Active Ottumwa Podcast Episode 9 Transcript

Active Ottumwa Podcast Episode 9

Hannah Shultz: Welcome to a Community on the Move: The Story of Active Ottumwa. Active Ottumwa is a community-based research project that encourages all adults to be more active. Ottumwa community members and the University of Iowa use the latest research to design this project. The research project for Active Ottumwa has concluded with the Active Ottumwa program continues under the leadership of HyVee of Ottumwa and with the positive support of community organizations. In this series, we’re learning from people involved in the project about what worked well, what they learned along the way, and the impact Active Ottumwa had on the community. Over the next 10 episodes, we will talk about many aspects of the Active Ottumwa project. To learn about the successes, challenges, lessons learned, pride, and humility that went into this project. My name is Hannah Schultz, and I am the host for this series, and I’m learning about this program along with you. I work at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, but I have not been affiliated with Active Ottumwa until we started planning this podcast series. Working on this series has been a joy. I’ve been impressed every step of the way by the passion, commitment, dedication, and persistence of all involved in this project. And I am very excited to share this with you. One of the many reasons I’ve been impressed by this project and I’m so excited to share it with you is the active participation and inclusion of people representing many different communities, organizations, and interests in Ottumwa. The focus of Active Ottumwa was on physical activity, which came out of a community survey highlighting that this was a need for the community. The project used community resources to promote and support active living and physical activity across the community.

Welcome to the second to last episode of Active Ottumwa: A Community on the Move. We have some new guests with us today. Dr. Natoshia Askelson is a researcher at the University of Iowa College of Public Health and has been involved in many aspects of the project, including the evaluation. Heidi Haines is also part of the College of Public Health team. Becky Bucklin is with us again, she was the project manager of Active Ottumwa and Sandy Berto is the field coordinator of Active Ottumwa in Ottumwa, we also have Becky Graeve with us. Becky is a dietitian at Hy-Vee in Ottumwa and is now the Active Ottumwa coordinator. I’m excited to have all these guests with us today as we talk about the evaluation component of this project. To get started, Natoshia is going to tell us a bit about why evaluation is important.

Natoshia Askelson: Evaluation is something that’s really dear to my heart, evaluation is really trying to figure out did something work. Did it do what we wanted to do? And we all are evaluators in our own lives as we you know; we make a cake. And did it come out the way we wanted, was it cooked in the center, or was it really doughy? I mean that in itself is evaluation. But so we take that to the next level, and we think about two different kinds of evaluation when we’re thinking about this kind of academic research evaluation. We think about process or implementation of evaluation, which is really did the program happen the way we thought it was going to? And then outcome evaluation, did it have the outcomes that we had expected and in Active Ottumwa we’d be thinking about, you know, did people become more physically active? Why is this important? I think because we want to know whether something worked, if you created it you want to know if it turned out right just from a human-interest kind of perspective. Also, to be good stewards of funding that we receive, whether it’s federal funding or from foundations, we would like to know that the money was well spent, you know, projects cost a lot of money and you want to know did we get kind of the bang we were expecting for our buck. Additionally, you know, as an academic, we like to know whether specific parts of an evaluation worked, or specific groups benefited more or less from an intervention. So those are some of the reasons that we think evaluation is important.

Hannah Shultz: At the beginning of this series, we talked about Community Based Participatory Research, sometimes called CBPR. Since that was several episodes ago, I asked for a quick refresher of what CBPR is.

Natoshia Askelson: So we call it CBPR just to be you know, confusing and add another acronym in there. And it’s really about working with, in conjunction with the community when you do any kind of intervention or research or evaluation. So the community is a partner in the process, and in many ways community driven and that community members get to decide what the intervention looks like, how its implemented, how its evaluated. And then what happens to those results. So it’s really about partnering with that community through the whole process.

Hannah Shultz: We’re talking about several different ways of evaluating the program and the community. Heidi was really involved in a community survey.

