Web Forum

Crossing Sectors and Leading Change:
Environmental Interventions Targeting Obesity
Monday, September 12, 2011 | 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM Pacific

The equation that describes the energy output required to maintain the body's complex functions is simple and familiar. If the calories we ingest exceed the calories we expend in our day-to-day routine, then excessive weight gain results. However, the mechanisms associated with being overweight or obese are anything but simple. There is increasing evidence that what we eat is influenced by the availability of healthy foods and spaces for physical activity in the places where we live, work, learn, and play.
The California Endowment and Kaiser Permanente are breaking new ground testing the feasibility and impact of environmental and policy approaches to obesity prevention. Three community health initiatives, Healthy Eating, Active Living Communities; Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program; and Healthy Eating, Active Living--Community Health Initiative are illustrating the effectiveness and impact of comprehensive, multi-sectoral interventions. Join us for an informative discussion that will highlight local level policy change as a means of facilitating population-level behavior change and addressing quality of life concerns in communities.






    Allen Cheadle, PhD
    Group Health Research Institute
    Center for Community Health and Evaluation
    Seattle, WA

    Allen Cheadle, PhDAllen is director of the Center for Community Health and Evaluation (CCHE) and a senior investigator at the Group Health Research Institute (GHRI). He has worked with CCHE for more than 15 years on a range of projects through his affiliation with GHRI as a research professor in the University of Washington School of Public Health. His interests and evaluation experience include policy and environmental approaches to obesity.
    For the past several years Allen has overseen the evaluation of Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health Initiatives in 30 communities nationwide. He seeks to continue and expand CCHE’s work in evaluating community initiatives, working with foundations to build the capacity of community-based organizations, and helping safety-net organizations improve the care they provide in underserved communities. He is particularly interested in advancing Group Health's ability to benefit the broader community. Allen holds a PhD in economics (University of California, Berkeley, 1988). (www.cche.org)

    Sarah Samuels, DrPH
    Samuels & Associates
    Oakland, CA

    Dr. Sarah Samuels, DrPHSarah Samuels, DrPH is President of Samuels & Associates, a public health evaluation, research and policy consulting firm created in 1994, which has pioneered efforts to measure and assess changes in the food and physical activity environments in neighborhoods, schools, after school programs, and healthcare/public health institutions.

    Dr. Samuels has designed philanthropic initiatives, conducted policy related research and multi-site program evaluations. As a program officer at the Kaiser Family Foundation, she was instrumental in developing major foundation initiatives, including Project LEAN, a national nutrition social marketing campaign. With Samuels & Associates, Dr. Samuels has been the lead evaluator for The California Endowment’s Healthy Eating Active Communities (HEAC) and the Central California Obesity Prevention Program (CCROPP) Initiative and serves as Co-Principal Investigator on several Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy Eating Research (HER) awards, including: the California School Nutrition Standards Study, the Child Nutrition Commodity Foods Project, California Child Care Food Assessment, and the Evaluation of a Full Service Grocery Store in a Low Income Community.

    Dr. Samuels is the PI of an NIH Small Business Award (SBIR) to develop FoodBEAMS, an electronic food and beverage monitoring and reporting tool. Dr. Samuels works as a consultant to the philanthropy including the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation and the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Dr. Samuels is a founding member of the Strategic Alliance to Promote Healthy Food and Physical Activity Environments and she is on the board of California Food Policy Advocates. Dr. Samuels served on the IOM Planning Committee on Community Perspectives on Obesity Prevention and the CDC Committee on Community Measures. She received the 2005 Catherine Cowell Award from the American Public Health Association.

    Dr. Samuels holds a doctorate in public health from the University of California, Berkeley and masters’ degrees in nutrition from Columbia University, Teacher’s College. She was a Pew Health Policy Fellow at the Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco. She is a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. (www.samuelsandassociates.com)

