Amanda Philyaw-Perez, DrPH

Community Food System Development Change Framework

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

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

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

Hypertension 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. For more information visit:


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


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.