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Community and Behavioral Health - Colorado School of Public Health


Elaine Belansky, PhD 

Assistant Professor 

Research Interests:
  • Adolescent Health
  • Childhood Obesity Prevention
  • Physical Education
  • Youth Development/Youth Engagement
  • School-based Research
  • Community-based Participatory Research
  • Courses Taught:
  • CBHS 6613: Program Planning and Implementation
  • Current Research Projects:
  • Colorado Health Foundation: Healthy Eaters, Lifelong Movers (HELM) (2010-2013): The HELM Project partners with 57 K-12 underserved, rural, low-income Colorado schools to implement evidence-based, school-level environment and policy changes to increase student access to healthy foods, physical activity opportunities, and quality physical education. Two evidence-based processes are being implemented with the goal of creating a cycle of lifelong movers and healthy eaters. Twenty-four elementary schools (14 in the San Luis Valley and 10 in Eastern Colorado) will participate in the AIM strategic planning process that results in schools implementing environment and policy changes that increase opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating. All 47 K-12 schools in the San Luis Valley will participate in the San Luis Valley Physical Education Academy, which provides professional development, SPARK equipment and curriculum materials; communities of practice; and site coordinator support to improve the quality of PE and help students establish a habit of lifelong physical activity.

  • CDC: Working Together: Youth and Adults Building Healthy School Environments & Policies (2009-2014, Principal Investigator): In the “Working Together” project, middle school students and staff will participate in a planning process to create healthier environments for middle school students. These program planners will also build important leadership and program planning skills that can ultimately benefit the broader community. Planning processes are based on Earth Force’s Community Action and Problem Solving and the Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Centers’ Adapted Intervention Mapping.
  • NIH: A community-based participatory research approach to collecting health and built environment data (10/09-9/11, Principal Investigator): The purpose of this administrative supplement to the Community Engagement Core of the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute is to conduct two community health surveys: one in the San Luis Valley and one in the Denver faith-based African American community. We expect to achieve a more accurate picture of the health status of residents because community partners will play a key role in data collection, multiple methods will be used to collect data, sample sizes will be larger than BRFSS leading to more accurate point estimates, and a special emphasis will be placed on reaching residents who typically do not participate in land line surveys. The end result will be two community health profiles that can be used for setting research and intervention priorities as well as gauging health status change over time. In addition, a methodology for conducting community health surveillance using a CBPR approach will be produced and disseminated to interested stakeholders.
  • Education:
  • George Washington University, BA, Psychology, 1989
  • University of Colorado Boulder, MA, Social Psychology, 1993
  • University of Colorado Department of Psychology, PhD, 1994
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