Healthy Food Access Lab

Focus on Healthy Food Access (2014-2015)

The Healthy Food Access Lab, planned to begin in Fall 2014 and continue through Spring 2015, will investigate community-based and food systems approaches to increasing access to healthy food and reducing obesity, overweight, food insecurity, and hunger. 

Faculty, students, and community practitioners will work together to inquire and learn, conduct research, and create positive social impact in local communities in Providence and Rhode Island. This Lab aims to reduce food insecurity and improve the nutritional health and well-being of individuals in those communities of concern through behavior changes, increased healthy food access enabled by improved socio-environmental conditions, and improved program delivery or policy structures.

During the first six weeks of the course, we will work to identify four work groups with distinct areas of interest and research questions. Lab participants will concentrate within a particular work group and conduct research and fieldwork relating to this particular focus related to healthy food access. 

This Lab will be co-chaired by Kim Gans, Professor, School of Public Health and Director, Institute for Community Health Promotion; and Courtney Bourns, Senior Program Officer, the Henry P. Kendall Foundation. 


Mary Flynn
-- Professor of Medicine (Clinical)
Kim Gans
 -- Professor, School of Public Health and Director, Institute for Community Health Promotion
Allen Hance -- Director, TRI-Lab and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies 
Dawn King -- Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies 

Community Partners
Courtney Bourns -- Senior Program Officer, the Henry P. Kendall Foundation
Ellen Cynar--Program Manager, Healthy Communities Program, City of Providence
Peter Simon--Medical Director, Rhode Island Department of Health
Eliza Lawson--Program Manager, Physical Nutrition Program at the Rhode Island Department of Heath 
Andrew Schiff--Chief Executive Officer, Rhode Island Community Food Bank
Julius Kolawola--President, African Alliance of Rhode Island
Sheila Brush--Director of Programs, Grow Smart Rhode Island, Member, Rhode Island Food Policy Council
Jesse Rye--Co-executive Director, Food System Enterprise at Farm Fresh Rhode Island
Akilah Dulin Keita--Assistant Professor, School of Public Health at Brown University, affiliate of the Institute for Community Health Promotion
Jessica David--Vice President of Strategy and Community Investments, Rhode Island Foundation
Robert Yaffe--Owner, The Grange Restaurant
Ludovica Principato--PhD Candidate, Department of Management, Sapienza University of Rome 

Cindy Abarca '16, Public Health
Jenna Anders '16, Environmental Studies and Economics
Blain Anderson '16, Economics and Biology
Lauren Behgam '15, Environmental Studies
Alexis Berry '17,  Public Health and Africana Studies
Benjamin Chesler '15, Economics and Social Innovation
Sophie Duncan '16, Classics 
Jana Foxe '16,  Political Science
Marina Hernandez '15, Public Policy
Christina Hom '15, Master's in Public Health
Erin Kelley '15, Environmental Studies
Taylor Lanzet '15, Environmental Studies
Kearney McDonnell '17, Undeclared
Kelly McGlynn '15, Environmental Studies
Sophie McKibben '16, Public Health
Meagan Miller '15, Environmental Studies
Carlie Peters '16, Environmental Studies
Sarah Peters '16, Public Health
Emma Phillips '17, Undeclared
Mya Roverson '16, Public Health
Renata Robles '15, Environmentral Studies and Urban Studies
Ivy Sokol '15, Computer Science 
Jamille Taylor '15, Doctorate of Medicine
Taylor Viggiano '17, Undeclared
Anika Wasserman '15, Anthropology
Jeremy Wortzel '16, Biology