn influence health outcomes. Community culture can also provide insight into potentially effective strategies — those that will be defined by community residents, accepted as part of community norms, owned by the residents in the community, and embraced and sustained within the community to form a shared norm of health, safety, and equity. Initiatives that embed the beliefs, values, practices, and principles of the community into broad-scale efforts to improve neighborhood health and safety are the cornerstone of successful place-based prevention.
Sponsor: Collaborative Center for Health Equity at University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Leveraging Institutional Purchasing Power to Expand Access to Healthy Food

Institutions such as hospitals, schools, businesses, and government agencies play a number of important roles in a community: service provider, employer, educator, as well as community and cultural hub. These institutions also play an important role in advancing the health and well-being of communities and can do so by leveraging their purchasing power to expand healthy food access for residents, clients, employees, and students. This January 2016 webinar highlights examples, promising strategies, and lessons learned in engaging with health care, educational, and business institutions to shift purchasing practices toward improved healthy food access and more equitable food systems.
Presenters: Ted Howard, Democracy Collaborative; Lucia Sayre, Health Care without Harm; Estefania Narvaez, Real Food Challenge; Adam Kesselman, Center for Ecoliteracy.
Sponsor: Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity
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Marketing to Kids: How the Food and Beverage Industry Influences Kids’ Choices and How We Can Stop It

This June 2016 webinar discusses food and beverage industry tactics of marketing to kids; The research on the impact of marketing on kids’ attitudes and behaviors; Promising strategies from across the country for limiting marketing of unhealthy foods to kids.
Presenters: Dr. Jennifer Harris, director of marketing initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity and Associate Professor in Allied Health Sciences at University of Connecticut Tracy Fox, a registered dietitian and president of Food, Nutrition & Policy Consultants, LLC Jessica Almy, Senior Nutrition Policy Counsel at the Center for Science in the Public Interest

Sponsor: Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity

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Obesity Prevention in Rural Communities: Stories from the Field

State and local health departments across the country are reducing obesity rates by improving access to healthy foods and increasing opportunities for physical activity. Health departments working in rural communities often have a hard time finding examples of what’s working in other rural places. To provide more examples of obesity prevention initiatives in rural communities, the Association of Public Health Nutritionists and ChangeLab Solutions present this two-part webinar, recorded in May 2015, features leaders from five rural communities or regions. Speakers provide practical tips to implementing policy, system, and environmental changes in rural communities.
Presenters: Mandi Carringer, Mountainwise; Ray Sharp, Western Upper Peninsula, Mich.; Kathleen Hein, Crawford County, Wis.
Sponsor: ChangeLab Solutions
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Ready for Change: Using Policy To Improve Food Access

The most sustainable change to a food retail environment may be through policy change. This webinar, recorded in November 2014, outlines retail policy options and highlights examples of areas that have enacted healthy retail policy. Hear from a community that has successfully passed a healthy food retail policy.
Presenters: Ian McLaughlin, ChangeLab Solutions; Christina Cardenas, California Center for Public Health Advocacy; Kristin Klinger, Minneapolis Health Department
Sponsor: ChangeLab Solutions
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Keep Moving! Physical Activity in Schools

Join Action for Healthy Kids to learn about the latest trends and resources to keep your students moving throughout the school year. Experts recommend that kids get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. There are many opportunities for physical activity during the school day. Cold weather? Winter blues? View this February 2016 webinar to ensure your students have active bodies all year long.
Presenters: Hannah Laughlin – Action for Healthy Kids and Pam Powers – Let’s Move: Active Schools
Sponsor: Action for Healthy Kids
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Strategies to Improve and Fund Parks

Parks bring numerous benefits to a community. Unfortunately, too many cities, counties, and neighborhoods are “park poor,” lacking adequate parks and green spaces to serve residents’ needs. Many communities are now looking for ways to expand, improve, and maintain their parks system — the local or regional network of parks, green spaces, and open spaces. In this webinar, ChangeLab Solutions and the HEAL Cities Campaign introduce the Complete Parks Playbook. This new tool can help assess a community’s parks system, determine areas in need of improvement, and identify policy levers that can facilitate those improvements. Learn from the Vice Mayor of the City of Stockton and the Deputy City Manager of the City of Perris as they share their success and challenges in creating and maintaining park space and recreational programming for their communities.
Presenters: Kanat Tibet, California Center for Public Health Advocacy; Ian McLaughlin, ChangeLab Solutions; Chrstina Fugazi, City of Stockton; Darren Madkin, City of Perris
Sponsor: ChangeLab Solutions
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A Webinar on Building Healthier Communities Through Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) Change

Adopting a policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change approach can help public health advocates create sustainable, comprehensive measures to improve community health. PSE can enrich and expand the reach of current health preventive efforts and engage diverse stakeholders around the goal of improving health. This webinar provides an introduction to best practices for how health advocates can implement PSE approaches, present inspiring case studies from California and beyond.
Presenter: Christine Frye, Senior Policy Analyst at ChangeLab Solutions
Sponsors: ChangeLab Solutions and Network for a Healthy California
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Workers and Health: Frontline Providers Make a Difference in the Care of Migrant Workers and Their Families

Migrant workers are often employed in some of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. This session will use case studies to overview health risks facing migrants as a result of their working conditions and environment.
View this webinar, recorded in October 2015, on the Migrant Clinician Network.