"NOPREN in the Era of COVID: A Case Study in Using a Network to Rapidly Address Gaps in Research and Evaluation"
The Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN) is a thematic research network of the CDC’s Prevention Research Centers Program. The CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity (DNPAO) created NOPREN to foster understanding of the effectiveness of policies to prevent childhood obesity through improved access to affordable, healthier foods and beverages in child care, schools, worksite, and other community settings. The mission of NOPREN is to conduct transdisciplinary practice-based policy research and evaluation along the continuum of policy identification, development, and implementation by:
- Identifying relevant policies that foster or inhibit healthier lifestyles;
- Describing the process of developing and implementing policies;
- Evaluating adopted policy content, intent, and enforcement;
- Evaluating outcomes, co-benefits, and consequences of policies; and
- Translating and disseminating research findings and lessons learned to diverse audiences.
The NOPREN network includes academic researchers and representatives from non-profits, local and state departments of public health, federal government, and funders. In the wake of the COVID pandemic, the network infrastructure of NOPREN was leveraged to rapidly bring together diverse experts in food policy across multiple sectors in order to educate, evaluate, and create solutions. This seminar will discuss the structure of NOPREN, its typical activities, and the work it has done since the start of the pandemic.
Hilary Seligman, MD, MAS is Professor at the University of California San Francisco with appointments in the Departments of Medicine and of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She directs the National Clinician Scholars Program at UCSF, School of Medicine. NCSP aims to offer unparalleled training for clinicians as change agents driving policy-relevant research and partnerships to improve health and health care. Dr. Seligman is an expert in food insecurity and its health implications across the life course. Her policy and advocacy expertise focus on federal nutrition programs (particularly SNAP), food banking and the charitable food network, hunger policy, food affordability and access, and income-related drivers of food choice. She directs the Food Policy, Health, and Hunger Research Program at UCSF’s Center for Vulnerable Populations at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and the CDC’s Nutrition and Obesity Policy, Research and Evaluation Network. She also serves as Senior Medical Advisor for Feeding America (feedingamerica.org). Dr. Seligman founded EatSF, a healthy foods voucher program for low-income residents of San Francisco. Outside of San Francisco, EatSF is known as Vouchers for Veggies.