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Community and Behavioral Health - Colorado School of Public Health

Community and Behavioral Health - Colorado School of Public Health
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Nicholas J. Cutforth, PhD

Adjunct Professor


Research Interests:
  • Community-Based Research
  • University-Community Collaboration
  • School and Community Physical Activity Environments
  • 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, Co-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.

  • University of Denver Public Good Fund/CCTSI: The San Luis Valley Physical Education Collaborative (2008-present, Co-Investigator): The San Luis Valley Physical Education Collaborative (SLVPEC) was formed is a partnership of PE teachers and professors, school and district administrators, academics, and community health practitioners.  The collaborative and key stakeholders helped to create an action plan and roadmap to improve physical education programs in K-12 schools in the San Luis Valley.  Currently funding is being sought to support the San Luis Valley Physical Education Academy – a 3-year intervention characterized by the implementation of evidence-based research and professional development practices to improve physical education programs in K-12 schools in the San Luis Valley. 

  • Education:
  • University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Education, PhD, Curriculum, Instruction and Evaluation, 1994.
  • University of Oregon, MS, Physical Education, 1983.
  • College of St. Paul and St. Mary, Cheltenham, England, B.Ed, Physical Education and Geography, 1981.
  • University of Colorado Denver

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