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 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...
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 and Ghanaian university sign MOA for Work Group collaboration
On June, 6, 2014, KU signed a memorandum of understanding for cultural, educational and scientific cooperation with the University for Development Studies (UDS), Tamale Campus, Northern Region, Ghana.
Representing KU, Stephen Fawcett, Work Group and WHO Collaborating Centre director, said that the agreement reflects the growing interest in collaborating around the Community Tool Box, a comprehensive online resource for community members taking action to address community health and development goals. The UDS School of Medicine and Health Sciences has been partnering with colleagues at the KU Work Group for the last four years to adopt CTB modules for an African context, particularly for students who spend a semester working directly in African communities. Now the two universities plan on student and faculty exchange and training programs for study and research as well.
Fawcett was “enskinned” as the Development Chief (Naba Amalteng) for the Binduri District where the UDS is located in a ceremony witnessed by more than 1000 people. The Binduri District is a very impoverished area in northeast Ghana were 78 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day.
Dissemination conference held in Beirut
In May of 2014, the KU Work Group for Community Health and Development, the American University of Beirut, and the Arab Resource Collective hosted an Arabic Community Tool Box dissemination workshop in Beirut, Lebanon. This conference engaged participants from the Middle East and North Africa working to build capacity in the region, including community workers and organizers, researchers, and field workers from community-based, regional, and international organizations covering the fields of community development, human rights, child rights, public health, special needs, and youth development. Together, they planned for further cultural adaptation and dissemination of the Community Tool Box (CTB) in Arabic as a tool for enhancing participatory community development in the Middle East North Africa Region.
World Health Organization reconfirms KU Work Group as Collaborating Centre
The University of Kansas’ Work Group for Community Health and Development has been redesignated as an official World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Community Health and Development. Stephen Fawcett, Kansas Health Foundation Distinguished Professor and Director, and Jerry Schultz, Co-Director, will continue to direct the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Community Health and Development at KU.
“We are honored to continue in this extraordinary network of centers working to assure conditions for health and human development,” said Fawcett. “As a WHO Collaborating Centre, we have opportunities to learn and contribute with those who are working for health equity around the world.” 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...