Heidi Haines: So the community survey is a great example of that Community Based Participatory Research and how the project originated from that right from the beginning. The first community survey, which we did in 2013, the Community Advisory Board in Ottumwa was really involved, they helped design that survey. And the reason for it was to kind of help us come up with a research project to do jointly with them in the community. This was before our renewal of our five-year grant for the Prevention Research Center, we’re funded by the CDC. So we asked about a variety of health-related behaviors in that survey, and it included physical activity levels. They helped us do a big media campaign and get the word out, so people would pick up their phone. We did it as a phone-based survey, random digit dialing, and which included you know, cell phones, it was all the adults within the city limits. And what we saw at the end of it was that Ottumwans were not meeting those recommended physical activity levels, in comparison to other Iowans. So kind of Active Ottumwa was born from that, and that was perfect for us as we looked at the project to repeat this at the end of Active Ottumwa. And kind of do the survey again in 2018 and we did the exact same questions. But we also asked a lot of awareness questions about Active Ottumwa, had people heard of it. And we were glad to see at the end that, yes, people were aware of Active Ottumwa, when they heard about Active Ottumwa they thought about increasing their own physical activity. And also, we did see a movement in a positive direction with physical activity levels. The CAB was also really instrumental in putting together a report and helping us present at community forums. And do you know interviews with the news. And we actually have those reports available on our website right now if anybody wanted to look at them. One of the other ways that we collected data was instead of, you know, the population, community wide survey was for a bigger group, we also followed a smaller group of people over time a cohort, and we followed them over two years. And we kind of looked at them right before the Active Ottumwa project started, a year in, and then two years in, and we asked those exact same questions that we asked in the community survey. But we also did waist circumference, weight, blood pressure, and height and we fitted them with an accelerometer, which is a really fancy Fitbit to kind of measure their physical activity levels. And they wore that for seven days, all the time, it was waterproof, they could sleep with it, and gave us the data. And then after seven days, they mailed it back and we had someone kind of call them and also ask them what their self-reported physical activity data was. All these appointments were in person, it was great that we had the office in Ottumwa, we hired local data collectors who were bilingual, the community survey was also done bilingual. And so we were able to look at that data over time and again, we saw that movement in the positive direction for our physical activity levels. So the cohort consisted of around 100 or so individuals followed over the entire course of the study.

Natoshia Askelson: We also collected data on the number of activities that were held, the number of Physical Activity Leaders that were trained and that were holding activities. And then the number of people that participated and the number of times individuals participated. So we knew some information about those people as well, their ages and things like that. So we could really understand were enough people participating in the activities, and were enough activities going on for us to have an effect. The team also collected data about how many people attended activities. I was curious what sorts of trends they saw.

Becky Bucklin: We did notice like just general trends, because a lot of it too there’s a lot of complicated factors involved in that. Not only during the winter is it like harder to find places to be physically active, but also people are really busy with holiday season. Like during the holiday season, not only were the participants busy, but also Physical Activity Leaders were. So the number of activities we could actually lead tended to decrease, which could have also decreased the participant rate, not only that the participants were busy. So but overall, if you like run a trend line through how many participants that we had, over the years during the two years of implementation that when we were collecting this information, we considered this two-year period the actual implementation period. We saw an overall increase in both the number of classes that were offered, as well as the number of participants that participated. And so for the Physical Activity Leaders, we did run an assessment on some of their social networks initially, but we really weren’t getting very much information from that. And it just took a lot of time and commitment from the Physical Activity Leader. So that initiative, as time went on, we didn’t see the benefit in continuing to distribute that survey to all of our Physical Activity Leaders. It was also one way we could see how connected our Physical Activity Leaders were, but we could also could maybe recruit more Physical Activity Leaders. But then as we were in the program, we realized that one of the best ways to recruit Physical Activity Leaders is when someone’s leading a program, the social network that they maybe reach through that program. People who are interested are likely to be like, “oh, I think I can do this too, like I have the efficacy to do this as well.” And so, that was one way that we kind of tracked some of the PALs with data, but throughout the months, we had this big spreadsheet that kind of looked like a timeline of each PAL’s activity. So we would have the month that they started on this timeline, and then we would follow the months that they were trained, but inactive as in they haven’t started their program yet. We tracked the month that they actually started their program. And then we would kind of highlight the months that they were active as in, they led an activity that was marketed on our calendar. We tracked all those months, and then say there was a month that they were going on a cruise, or they had a lot of biddy ballgames to go to and they were just too busy to lead an activity that month, they would become inactive. And so we’d follow the PALs in this way until we received like an end email or an end text from the PALs saying, “I just can’t be a part of this anymore, I’m happy to market the program, but I can’t actually be a Physical Activity Leader.” So that’s kind of when they were at that point, they had decided that they could no longer participate. And then there were some Physical Activity Leaders that over time, we realized we weren’t getting responses from them. And it was, it was just kind of an indicator that they weren’t interested anymore. So after I think seven different contacts to them, and then them not responding back to us, we would send out emails that were “if you don’t respond to us like we’re so happy that you’ve participated in this program but if you don’t respond, we’re going to consider you to no longer be a PAL and you won’t continue to be bothered by us,” is basically what these emails said. And then at that point, we would end what we considered like their follow up.

