During Fall 2016, I took a class in Brown University's School of Public Health called "Place Matters: Exploring Community-Level Contexts on Health Behaviors, Outcomes, and Disparities." The course explored how features of community environments and the associations with health behaviors, such as physical activity, diet, use of preventive care, alcohol and drug use, and sexual behaviors relate to health outcomes such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and mental health.
The majority of coursework was structured around a "Public Health in Practice" project, a chance to apply the knowledge of the course to assessment projects for the Mayor's Healthy Communities Office. Three public health students and I evaluated Sackett Street and Amos Earley Parks, two adjacent neighborhood parks in the Elmwood neighborhood of Providence. We assessed the walkability of the surrounding neighborhood and the health promoting features of the parks themselves, with special attention to how the parks support visitors with a wide range physical of physical abilities.
View my teams's summary of findings and recommendations in a policy brief below.