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The Public Health Effects of Food Deserts: Workshop Summary Appendix C Speaker and Moderator Biographies Guadalupe X. “Suchi” Ayala is an associate professor in the Division of Health Promotion in the Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University. She is co-principal investigator (co-PI) of the San Diego Prevention Research Center and a co-investigator on the Hispanic Community Health Study (Proyecto SOL). Dr. Ayala’s primary areas of research include: (1) examining sociocultural and environmental determinants of Latino health, specifically diet, physical activity, and risk of overweight and obesity; and (2) developing family- and community-based interventions to promote Latino health, including working with tiendas to promote healthy eating. She has received more than 10 grants as a PI, including funding from the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Cancer Society, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which have resulted in 41 manuscripts and 9 book chapters. Heidi Blanck is the team lead for Nutrition Research and Surveillance at the CDC in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. Dr. Blanck is an epidemiologist and oversees CDC’s monitoring of nutrition behavior and environmental and policy supports for fruits and vegetables and breastfeeding target areas. Her research interests include the effects of the environment on individual dietary behavior, measurement of the community and consumer food environment, and policies intended to improve access to healthy foods. She coordinates the State Food Environment Workgroup, a forum for states and researchers to share food
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The Public Health Effects of Food Deserts: Workshop Summary environment tools. She also serves on the planning committee for the upcoming Food Systems and Public Health Meeting and on the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) Policy Surveillance Workgroup. Her current projects include a population-based assessment of American’s perceptions of affordability, access, and availability of fruits and vegetables and assessment of state policies intended to improve the access and availability of fruits and vegetables. Steven Cummins is a geographer with training in epidemiology and public health. He is currently senior lecturer and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) fellow in the Department of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London, where he leads the Healthy Environments Research Programme. Dr. Cummins’ primary research interests are in the contextual and socioenvironmental determinants of health and the design and evaluation of community social and policy interventions to improve population health. He is currently a member of the UK Food Standards Agency Social Science Research Committee and the NIHR Public Health Research Programme Funding Board. In 2007, he was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize for his work on the socioenvironmental determinants of health. Bill Drake is a senior extension associate and director of executive education with the Food Industry Management Program (FIMP) at Cornell University. Mr. Drake developed and directs the National Association of Convenience Stores Leadership Executive Program and the National Grocers Association Executive Leadership Program. In addition, he teaches in the Food Executive Program, United Fresh Executive Leadership Program, and FIMP’s various international food executive programs. Prior to Cornell, Mr. Drake spent 20 years as an executive with SuperValu Inc., a large U.S. food retailer. Andy Fisher is co-founder and executive director of the Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC), a national association of 260 organizations working to create a just and sustainable food system. CFSC has spearheaded the development of a national food and farming movement centered on connecting farmers and consumers and improving access to healthy foods in low-income communities. Mr. Fisher is a leading expert in the field of food security and has coauthored numerous articles and studies on the topic. He has served on the board of the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture and the California Sustainable Agriculture Working Group. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in environmental policy and Latin American studies.