Heidi Haines: For CBPR One of the key components is when you work with an advisory board to make sure that you’re evaluating and getting feedback from them in an open dialogue. And one of the ways we did that is we did a yearly survey, which was anonymous asking them anything from are the meetings too long? Do we have them too often? Should we have the more often? Should we have food? How do you think the Active Ottumwa project is going? Are you feeling that you’re heard at the meetings? And so then we would have a yearly retreat with them, and we would present these results and kind of talk about them. We also had bylaws that they helped to establish for how we would run the meeting, how we would do joint publications and presentations and talk about all the data with them first. We had monthly meetings, more if they were needed. We had subcommittees on some of the groups, like we had a subcommittee that designed the community survey questions with us and worked on things. And so they would also plan the agenda. We had a community co-chair, in addition to someone from the Prevention Research Center, so it was really a joint process all along that we worked with them.

Hannah Shultz: In the beginning of this conversation, Natoshia talked about the evaluation that goes into baking a cake. If it doesn’t go well, you adjust the recipe or the method a bit the next time you bake a cake. So I asked the team how the information they gathered throughout the program affected the implementation as they went.

Becky Bucklin: I think that actually a lot of the process information, or the information we collected specifically about the number of Physical Activity Leaders that were active, the number of participants who were attending activities, all that really did change how we were focusing our efforts. So, if we noticed that we had a large drop in Physical Activity Leaders, we needed to one, figure out what was happening with our Physical Activity Leaders and two, recruit more Physical Activity Leaders to lead activities. And so in that way, almost on a monthly basis, we were looking at the information we were collecting and seeing what was happening. Same way if we saw big drops in participants of the activities that were being led, we would kind of if we saw big drops or big increases, we would look into that and kind of ask around not more informally, just ask around “what’s happening, what’s going on, why do we see these sudden changes?” And some of that Sandy could probably talk a little bit more to. But another thing is it helped us determine which programs we might need to add more options for. So like the water walking and more, was a very successful program that Mary Lou started. I know we talked to her in a previous podcast, but that whole program, I didn’t know if that would work, but it definitely did. And so we were following those numbers very closely to see how many people were coming or not coming to see like, what size of pool did we need? Was the pool that we had big enough to, to have all the people? Did we have enough water weights available that participants needed in order to participate in that class? Same way with things like the yoga class, or the yoga classes if we needed more mats for people to be able to participate in that class. Did we need a bigger space? Tai Chi was another example of that, Tai Chi ended up growing out of its space. And some of that is just information from the Physical Activity Leader can say, “hey, I need a bigger space.” But if the Physical Activity Leader isn’t comfortable asking for more, we also were paying attention kind of on the back end of what are the needs that the community has as we continue to grow the program? But, when the CAB would come together we would have a list of things that we needed to talk to them about. And the CAB was saying that we needed a lot more information, we needed a really big push towards the beginning of the project to get people to know that the project was happening. So we actually hired a marketing and media company that is based in Iowa to do a bigger push where we had radio ads that were created. We had commercial spots on local TV, we had our Facebook redone to make it a little bit more accessible for residents. Also, through a lot of this more process type evaluation that we were doing, we heard from participants and PALs that the Facebook was a really great way to reach residents in Ottumwa. So if we look beyond what the PALs and the participants were, what we were doing to collect information on that, we were also collecting information on how to best get information out into the community through whatever channels were available.