    Liz Schwarte, MPH
    Senior Associate
    Samuels & Associates
    Oakland, CA

    Liz Schwarte, MPHAs Senior Associate at Samuels & Associates (S&A), Liz Schwarte is engaged in evaluation design, implementation, and reporting for initiatives focused on increasing access to healthy eating and physical activity opportunities. Liz manages a variety of projects including the California State Department of Public Health CPPW evaluation and the RENEW LA (CPPW) evaluation joint use components, the Mercado La Paloma/La Salud Tiene Sabor menu labeling program evaluation funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Salud America program, and curriculum development and training for the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) Nutrition and Fitness Initiative. She advises The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation on its health grantmaking and manages the Public Health Departments and Obesity /Chronic Disease Prevention Survey. Past projects include an evaluation of the Sonoma County Department of Public Health’s Health Action initiative, evaluation technical assistance for Kaiser Permanente’s Healthy Eating Active Living program, evaluation of the Health Funders Partnership of Orange County Community Advocacy Initiative, logic model development for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Childhood Nutrition and Physical Activity Taskforce, and an evaluation of the UC Berkeley doctoral public health program. Liz received her MPH from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. (samuelsandassociates.com)

    Loel S. Solomon, PhD
    Vice President
    Community Health
    Kaiser Permanente
    Oakland, CA

    Loel S. Solomon, PhDLoel Solomon joined Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit Program in 2003 and serves as Kaiser Permanente’s Vice President for Community Health. In that position, Dr. Solomon works with other health plan and medical group leaders to establish the strategic direction for Kaiser Permanente’s multi-faceted approach to community health, supports community health efforts being implemented throughout Kaiser Permanente’s eight geographic regions and leads development of national partnerships to advance those ends. He serves on the Steering Committee of the Healthy Eating/Active Living Convergence Partnership, and leads the Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit program’s overall evaluation effort.

    Prior to coming to Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Solomon served as Deputy Director of the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) for Healthcare Quality and Analysis, and served as a senior manager at the Lewin Group in Washington, D.C., as a member of Senator Edward Kennedy’s health staff and on President Bill Clinton’s Task Force on National Healthcare Reform.
    Dr. Solomon received his Ph.D. in Health Policy from Harvard University and a Master of Public Policy degree at University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of several journal articles and a book chapter.(www.kp.org/communityhealth)

    Marion Standish
    Program Director
    Community Health
    The California Endowment
    Oakland, CA

    Marion StandishMarion Standish joined The California Endowment with an extensive legal and philanthropic background.

    As director for The Endowment’s Community Health and Elimination of Health Disparities program, she leads the foundation’s efforts to develop initiatives to address the health disparities and environmental factors that contribute to the poor health of underserved communities. In that capacity, Standish serves as lead officer on many of The Endowment’s major funding initiatives, including Healthy Eating Active Communities, Community Action To Fight Asthma and The Partnership for the Public’s Health.

    Prior to joining The Endowment, Standish was founder and director of California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA), a statewide nutrition and health research and advocacy organization focusing on access to nutritious food for low-income families. Before launching CFPA, she served as director of the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, a statewide advocacy organization focusing on health, education and labor issues facing farm workers and the rural poor. Standish serves on the board of directors of the Food Research and Action Center, and the San Francisco Community Boards Program. (www.calendow.org)


    Carmen Rita Nevarez, MD, MPH
    Vice President for External Relations and Preventive Medicine Advisor
    Public Health Institute
    Oakland, CA

    Carmen Rita Nevarez, MD, MPH currently serves as the Vice President of External Relations and Preventive Medicine Advisor at the Public Health Institute (PHI), one of the largest and most comprehensive non-profit public health organizations in the nation
    Dr. Nevarez has over 32 years of experience as a physician and 29 years as a public health practitioner, having served as the Director of Department of Health and Human Services and Health Officer, City of Berkeley, California, as well as in various clinical settings including serving as Medical Director at La Clinica de la Raza in Oakland.  She is Immediate Past President of the American Public Health Association (APHA).  She is past Board Chair of Latino Coalition for a Healthy California and a member of the Partnership for Prevention Advisory Board. In addition, she has served state government as a member of advisory committees on Primary Care Clinics, Binational and Border Health and Multicultural Health.  Her areas of expertise include Women's reproductive health, community based strategies for chronic disease prevention, and social media for public health. (www.phi.org and www.Dialogue4Health.org


The following documents are PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations and are intended to be used for reference only.

Standish/The California Endowment

Samuels/Samuels & Associates

Cheadle and Solomon/Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health Initiative



The following documents provide important background information that can enhance the Web Forum experience.


The following websites provide important background information that can enhance the Web Forum experience.

Building Healthy Communities :: The California Endowment


The organizations listed below have come together to sponsor this important effort:

Public Health Institute Logo Kaiser Community The California Endowment

Public Health Institute

Community Health Initiatives |
Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit

The California Endowment