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The Public Health Effects of Food Deserts: Workshop Summary Mari Gallagher is president of the Mari Gallagher Research & Consulting Group and the newly formed National Center for Public Research. Ms. Gallagher authored Examining the Impact of Food Deserts on Public Health in Chicago, a breakthrough study that popularized the term “food desert” nationally and encouraged Congressman Bobby Rush to enter food desert language into the Farm Bill. She was the first to develop a block-by-block metric for food deserts and food balance linked with health measures and has since done similar work in Detroit; rural Michigan; Louisville, Kentucky; Harlem; Richmond, Virginia; and other areas. Frank Hu is professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. He also serves as director of the Boston Obesity and Nutrition Research Center Epidemiology and Genetics Core. His research is focused primarily on epidemiology and prevention of Type 2 diabetes and metabolic diseases through diet and lifestyle. He is also interested in gene-environment interactions in relation to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular complications. Terry Huang is director of the Obesity Research Strategic Core at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Huang plays a major role in developing new research directions and funding priorities in the area of pediatric obesity at the NICHHD and across the NIH. He is currently leading an agenda on global multilevel research in pediatric obesity and has special interest in society-biology interactions in obesity and chronic disease, multilevel prevention strategies, international health, pediatric metabolic syndrome, fetal and childhood antecedents of obesity and metabolic abnormalities, and the translation of science to policy in the prevention of obesity and chronic disease. Dr. Huang is a fellow of the Obesity Society (TOS) and councilor on the Pediatric Obesity Section of TOS. In addition, he serves on the Senior Leadership Group of the NIH Obesity Research Task Force and represents the NICHHD nationally and internationally on panels related to pediatric obesity. Dr. Huang received his Ph.D. in preventive medicine and M.P.H. in epidemiology and biostatistics from the University of Southern California. Prior to joining the NIH, he served on the faculty of the University of Kansas Medical Center and Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Wendy Johnson-Askew is public health nutrition and health policy adviser for the Division of Nutrition Research Coordination within the National Institutes of Health. Prior to coming to NIH, Dr. Johnson-Askew held a number of clinical nutrition management positions and nutrition faculty
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The Public Health Effects of Food Deserts: Workshop Summary positions. Dr. Johnson-Askew received her Ph.D. and M.P.H. degrees from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her areas of research interest include community nutrition intervention strategies, community efforts to reduce or eliminate health disparities, effective nutrition communication strategies, and community-based anti-hunger efforts. Dr. Johnson-Askew has been actively involved in follow-up actions to the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity, and she speaks to a wide variety of audiences on the topic. Ephraim Leibtag is a senior economist with USDA’s Economic Research Service. He researches retail food prices and the dynamics of retail food markets. His research interests include tracking, forecasting, and analyzing trends in retail food markets, and his work is used in presentations to government officials, policy analysts, the research community, and other public audiences. Dr. Leibtag has conducted television, radio, and newspaper interviews on retail food price trends. He has M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of Maryland. Richard Mattes is professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University, adjunct associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and affiliated scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center. His research focuses on the areas of hunger and satiety, regulation of food intake in humans, food preferences, human cephalic phase responses, and taste and smell. At Purdue University, Dr. Mattes is the director of the Ingestive Behavior Research Center; director of the Analytical Core Laboratory for the Botanical Center for Age-Related Diseases, and chair of the Human Subjects Review Committee. Dr. Mattes earned an undergraduate degree in biology and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Michigan as well as a doctorate degree in human nutrition from Cornell University. He conducted postdoctoral studies at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Monell Chemical Senses Center. Cathy Nonas is director of Physical Activity and Nutrition Programs for the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. A clinical dietitian by training, she has a long history in working with and writing about patients with obesity and Type 2 diabetes, both at the federally funded Obesity Research Center and as assistant clinical professor at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. Concerned that good treatment techniques are not sustainable within an environment that promotes obesity, for the last two years she has been working on policy changes to increase access to healthy foods in underserved neighborhoods and create opportunities for physical activity for young children. Changes in daycare regulations,