Heidi Haines: I do think it was kind of an unintended consequence, but that’s sometimes the wonderful thing with evaluation was the global physical activity questionnaire, or G-PAQ as we call it, resulted in a web application that can be used by other researchers. So you know, we had said that we talked about those physical activity questions, that’s the questionnaire we use, it’s used all over the world to measure physical activity levels. And we, at the community survey we did a self-report of that and ask people that. But when we did the cohort we did a self-report, and we had the Fitbit or the fancy accelerometer Fitbit that they wore, and so we could kind of look at that. And our biostatistician, who was brilliant, could actually predict how much people tend to overestimate. Sometimes in physical activity is usually the way that it goes, and you can actually predict that statistically. And so he actually designed a web app for people who are doing research that maybe can’t afford to put an accelerometer on everybody that’s taking part in it. And if you’re doing a larger population study, and there’s some people that can’t wear them, too, we have people wear, for instance, sometimes on the waist if they couldn’t do it, the job restrictions. So it’s a really useful tool, and we have that available on our website.

Becky Bucklin: So we don’t actually evaluate participants other than more through numbers. We didn’t actually collect any information on participants, but we did later in order to one, we were thinking about sustainability of the program. And what would participants, how could this program continue to be held and in what way would participants want that to be held? We did do a survey with our participants over Qualtrics, which is an online survey function, where they answered a few questions for us about what would they be willing to pay for an Active Ottumwa class? Basically, what did they want the program to look like? So I think that that was a pretty strong evaluation piece that we did. And then some other pieces that we did that were a little bit more of that environmental piece, so that we can understand the physical activity environments of Ottumwa. We did the RALA, or the Rural Active Living Assessment, and through this assessment, it basically looks at what physical activity resources are available in the community. What policies help to promote physical activity? So if there’s construction happening, is there a city ordinance that says a sidewalk needs to be put in for new construction? Things like that, are there policies in place that support physical activity? And then the third is a Street Segment Assessment, where basically you go through and I went through with a community partner, and we just looked at the segments. And I know we talked about this in a different episode, but we just look at the different segments and see how walkable they are. And we did that at the very beginning of the program, really to kind of understand what physical activity resources exist, and what are the kind of the quality of those resources that would be available to community residents. Additionally, on top of that, to kind of see how much residents are using. So one of the big pieces, I know we talked about with Garrett, was that there’s a lot of opportunity in Ottumwa to be physically active in the amount of resources that are available, especially in the number of parks, and how big those parks are. But one of the things we really wanted to do was to engage the community, to feel more that they’re their parks, that they can use those parks and trails, and that they have the efficacy to feel that there, they can start their journey of being more physically active. And so we did this SOPARC evaluation, which is the system for observing play and recreation in communities. And basically, it’s just seeing counting, we picked more high traffic areas of the trail, as well as the larger parks that also the community identified as more used parks. And we just kind of observed how many people were in those parks, if the people in the parks were being sedentary, if they are walking, or if they were doing vigorous physical activity, what their gender was, and generally what their age was. So it was more observational, we didn’t go up and ask for their age, but we just kind of would categorize if they were a child, an adult, or an older adult. And sometimes again, those lines can be a little unclear. But basically, it helped us get a sense of how much people were using these parks. And so I think there was a lot of different evaluation pieces that came into Active Ottumwa, which I think created a much bigger project, or a much bigger view and scope of the project and the impact that the project had on the community overall.

Hannah Shultz: If like me, you’re a bit overwhelmed at the amount of data that was collected, and the number of ways the team evaluated Active Ottumwa, stay with us. The data was used to shape the program, share successes with the community, report to the funder, and more.

