CBPR Institute 2013

Home » Engaging Older Adults to Gather, Analyze and Disseminate Neighborhood Environment Data

Engaging Older Adults to Gather, Analyze and Disseminate Neighborhood Environment Data



This case study will highlight a community-based participatory project in which low income ethnically diverse older adults in San Mateo County, California gathered and analyzed data about features of their environment that help or hinder healthy active living.  These older adults were empowered to form Community Advocacy Teams that broadly disseminated the information gathered. As a result substantial local government dollars were allocated to make short and long term improvements to the neighborhood built environment.  The collaborative approach included researchers from the StanfordPreventionResearchCenter, housing site management from Mid-Peninsula Housing Corporation, and City and County level policymakers.


Sandra J Winter, PhD, MHA

Stanford Prevention Research Center

Stanford University School of Medicine


Dominique R Cohen, MA MFTI

MidPen Housing Corp.

Jylana L. Sheats, PhD, MPH

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Stanford Prevention Research Center

Stanford University School of Medicine


Sandra Winter was born and raised in Zimbabwe before moving to Cape Town in South Africa where she was the Financial Director and owner of a number of businesses in the advertising industry.  In 2003 Dr. Winter moved to Lexington, Kentucky where she received a Master of Health Administration in May 2006 and a PhD in Public Administration in December 2009 from the University of Kentucky.  Her graduate research work focused on the health care that is provided to prison inmates in Kentucky. In 2010 she moved to California and began working at the Stanford Prevention Research Center (SPRC) where her first appointment was as the Project Manager for a partnership between SPRC and QassimUniversity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In September 2012 she started a Postdoctoral Fellowship at SPRC where her research focus is the effect the neighborhood built environment has on the health of under-served individuals.  She is also interested in how community residents can be empowered to advocate for improvements in their neighborhood. She plans to extend this work internationally.

Dominque Cohen – In the past Dominque Cohen has contributed to research on the effects of over exposure to violence, where community participants were told stories, watched movies and viewed excerpts of violent incidents.  In her current role as Director of Special Needs Housing, she works with community based organizations to deliver home based services to individuals living with acute mental health diagnosis and those with developmental and physical disabilities. As an organization MidPen tracks the effects of these services on the individual as well as the effect on the overall community living at a particular community-housing site.

Jylana Sheats is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the StanfordPreventionResearchCenter’s Healthy Aging Research and Technology Solutions lab. Recent research efforts have focused on the development, use, and testing of technology (e.g. smartphone and tablet-based apps) to: promote health behavior change (e.g. physical activity, diet) throughout the life course; enable community residents (in the US, Mexico, Israel, UK) to actively and passively collect data (audio, photos, GPS routes) about environmental features that hinder healthy eating and active living and share this information with local policy makers. Dr. Sheats received a Doctorate in Health Behavior with a minor in Public Affairs from Indiana University-Bloomington, a Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Nutrition from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from SpelmanCollege.

Presentation Materials

CBPR Institute 2013 Winter Sheats Cohen


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