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The Public Health Effects of Food Deserts: Workshop Summary permitting of 1,000 fresh fruit and vegetable vendors for city streets, and calorie posting in chain restaurants are some of the policies she has been working on. Lisa Powell is senior research scientist in the Institute for Health Research and Policy and research associate professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Powell has extensive experience as an applied microeconomist in the empirical analysis of the effects of public policy on a series of behavioral outcomes. As director of the ImpacTeen Youth Obesity Research Team funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and as principal investigator on a Nutritional Research Initiative (NRI) USDA-funded project, much of her current research is on assessing the importance of economic and environmental factors (such as food prices and access to food stores, eating places, and parks, gyms, and other facilities for physical activity) on food consumption and physical activity behaviors and as determinants of body mass index (BMI) and the prevalence of obesity. Dr. Powell’s research also examines school-level food and fitness policies and the association of school meal participation and children’s weight status. In other health-related work, Dr. Powell has examined the importance of peer and parental influences on teen smoking, while other studies have highlighted the role of prices and public policies with regard to alcohol use among college students and educational and violence-related outcomes. Jill Reedy is a program director at the National Cancer Institute in the Risk Factor Monitoring and Methods Branch in the Applied Research Program. She is a program lead for the Diet and Physical Activity Program of NIH’s Genes, Environment, and Health Initiative—this program aims to develop innovative technologies to measure diet and physical activity in large-scale population studies. Dr. Reedy is a nutritionist whose research focuses on dietary patterning, dietary assessment, dietary monitoring, and the food environment. She is currently working on a comparison of different methodological approaches in dietary pattern analysis (including factor analysis, cluster analysis, and index analysis) and an ongoing compilation of measures of the food environment (available at https://riskfactor.cancer.gov/mfe). August Schumacher, Jr., is adviser to SJH and Company and consultant with the Kellogg Foundation. He is the former under secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at USDA. He was responsible for the domestic commodities, insurance, and farm credit operations of USDA. In addition, he was in charge of USDA’s international trade and development programs. Prior to his appointment in August 1997, he was the
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The Public Health Effects of Food Deserts: Workshop Summary administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service for three years. Before coming to USDA, Mr. Schumacher served as commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Food and Agriculture and as a senior agricultural project officer at the World Bank. From a farm family in Lexington, Massachusetts, Mr. Schumacher attended Harvard College and the London School of Economics, and was a research associate in agribusiness at the Harvard Business School. Andrew W. Smiley has more than 15 years’ experience working in sustainable agriculture and food systems, including on-farm production, agricultural marketing, micro-enterprise development, food journalism, farmer training and technical assistance, and even food service management. Mr. Smiley received his B.A. in political science from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He is the former executive director of Baton Rouge Economic and Agricultural Development Alliance, Inc. (BREADA). Andrew is an active supporter and volunteer of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (Southern SAWG) and Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (TOFGA), and has applied his passion for organic gardening, sustainable food systems, small-scale farming, and healthy cooking to his work with Sustainable Food Center since 2005. Andrew currently works with Sustainable Food Center in Austin, Texas, as farm projects director, which includes management of several farm marketing and food systems education initiatives, including Sprouting Healthy Kids—SFC’s farm-to-school pilot project. Yan Song is assistant professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Song’s research areas include urban spatial structure, location choice of households and residents, smart growth and urban growth management, comparative evaluations of urban development, and urban system modeling. Dr. Song has published extensively in journals such as the Journal of Urban Economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics, Journal of American Planning Association, Urban Studies, and Journal of Regional Science. Her articles have regularly been among the top-downloaded articles from these journals. John Weidman works closely with the executive director, the founder, and the senior staff of the Food Trust to oversee all programs and provide strong leadership for the organization. He develops and advances public policies at the local, state, and federal levels; and educates local, state, and federal policy makers about the factors impacting the nutrition of lower-income people. John oversees a comprehensive communications strategy, and he provided executive leadership in the successful startup of the Headhouse Farmers’ Market, Philadelphia’s largest open-air
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The Public Health Effects of Food Deserts: Workshop Summary farmers market. John has 15 years of experience in public policy advocacy and nonprofit communications. He holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania. Neil Wrigley is professor of geography, University of Southampton, UK, and editor of the Journal of Economic Geography (Oxford University Press). He is an economic geographer whose research over the past 15 years has focused on issues of retailing and consumption but who is also widely known for his earlier contributions to quantitative social science. During 1999-2003, together with colleagues in public health, he conducted and published pioneering research on issues of food poverty, diet-related health inequalities, and food retail access in underserved low-income neighborhoods of British cities. In particular, his Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Leeds food deserts study provided one of the first attempts to assess the consequences of the amelioration of access problems in an unsupportive local food environment following the opening of one of the UK’s initial urban regeneration-focused supermarkets. Dr. Wrigley is academician of the Academy of Social Sciences; served for eight years as a member of the Research Resources & Methods Committee of the UK Economic & Social Research Council; has held Leverhulme, ESRC, and Erskine fellowships; and was senior research fellow, St. Peter’s College, Oxford. Among several prizes he has received, he was most recently awarded the Royal Geographical Society’s Murchison Award 2008 for his publications on the geographies of retailing and consumption.
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