Natoshia Askelson: I think one of the beauties of having all these different ways to collect data is we’re able to do what we call triangulation, which is really about making a really complete rich picture of what went on. When you just use one data source or just get information from one group of people, you only get one side of the story. But by being able to get information from the CAB and they saw how the development worked, from the pals, the Physical Activity Leaders, who were actually on the ground doing it, understood the challenges and successes. When you’re monitoring participation, when you’re getting information from the community at large, and then getting information from a smaller group of people, you really get this really rich picture of what happened. And we’re much more confident that the positive results we saw are related to us actually doing this intervention. As opposed to if we had just measured one thing, we wouldn’t be as confident in knowing that the program is implemented as we intended. We wouldn’t be as confident in knowing that people participated, we wouldn’t be as confident in knowing that the measurements we used worked. So this is a really unique opportunity that doesn’t happen very often in public health because you don’t have the time, or the resources, the funding, or the community support to be able to really dive deeply and looking at all these aspects of evaluation and combine this data into like a really nice rich data set. That we are still working to get out to people and show people what we’ve been doing and present at conferences and journals and the community and all those things.

Heidi Haines: You know describing so fully what happened at so many levels with the highs and the lows, you can really get at what mattered. So when we take it and disseminate it elsewhere, what next to other communities, we’re really able to really get a clear cut answer of what should be in this program going forward. And what worked and what didn’t.

Becky Bucklin: We also, like I was talking about before really use it to guide the program throughout. So, I think a really great example of this was actually the Latinas program, we really wanted to reach the whole community. And the Ottumwa community does have a fairly large Latinx population. And so with that, we realized through word of mouth from the PALs, that we really weren’t actually reaching our Spanish speaking populations that we said we were going to reach. And so what can we do about it? Well, we can put more effort and energy into there through evaluation, we kind of found this out. And then we ended up doing a little bit more of a push, where we reached out to one of our stakeholders in the community, who had a wide reach within the Spanish speaking population. And she helped us recruit specific Physical Activity Leaders that she knew personally that she trusted, and that she had already taken the PAL training herself. And so she kind of knew what would be needed from a Physical Activity Leader as well, and so she handpicked some people for us to train. For over a year, we ended up leading specific Spanish speaking classes, and there was a calendar that was in Spanish, that our English classes were also promoted on. Our English-speaking classes were also promoted on, but also our Spanish speaking classes were added, and it said, in Español. And we were able to actually reach out to this population that we said we were going to reach out to, and if we weren’t kind of following along throughout and doing this a little bit more complex evaluation, I don’t know if we would have seen that and been able to make that change.

Hannah Shultz: In many episodes of this series, I’ve asked our guests how they heard about Active Ottumwa, or how they decided to get involved. Today, I’m flipping that question and asking our guests how the evaluation influenced the way the program was promoted.

Sandy Berto: The whole program, specifically the evaluation aspect, was really vital communication and listening. Sometimes we would take one step forward and have to take a half step back and two steps forward. One thing that I can think of that changed when I first started with the program, we were distributing the calendars out into the community, like the local Hy-Vee’s, the grocery stores, Walmart, any place that had a bulletin board. And we found out that that was pretty staff involved time, and perhaps we weren’t reaching as many people. I think it then evolved into where I was able to attend several community meetings, where that reach also expanded, which means that I also had a larger email list. And then of course, Facebook, anybody that I could share the information with about our Facebook page, I shared, I posted frequently. And I think the time and the energy that was put into the Facebook or social media, was far more efficient, and reached far, many more people than going out and hanging up the calendars. We still continued to do that for a while, but it seems like we were able to disseminate that information about the program with the community meetings, and then Facebook. And people who would walk in the door and say, “oh, I’ve heard about this program, tell me more.” Which I was always very happy to talk about Active Ottumwa.

