The mission of the KU Work Group is: supporting community health and development through collaborative research and evaluation, teaching and training, and technical support and capacity building. The Work Group has developed widely used capabilities for community-based participatory research and for building capacity for community work, including through the Community Tool Box. Recognition of these capabilities led to official designation in 2004 as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.

Research-based online tool empowers Peace Corps work in Africa

The KU Work Group is partnering with the Peace Corps to provide custom, web-based resources to staff and volunteers in Africa who are working to boost health and development. 

The Community Tool Box was pioneered at KU in the 1990s as a free online resource delivering evidence-based guidance in best practices for community building. More ...


Identifying and Understanding Benchmarks of Success among Community Health Systems Improvement Initiatives

Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this project will provide a deeper understanding of milestones in the development of coalitions and other community health improvement efforts. With an extensive history of research and evaluation in this area, the KU Work Group is in a unique position to summarize the literature, and provide a systematic analysis of data from several hundred community health improvement initiatives spanning a 25-year history of supporting and evaluating community coalitions in the US and beyond. More ...

IOM Obesity Evaluation Toolkit

Stephen Fawcett and Christina Holt consulted with the Institute of Medicine on creation of an IOM Obesity Evaluation Toolkit that “mashes up” resources from the Community Tool Box to support implementation.

Work Group supports community health assessment and improvement efforts

Vicki Collie-Akers and the Work Group team recently supported comprehensive community health assessment and collaborative improvement planning efforts in Douglas County and Geary County, Kansas. Learn more about how these communities deepened their understanding of local health issues and came together to develop plans for collaborative action.

KU Work Group awarded CDC REACH grant

Hispanics are 1.7 times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes compared to non‐Hispanic/Whites (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014), and they are 2 to 4 times more likely to experience cardiovascular disease (Cusi & Ocampo, 2011).

The KU Work Group in partnership with the Latino Health for All Coalition has been awarded a CDC Reach Grant for a project titled, “Health for All: Healthy Places that Promote Health Equity among Latinos in Kansas City, KS.” This project seeks to promote healthy behaviors and reduce risk for disparities in chronic disease by creating or strengthening community spaces and places for Latinos to access healthy foods, opportunities for physical activity, and high-quality and culturally-appropriate services for chronic disease management. Project strategies include increasing access to healthy foods at restaurants, corner stores, concession stands and vending machines, as well as community design improvements that encourage walking, biking or running for physical activity. This project builds on a more than five-year history of collaborative work to assure conditions in which Latinos can be healthy in Wyandotte County. More…

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grants $250,000 for KU's Community Tool Box

Talk about timely. In 1995, when the Internet’s popularity was soaring, the University of Kansas Work Group for Community Health and Development launched the Community Tool Box website — a free resource to help communities at home and abroad improve health and development. 

Since then, the Community Tool Box has burgeoned. The website now includes 7,000 pages of resource materials in English and in Spanish. In addition, the process of translating and culturally adapting the pages into Arabic is about half completed, and efforts are underway to translate all of the website into Portuguese, French, Chinese and Russian. More...

Research team helps WHO make sense of Ebola response efforts

In the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, researchers from the KU Work Group partnered with colleagues in the World Health Organization (WHO) African Regional Office to develop case studies to understand what has worked in those areas of Liberia where the spread of the Ebola virus disease waned.

“We will use the case studies to better understand what activities and interventions are associated with reductions in new cases of Ebola, because in a disaster environment, it is very difficult to make sense of what is going on, and to what effect,” said Stephen Fawcett, Kansas Health Foundation Distinguished Professor and the center's director. More...
Related: Lawrence Business Magazine article

Work Group researcher wins early-career award

Jomella Watson-Thompson, assistant professor in applied behavioral science and associate director for the KU Work Group for Community Health and Development, has been selected as the recipient of the 2014 Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty.

The Lynton Award, given annually by the New England Resource Center for Higher Education, recognizes one pre-tenure or early-career faculty member who connects teaching, research, and service to community engagement. More...

KU Work Group engaged in national study of childhood obesity prevention programs

The KU Work Group serves as a scientific partner in the National Study of Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs. Funded by several NIH Institutes, CDC, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this five-year study is examining what works in community-level efforts to prevent childhood obesity. More...

Learn more about the Tool Box.
RT @CToolBox : Article highlighting initiatives incorporating #SDH in public health gives a shout out to the Community Tool Box. https://t.c…

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