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.

New Leader Announced for the Work Group

Vincent Francisco has been selected to oversee the leadership team at the KU Work Group for Community Health and Development, one of 14 affiliated research centers of the University of Kansas Life Span Institute. He will also hold the Kansas Health Foundation Professorship in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He will assume both positions upon the retirement of Work Group founding director Stephen Fawcett on Aug. 14. More...

Research team helps WHO make sense of Ebola response efforts

In the midst of the chaos that is the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, researchers from the KU Work Group are partnering with their colleagues in the World Health Organization (WHO) African Regional Office. Together, they are developing case studies to help understand what has worked in those areas of Liberia where the spread of the Ebola virus disease has 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, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department Launch Academic Health Department

The University of Kansas Work Group on Community Health and Development and the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department have launched an Academic Health Department, the first in Kansas and one of only a few in the country.

The KU Work Group is a longstanding partner with the Health Department, most recently in facilitating the recent Comprehensive Community Health Assessment, but the Academic Health Department takes the collaboration a step further. “We hope to ultimately create a shared research agenda with the Health Department,” said Vicki Collie-Akers, assistant research professor, who leads the KU effort, “to merge our goals with theirs.” More…

Evaluation of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation's Together on Diabetes Initiative

The KU Work Group serves as the national evaluators for the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation's Together on Diabetes initiative, a $100 million, 5-year initiative which targets adults in the United States that are disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes. The KU Work Group developed a customized Online Documentation and Support System to provide the Foundation and its Together on Diabetes grantees with real-time information about how projects are progressing toward their goals and objectives. The Work Group supports grantees and leaders of the Together on Diabetes initiative to reflect on the progress being made, identify and consider changes occurring in the community, and determine what impact the changes may have and what can be adjusted and improved. Program evaluations, success stories, and lessons learned will be communicated through grantee reports, case study books, presentations and publications. 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.
KCUR story featuring Latino Health for All efforts to increase access to healthy food. “In these communities, it’s easier to get soda or candy or highly preserved foods than it is to get the healthy options,” says the Work Group's Vicki Collie-Akers. Read more about what's being done to improve access to #healthyfood in #KCK: http://kcur.org/post/kck-health-advocates-seek-counter-junk-food-marketing-strategies
KCK Health Advocates Seek To Counter Junk Food Marketing Strategies
For customers stepping inside Abarrotes Delicias, the noise, traffic and heat of the surrounding Kansas City, Kansas, neighborhood seem to disappear. The

RT @LHFA _Coalition: Check out Prof Collie-Akers on @kcur talking about #healthyfoods in tiendas in #KCK http://t.co/HajpQu4PGA @MayorHolla


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
Level 3 Green Office button - Center for Sustainability