• Differences in reported benefits in older adults after participation in a nutrition incentive program

      Cook, Miranda; Kane, Rachael; Emory University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: A healthy food incentive program doubles the value of food stamp dollars at farmers’ markets, addressing financial barriers to healthy eating for low-income Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, recipients. Older adults sometimes have more trouble purchasing and eating healthy food due to illness, a lack of social support, or mobility problems, in addition to financial reasons. Methods: Surveys were administered to 87 SNAP recipients redeeming healthy food incentives at farmers’ markets. Data were stratified by age in order to test benefits experienced from program participation and the program’s efficacy in reducing barriers to healthy eating. Results: Older program participants (aged 66+) were less likely to report experiencing community benefits from the program than younger participants (age 66+: 20.0% vs. age 18-65: 62.9%; p=0.0292). However, older participants were more likely to report experiencing other benefits (age 66+: 60% vs. age 18-65: 8.6%; p=0.054). Reported health benefits did not differ significantly by age group (age 66+: 40.0% vs. age 18-65: 54.3%; p = 0.09502). Additionally, no difference was detected between age groups reporting price as their biggest barrier to healthy eating (p = 0.2569). However, older program participants were less likely to report that the healthy food incentive program addressed their barrier (age 66+: 66.7% vs. age 18-65: 96.1%; p=0.0092). Conclusions: Older program participants may be experiencing different benefits than younger ones, with younger participants reporting more community benefits such as feeling more connected to one’s community or supporting local farmers more often and older program participants reporting other benefits more frequently.
    • Enhancing the future public health workforce through competency-based student field placements

      Carvalho, Michelle; Lloyd, Laura; Alperin, Melissa; McCormick, Lisa; Mitner, Kathleen; Emory University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: The Public Health Workforce Interest and Needs (PHWINS) 2014 survey from ASTHO (Association of State and Territorial Health Officials) demonstrated a dramatic need for succession planning and retention of the future public health workforce. To address this need, the Region IV Public Health Training Center’s (R-IV PHTC) Pathways to Practice Scholars Program places students from accredited schools and programs of public health into practical field placement positions across eight states. Skill- and competency-based student field placements reinforce the value of working with medically underserved areas/populations (MUA/Ps) through public health agencies. Field placements use adult learning theory through experiential learning to build essential skills from the Council on Linkage (COL) core competencies. Methods: Host agencies include state and local health departments, Area Health Education Centers, primary care settings, and community organizations in one of eight southeastern states serving MUA/Ps. Agencies propose practical projects using COL domains. Proposals are converted to job postings. Once an agency selects a student, the team collaboratively develops a detailed work plan using specific COL competencies. Results: A brief overview of evaluation findings will be shared but are not the focus of this workshop. Evaluation instruments included a pre-survey, work plan, mid-term survey, final evaluation, and alumni survey. Students submit a final report, reflection summary, webinar presentation and/or abstract worthy of submission to a professional conference. Findings demonstrated increases in students’ perceived ability to perform core competencies and future plans to work in MUA/Ps. Conclusions: This program builds leadership and real-world experience in the future workforce while serving immediate needs of public health agencies. The workshop focuses on interactive discussion about processes and tools to create COL competency-based field placement position descriptions and detailed work plans. Participants can engage in dialogue about developing student positions which enhance their work while training the future workforce.
    • Findings from a national home food environment survey: How does Georgia compare?

