Between 35-40 community leaders recently participated in “Strategies for Increasing Access to Physical Activity in your Community,” sponsored by the Brazos Valley Obesity Prevention Network (BVOPN) and organized by Umbrella Partnerships–BE Active in Our Town (UP-BEAT) members including the Brazos Valley Community Action Agency, Inc. (BVCAA, Inc.), Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) School of Rural Public Health, Texas AgriLife Youth Leadership Institute and Texas Health Institute (THI). Topics discussed included obesity as a major public health issue, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and statewide strategies for increasing access to physical activity, the implementation of a policy agenda for increasing physical activity, and case examples of making a difference in your community to reduce obesity. UP-BEAT facilitates current and new partner efforts to increase access to physical activity among families in Brazos County.

Pictured from left are Julie Ribardo, BVCAA, Inc., project director of UP-BEAT; Lauren Dimitry, THI; Marcia Ory, Ph.D., TAMHSC-School of Rural Public Health professor and UP-BEAT evaluation director; Klaus Kroyer Madsen, THI; and Ashley Wilson, TAMHSC-School of Rural Public Health evaluation coordinator.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell