Available Tools

Take Control: A Lay Health Advisor, Stepped Care Program To Help Persons with High Blood Pressure

The Take Control Program is designed to address the high rate of uncontrolled hypertension and overcome many of these barriers by providing individualized education, referrals, and problem-solving to help persons with high blood pressure follow their doctor’s recommendations.

Community Food Center Planning Guide

Emily English, Dr.P.H., M.P.S., assistant professor and COPH alumni, developed a Community Food Center Planning Guide. The guide is intended for communities interested in deveEnglish Guideloping a neighborhood hub for healthy food access. A “community food center” is a neighborhood-based space designed to increase access to healthy foods; connect providers and consumers to knowledge, resources, and skills; grow and support emerging food-based community and economic development; and engage both providers and consumers in the co-creation of their food and food supply chain. The Guide shares strategies for addressing four food access categories: 1) eat, 2) educate, 3) create, and 4) engage. It is designed to be used with a team of partners to start a conversation, stimulate thoughts, and work though planning and engagement opportunities.

Grassroots Public Health Video Series

Have you ever wanted to know more about health issues that affect your community and the state of Arkansas? The Grassroots Public Health Video Series can help you do that. The series includes selected presentations made within the past 3 years at the Arkansas Department of Health. Click here to see a list of presentations in the series. (Each presentation is about an hour – about 40 minutes of presentation and then some questions and answers.) Check this site often to see what has been added.

Obtaining Access to Data at the Arkansas Department of Health

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) encourages the use of data available at the ADH by researchers in academic institutions.  To make data access easier, the ADH has developed an online request process and easy access to information about the contents of each dataset, program specialists who may be helpful, and the process of requesting data.

In brief, the steps to access data are:

1. Prepare study protocol Requestors should work with program staff to confirm availability and reliability of variables needed for the project
2. Obtain IRB approval Institutional IRB approval or waiver must be obtained prior to completing the data request form
3. Complete data request form The online data request form provides the agency with background, purpose, variables requested, and other information for consideration
4. Science Advisory Committee (SAC) Review The SAC meets every 2nd and 4th Friday at 2pm to review data requests. The SAC may approve, ask for modifications, or deny data requests
5. Data Use Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding Fulfillment of data requests are initiated after the Data Use Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding are signed by agency staff and requestors


Community Team-Based Care for Hypertension Management: A Public-Private Partnership in Rural Arkansas

BPHypertension is a major public health problem in Arkansas. Researchers from UAMS and the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) published a study using team-based care (TBC) in hypertension management. TBC, delivered by health care professionals such as a nurse, dietician, social worker, or community health worker rather than a physician alone, has been shown to improve blood pressure control. In the fall of 2014, ADH partnered with primary care physicians in two rural underserved counties to provide community TBC through ADH’s Local Health Units (LHUs) on a referral basis. A six-month review of the data showed that of the 218 hypertensive patients who were referred, 103 (49%) patients followed up at LHUs, 87 (84.5%) were adherent to a care plan. The median number of return visits for hypertension care management was three with a range of 2-8 visits per patient. Follow-up of the 58 hypertensive patients with two or more visits showed that 26 (44.8%) had clinically significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressures between the first and most recent visit. Community TBC between rural primary care physicians and the LHUs results in better management of hypertension among rural Arkansans. To read the full study, go to: http://Hypertension is a major public health problem in Arkansas.

School Cafeteria Nutrition Assessment Training

SCNAThe School Cafeteria Nutrition Assessment (SCNA) measures are used to assess food offerings in school cafeterias. This tool allows you to gather information on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, main dishes, side dishes, chips, desserts, and beverage offerings. Additionally, it allows for assessment of food offerings as part of the National School Lunch Program and those foods offered a la carte. These measures provide versatility in assessing cafeterias serving pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade students. It is intended for use among multiple stakeholders including those interested in public health research, policy advocacy and development, within schools and districts, and to be used by individuals in communities interested in seeing changes in school cafeterias.