      Hermstad, April; Haardoeerfer, Regine; Woodruff, Rebecca; Raskind, Ilana; Kegler. Michelle; Emory University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Aspects of the home food environment, both social and physical, influence healthy eating and weight management practices. Healthy eating, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015, centers on balancing calories consumed and calories expended for weight management combined with consumption of nutrient-dense foods and drinks. Obesity and excess weight increase the risk of numerous chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. With this presentation, we will explore how Georgia home food environments and eating behaviors are similar or different from the rest of the nation. Methods: Survey participants (n=4,942) were recruited from a reputable online survey panel service. Eligible participants were English-speaking U.S. adults ages 18-75; the final sample was representative of the U.S. population in terms of age, race/ethnicity, geographic region, and income level. Georgia participants represented 3% of the overall sample (n=158). Incentives for completing the 30-minute online survey were provided by the panel service. Survey measures included sociodemographics, healthy eating behaviors (e.g., fruit, vegetable, and fat intake), social home food environment (e.g., food shopping/preparation, household member support) physical home food environment (e.g., food/drink inventories/placement), household food security and coping strategies, and broader contextual factors (e.g., the community food environment, and community capacity and assets). Results: Descriptive data to be presented will include characteristics of participant households, including levels of social and environmental support for healthy eating. Prevalence estimates for key environmental (food/drink inventories/placement, social support among household members) and behavioral (dietary behavior) variables across the sample and among Georgia participants will also be shared. Statistically significant differences between Georgia and the nation will be highlighted. Conclusions: This study presents a unique opportunity to explore socio-environmental influences on healthy eating behaviors nationwide and specifically among Georgians. Findings may be useful in informing tailored messages, healthy eating interventions, and related public health priorities for the state of Georgia.
    • Helping public health professionals access infectious disease trainings and resources: The Region IV PHTC infectious diseases training database

      Lloyd, Laura; McCormick, Lisa; Alperin, Melissa; Carvallo, Michelle; Wilson, Cidney; Bergland, Brita; Patel, Arti; Miner, Kathleen; Emory University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: The Region IV Public Health Training Center (R-IV PHTC), located at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, has a mission that includes providing training and educational offerings to strengthen the competency of the current public health workforce in HHS Region IV (which includes GA). Additionally, the R-IV PHTC has been charged with serving as a national resource in the area of infectious disease. To fulfill this charge, the R-IV PHTC conducted an environmental scan to identify and increase access to existing infectious disease trainings and resources currently available to the public health workforce. Methods: From June 2015 – February 2016, the R-IV PHTC systematically reviewed infectious disease-related trainings developed by credible organizations between 2011-2015. We reviewed the websites and learning management systems of 73 different organizations including but not limited to the TrainFinder Real-time Affiliated Integrated Network (TRAIN), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), and other PHTCs. Trainings were identified utilizing several search terms including infectious disease, vaccination, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), Ebola, measles, etc. Results: Altogether, the R-IV PHTC identified over 500 training programs and resources in our designated content area of Infectious Disease developed by other public health organizations between 2011-2015. The final trainings are available in an easy-to-use searchable database and can be filtered by sponsor, title, year, provision of continuing education credits, addressed competencies, cost, length, infectious disease category, and modality. The database will be updated at least once yearly to ensure currency. Conclusions: This poster will describe the methodology that the R-IV PHTC used to conduct an environmental scan of infectious diseases trainings. In addition, the poster will explain how to locate and access infectious disease trainings in one database on the R-IV PHTC website using a variety of search filters
    • Zika virus communication preferences of pregnant women: Beyond the verbal

      Ellingston, Mallory; Chamberlain, Allson; Emory University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Pregnant women are frequently a priority group during public health emergencies, including the current Zika virus outbreak. These women turn to prenatal care providers for health information, but providers may not have the time for discussions with every patient. Knowing alternative ways to communicate key Zika-related information to pregnant women is important. Methods: To determine pregnant women’s preferences for obtaining Zika information from their prenatal providers, a 27-item survey was administered to 408 pregnant women at four prenatal care clinics in Atlanta between May 5th, 2016 and June 20th, 2016. The anonymous survey evaluated women’s preferences for receiving information about three topics: Zika virus, maternal vaccines and safe medications. Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests were used to determine statistical significance of associations between these topics and selected patient characteristics. Significance was evaluated at α=0.05. Results: Educational brochures (63.8%), e-mails (55.2%) and their provider’s practice website (40.2%) were women’s most preferred modalities for receiving information about Zika virus beyond verbal communication. Most women (73.2%) use the CDC website as their primary source of information about Zika virus; only 19.2% seek that information on their provider’s website. Conclusions: Conveying Zika-related information to pregnant women is essential. As public health practitioners create and refine provider-to-patient communications, they can use these findings to ensure their messages align with how women want to receive information (e.g., brochures, emails, provider websites) and take advantage of existing modalities (e.g. their own websites) that providers may not be fully utilizing.