Dean Maddock serves on national committee to improve community health

Culture of health initiative aims to improve the health of 1,000 communities across the country
April 30, 2018

Jay Maddock, PhD, dean of the Texas A&M School of Public Health, has been appointed to the Cooperative Extension System/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health National Leadership Steering Committee.

RWJF is partnering with land-grant universities, the Cooperative Extension System and the National 4-H Council in a Culture of Health Initiative, which aims to improve the health of 1,000 communities across the country over the next 10 years. The initiative will focus on empowering community-based health councils to develop and implement action plans that ensure all community members are healthier at every stage of life, with an emphasis on engaging youth in efforts to address their communities’ top public health priorities.

The newly formed committee will advise the national program office at the University of Delaware in methods to most effectively improve the health of communities.  The sixteen-member committee was selected from among national leaders in extension, health and philanthropy.  Communities will connect with at least 150 volunteers to mentor youth leaders, build local capacity and ensure successful implementation of local action plans.

“The Cooperative Extension System with its long-standing roots in rural America has the potential to address major public health issues facing the country, from obesity and diabetes to the opioid epidemic” Maddock said. “I am delighted to be able to contribute to this effort.”

Maddock is internationally recognized for his research in social ecological approaches to increasing physical activity. He has served as principal investigator on more than $18 million in extramural funding and is an author of more than 100 scientific articles. He assumed leadership of the Texas A&M School of Public Health in February 2015.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell

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