Elena T. Carbone, associate professor of Nutrition, and Elaine Puleo, associate dean for Research in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, have received a two-year, $189,476 grant to assess the impact of new policies implemented as part of “Live Well Springfield,” a project to expand healthy eating and physical activity in that city.
The grant is part of a $1,993,443 Community Transformation award from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to a coalition of community groups led by the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.
The goals of the project include bringing a full-service grocery store to the lower income central neighborhood of Springfield through community-wide nutrition education, increasing visits by a mobile farmers’ market to the city’s neighborhoods, implementing year-round markets in the neighborhoods abutting the Connecticut River Walk and Bikeway, increasing physical activity opportunities through boating and biking amenities in the new North Riverfront Park, and promoting awareness in the community about pedestrian and bike amenities throughout the city.
Carbone and Puleo will evaluate the impact of these activities through community surveys, interviews with community members and vendors, on‐site observations and analysis of sales data. In addition, the SPHHS team will develop a “Live Well Springfield” website to increase visibility for the project, highlight ongoing work and serve as a central location for members of the project team and the community at large to post and view meeting announcements and other updates. The coalition of groups includes Partners for a Healthier Community, Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club, Parks and Recreation, Mason Square Health Task Force, Caring Health Center, Baystate Brightwood Health Center, Develop Springfield and the City of Springfield.
The project will take advantage of both Carbone’s work in community-based qualitative research as well as Puleo’s expertise in statistical analysis of survey data. Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said, “This grant allows the City of Springfield to continue to build upon and expand and promote our health and quality of life programs.”
Photos: Elena T. Carbone (left) and Elaine Puleo