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Source: Elaine Johannes, 785-532-7720,
Web site:
Note to editors: Pamela Wittman is a graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Overland Park, and Brandee Werth is a graduate of Syracuse High School.
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-6415,

Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009


MANHATTAN -- An upcoming summit on keeping Kansans healthy will feature presentations by several Kansas State University researchers.

"Cultivating Healthy Kansans: A Leadership Summit on Health Care Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention" will be Dec. 1-3 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka. The inaugural summit will focus on public health and chronic disease prevention and management.

"The planning committee has designed the summit to be a landmark opportunity to mark progress in improving the lives of Kansans impacted by chronic disease, explore strategies designed to improve the quality of care for those living with a chronic disease, and to identify and discuss the challenges and opportunities to implementing policy and cultivating environments that address the primary risk factors associated with chronic disease," said Elaine Johannes, a member of the summit planning committee. Johannes is an assistant professor of family studies and human services and extension specialist in youth development at K-State.

Planning committee co-chairs are Bill Snyder, K-State head football coach, and Bill Self, head basketball coach at the University of Kansas. Serving as a student member of the committee is K-State's Brandee Werth, junior in family studies and human services and pre-physician assistant, Manhattan.

The summit will feature a number of national, regional, state and local speakers, poster presentations and roundtable discussions.

Making presentations at the summit will be K-State's:

* Rhonda Janke, associate professor and extension specialist in the department of horticulture, forestry and recreation resources, who will discuss her research on the benefits of growing food locally. Janke will present Kansas baseline statistics in terms of producing fruits and vegetables locally, and opportunities to expand production, markets and access to all. She is the author of the recent book "Farming in the Dark," a discussion about the future prospects for creating a more sustainable food system. Her presentation will be at 2:45 p.m. Dec. 1 in the Homestead Room.

* Andrew Kaczynski, an assistant professor of kinesiology, who will make two presentations. In the first presentation, "To Drive or Not to Drive: What Influences Walking and Cycling to Work," Kaczynski will present his findings from two studies examining individual, institutional and community factors that influence active commuting within the K-State and broader Manhattan communities. His second presentation, "Factors Influencing Awareness and Use of Parks for Physical Activity," will look at findings from two population-based studies on how the availability and characteristics of parks influence awareness and use of parks for physical activity. His presentations will be at 2:45 p.m. Dec. 1 in the Bison Room.

* Elizabeth Fallon, assistant professor of kinesiology, who will present findings from surveys on how cultural competence may affect the efficacy of health care provider counseling for preventive health behaviors such as physical activity, diet and weight management in diverse patient populations. Her presentation will be 2:45 p.m. Dec. 2 in the Homestead Room.

Fallon also will lead a roundtable discussion, "Kansas Health Care Provider Counseling for Physical Activity, Diet and Weight Management," with her K-State research colleagues: Melissa Bopp, assistant professor of kinesiology; Lindsay Ahalt, a May 2009 K-State bachelor's graduate in anthropology, biology, microbiology and premedicine; and Sarah Corn, an August 2009 master's graduate in kinesiology.

K-State's Sharolyn Jackson, extension specialist, will lead the roundtable discussion "Kansans Optimizing Health Program Delivery Through Kansas State Research and Extension." Also participating will be Joan Kahl, extension assistant in family studies and human services.

K-State poster presentations at the summit include:

* "After-school Program Policy Recommendations to Prevent Obesity: The HOP'n After-school Project," by Tanis J. Hastmann, doctoral student in human nutrition, and David A. Dzewaltowski, professor and head of the department of kinesiology.

* "Leading Their Flocks to Health? Relating Faith Leadership Health with Church-based Health Programs," by K-State's Bopp and Fallon.

* "Gender and Age Differences in Motivators and Barriers for Active Commuting," by Gina Besenyi, a master's student in public health and kinesiology, Holton; Kaczynski; Bopp; and Pamela Wittman, senior in kinesiology, Olathe.

Summit sponsors include the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Health Foundation, Midwest Dairy Council, Cerner, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, American Heart Association, American Stroke Association and Wichita Medical Research and Education Foundation. K-State Research and Extension and K-State's master of public health program will both be exhibiters at the summit. More information, including a summit agenda and how to register, is available at