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UAlbany Public Health Professor Honored Nationally as Community Leader

Janine Jurkowski, center, associate professor in the School of Public Health, and co-principal investigator Kirsten Davison speak with a community member at a Communities for Healthy Living (CHL) event this spring in downtown Albany. CHL was a lead program which earned UAlbany a place on the 2012 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 27, 2012) -- Janine Jurkowski, associate professor of Health Policy, Management & Behavior in the University at Albany’s School of Public Health, has received the Tom Bruce Award for her community-based public health efforts on behalf of the national Community-Based Health Caucus (CBPH). Jurkowski was honored on Oct. 30 in San Francisco at the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) annual meeting.

The award, established in 2006 to honor Dr. Bruce’s legacy as physician, educator, and philanthropist, recognized Jurkowski’s leadership in community-based public health and her “significant contributions to the CBPH Caucus and the CBPH Movement.” These included her 2011 chairmanship of the organization’s fund-development effort and her 2010 CBPH chairmanship.

Locally, Jurkowski is known for her work on Communities for Healthy Living (CHL), a Community-Based, Participatory Research intervention research project whose goal is to reduce obesity and promote healthy lifestyles in Head Start children. CHL engages children’s parents as experts and decision-makers throughout the research process. The work of CHL was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

“Janine’s dedication to the Communities for Healthy Living project and to CEO is unmatched,” said Karen Gordon, executive director of the Commission on Economic Opportunity (CEO). “The project’s approach to addressing childhood obesity involves the parents at the heart of every decision. This approach is truly unique to any project we have been a part of, and has shown real results for reducing the incidences of obesity among our Head Start Children.

“On behalf of CEO, we commend Janine for her inspired work on behalf of the community in the public health arena.”

The CHL project was the lead program which earned UAlbany a place on the 2012 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The recognition was the result of efforts, like CHL, that address community issues and involve extensive student engagement. Jurkowski received the University’s 2012 Community Engagement Award.

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