Becky Bucklin: I do think we also did a fairly good job reporting results back about some of these process things back to the community throughout the program. So at least every six months, we would have a flyer that went out with new numbers about how many people that we’ve reached, how many Physical Activity Leaders. We have some quotes from the Physical Activity Leaders, letting the community know that community members stand behind this, but also that community members are excited about it. And so, what are our next steps? We did that a lot, and at the very end of almost every flyer we have what are our next steps? What are we doing now to keep the program going? We also had monthly newsletters, which isn’t necessarily an evaluation tool, but we did frequently report on the back, they had helpful tips and tricks on the back. But on the back we also sometimes reported, you know, what’s our success, where are we at? And I think that those were another good measure, that we have a way that we reported back to the community to help use the evaluation and the successes that we were having, to kind of promote the program forward and to keep the momentum going. Sometimes researchers just think the community’s not going to be excited about the data, but the community is excited about the data. They’re really excited we’re there and they’re excited that we give them, or we don’t give them, but we work with them to to produce this data. And it’s something that the community can be proud of as well. And it does help a lot of the local organizations, the data that we do collect can really help local organizations when they write grants, and things, so the community really does appreciate when researchers can partner with them to get data in a way that’s respectful and has their input in mind.

Sandy Berto: I think when the community members, the participants, the organizations, all saw the information, that ownership was increased. By whether or not they were furnishing a room for an activity, or it was a PAL, or just somebody who came, not just somebody but a participant. That there was that true ownership, this is what I’m part of and this is so great, and I’m so tickled to be so.

Hannah Shultz: With Active Ottumwa transitioning to Becky Graeve’s management, she tells us a bit about how she sees evaluation being a part of the program moving forward.

Becky Graeve: Evaluation is going to continue to be important for me, particularly in the volume of participation, so that I can share those numbers with the store directors, to show that I still am able to show some success. You know, what our reach is because, you know, we’re reaching out to either customers or potential customers, and wanting them to associate with our store and associate positive things with the store. And so, evaluation helps me you know, continue to be able to invest that time because we want to again, be good stewards of you know, how we get to spend our time. And I need to show the value of that, to the powers that be, so that I continue to spend time on it.

Becky Bucklin: A lot of what we’ve continued with evaluation is more of that process data. So Becky Graeve will continue to collect the the sign in sheets, and then we have been kind of crunching the numbers on our end and just seeing how many participants and how many Physical Activity Leaders will still be leading activities. So some of those general indicators of how robust the program is.

Hannah Shultz: Becky Bucklin loses audio here for a bit. A quick reminder to listeners that we recorded this in the summer of 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Becky Graeve works at Hy-Vee, a grocery store. For a lot of 2020 Hy-Vee was in crisis management and response, so Becky Graeve’s focus on Active Ottumwa was a bit more limited than she had planned, she explains.

Becky Graeve: You know, we generally can guide the program to expand activities that are doing well, to recruit more PALs when you know. So all those little evaluation pieces that basically help us continue to sustain where we’re at now.

Hannah Shultz: As the team at the University scales this model up to Active Iowa, I asked what their plans for evaluation are.

Heidi Haines: The Prevention Research Centers, and overall is you know about translating these evidence-based interventions, particularly for us into rural community settings, because a lot of them are tested in more urban areas. So adapting them, and bringing them to rural communities and what’s needed to make them work there has been key lessons learned from this project, and that we can learn to other projects and going forward into Active Iowa

Natoshia Askelson: Moving forward, the hope is that we’re able to evaluate the actual implementation and what it takes for communities to do this much more on their own, without us doing as much hand holding and support. And so can we basically turn over some training in a manual of implementation and watch communities either have success or not have success with trying to implement it. And so we’re going to be studying that and trying to understand how much support communities need to have in order to make that happen. And people, communities, we’ve randomized into different groups that will get different levels of support. And then we’ll just see what happens and what their communities can take this and run with it, or is this too complicated. And this is something that, you know, some kind of outside entity needs to to help them with.