The training consists of four modules: Menu Assessment, Observation Assessment, Menu Scoring, and Observation Scoring.


Do’s and Don’ts of Community Engagement Training

Do's & Don'ts

Participants learning about community engagement at a Do’s & Don’ts Training

The purpose of the Do’s and Don’ts Community Engagement training is to increase researchers’ knowledge of the “do’s and don’ts” of community engagement research. The training covers three main areas: entering the community, the realities and constraints of community-based organizations, and dissemination. Each section of the training gives researchers the tools they need to effectively work with communities. Participants obtain an understanding of the benefits and challenges that may arise during all stages of the research process. Upon completion of the training, participants can critically analyze the application of the concerns and challenges within the three research domains. This training was developed by the Arkansas Prevention Research Center Community Advisory Board with support from the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health and the UAMS Translational Research Institute.

For more information, contact Anna Huff-Davis at huffannam@uams.edu.


PHACS: A Data Source You Should be Using

PHACS, or Public Health in Arkansas’ Communities Search, is a one stop shop for community health data broken down by county in Arkansas. PHACS

The web-based repository of maps and reports allows community members to visualize social-economic and behavioral factors for health, access to health care, and outcomes focusing on chronic diseases prevalent in Arkansas. It focuses on public health indicators by county and other local regions that can be used for program planning and finding health care resources.

Since PHACS first went live in 2010, it has been used by hundreds of people across Arkansas to find county level public health data. PHACS is designed for community groups, college and high school students, researchers, and lay community. The tool gives maps for over 100 health indicators, including demographics, social or economic factors, access to care, preventive behavior, and health outcomes. It also provides health profile reports for each county in Arkansas.

The system includes over 3,000 health care facilities across the state. The goal is not only to display health related conditions geographically to identify disparities, but also to relate the same information for access to health care facilities provided in those areas. People within the communities can use this resource to find providers that offer free or sliding scale services, accept Medicare or Medicaid, or offer translators.

To begin searching in PHACS, click here.


UAMS Course for Community Research Partners Now Available (Replaces CITI Training)Bailey&Evans

A new UAMS human subjects training video is now available for community members working in partnership with UAMS faculty researchers. The online Arkansas Community Researcher Training (ArCRT) is a community-friendly course that was produced at UAMS with narration by eight research staff. It is an alternative to CITI training.

Human subjects training is required of community research partners by the UAMS IRB and federal research funding agencies.

Researchers can view the training via UAMS Blackboard. Sign in with your UAMS login and click on “My Communities.” In the search field, type “Arkansas Community Researcher Training.”

Community partners can access the training at uams.gosignmeup.com.

View illustrated instructions. 

For questions or assistance, contact Kim Givens, KGivens@uams.edu, 501-686-6879.

ArCRT is a collaborative UAMS effort involving the Translational Research Institute (TRI), Office of Research Compliance,  Office of Educational Development, and Communications and Marketing.

Community Food System Development Change FrameworkAmanda Philyaw-Perez, DrPH

Amanda Philyaw-Perez, DrPH, MPH, assistant professor at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension and COPH alumni, developed a Community Food System Development Change Framework. To access the framework and learn more, visit https://www.uaex.edu/business-communities/local-foods/Community%20Food%20System%20Development%20Change%20Framework.pdf.

The purpose of the tool is to open communities up to the range of possibilities with food system change opportunities. Due to the fact that communities often times only think of solutions like farmers markets or farm to school programs, Perez wanted to give more options for improving health and increasing access to healthy foods so she decided to develop this framework for her dissertation project. Not only does this tool help communities think of the entire food system in their community, but it gives them a menu of options for community food system change. Additionally, it gives them a process for determining what types of change fit best in their community.

For questions about how you can utilize this framework in your own community, contact Amanda at aperez@uaex.edu.