Becky Bucklin: I will say if we like look back to look forward, we did use a lot of, as we’ve talked about the Active Ottumwa evaluation was pretty complex, there was a lot of different moving parts. And so when we were creating this manual of implementation, we really did think about which pieces would be the most important for practitioners and also through conversations with Becky Graeve when she was kind of taking this over. What pieces of this would be important for anybody who wants to take this on that they would need for their own reporting, and how can we make that as streamlined as possible in this manual? So it’s this play by play of kind of what we recommend, we have these like highly recommended, recommended, and these things that are optional, pieces of the evaluation that communities can choose. But we do have it kind of segmented within the training so that it’s all based off of these lessons learned that we got through this five-year project in Ottumwa, as well as through input from Becky Graeve, as she was taking it over.

Hannah Shultz: To wrap up today’s conversation, Becky Graeve tells us how COVID-19 has impacted the program, and how it’s changed what she was hoping to do as she took over Active Ottumwa.

Becky Graeve: Well I was really hoping all of this would be much different. I feel like you know, I took the reins in that part of the year that tends to slow down. Right, and so we still in December and January we still had fairly good participation, I was encouraged anyway with the numbers that we had. And you know, I was trying to do a couple different virtual challenges and things to add, you know, a layer of you can do it on your own but let us know what you’re doing kind of thing. You know, and then COVID hit and you know, what should have been the time of year where everything started to kick into high gear has just really taken the balloon out of our sails, or the wind out of our sails, I guess. And, I feel we have lost a lot of momentum, so it’s hard not to be discouraged. I know, it’ll take a bit of effort to get everybody going again. But yeah, I haven’t really been evaluating anything for months at this point. I mean, my job roles changed where I wasn’t doing anything nutrition related for several months. And, and now suddenly, I’m doing my normal job. And there’s so much to catch up on. So it’s just, you know, I’ve got my hands in lots of different baskets. And we’ll get there, but I think Active Ottumwa will be a challenge to get back where we need to get until we can kind of go back to our usual activities. And I know I’ve said it in a previous podcast, but the numbers, the evaluation pieces that all of you worked hard on are what led me to be able to, you know, quote sell this, prove that it was worthy of my time to take it on in the first place. So, you know, the flyer that Becky put together on what the reach was over the course of the program, spoke volumes to the percentage of the population that was invested in the program and keeping it going, had been part of it. You know, all of those data driven pieces were my evidence for spending my time with this in the first place.

Becky Bucklin: Yeah, and community-based work, we do report it back to the community and these flyers. And then in kind of more archaic ways that the academics work, we do report it in paper. And Heidi is very diligent about reporting all of the things that we collect back to the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control, who are our funders. And so I think that it goes to a lot of different avenues, it doesn’t just kind of disappear, everything that we collect, we collect it for a reason and then we try to do something useful with it. I do think that presenting it back to the community is probably the most useful thing that do. But also the evaluation, as Becky Graeve said, it was a way to show her bosses that this has value. And we’re hoping that the evaluation results that we found, which were positive, do help kind of push us and give us momentum once we start Active Iowa and get communities really excited about it. So that’s a piece of evaluation that’s so powerful for me. And then there will be research papers that come out of it, which is not as exciting for me.

Heidi Haines: You know that the Wapello County Public Health Department used the community health needs survey to do their Community Health Needs Assessment. So they use that data, I do know the trails council used it to obtain a grant for the trail, some of our data. So it was really useful to the community, particularly community surveying was a lot of those additional questions or questions that they wanted for their organizations to be answered. Because they didn’t have that wide reaching of a survey with data that they could have for the organization.

Hannah Shultz: Thanks for joining us for another really important conversation about Active Ottumwa and learning along with me about how and why the evaluation component of this project was so important and how it will be carried out in the next stage of Active Ottumwa and Active Iowa.

Thank you for tuning in, thanks to the Midwestern Public Health Training Center for production support, the team at the University of Iowa Prevention Research Center for Rural Health, the Ottumwa community, and the many guests and contributors we talk with throughout these 10 episodes. See the podcast notes for more information about Active Ottumwa and to connect with our team. This podcast is a product of the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research Center, supported by cooperative agreement number U48DP006389 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings and conclusions in this podcast are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.