Karna Awarded CDC SPAN Grant as Collaborating Partner on Statewide Efforts to Transform Childhood Health

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Karna, LLC is pleased to announce that it is one of the key partners on the State of Georgia team funded as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) State Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) program. SPAN is a five-year (2023-2028) program awarded to 17 US states to implement evidence-based, community-focused policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change strategies aimed at promoting healthier lifestyles and addressing health disparities related to poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and obesity. Karna is leading the cross-cutting evaluation and communication components of the SPAN program in Georgia and participating in the component focused on health equity.

The PSE change strategies to be implemented as part of the SPAN program include:

  • Making healthy food choices easier everywhere by promoting food service and nutrition guidelines; expanding existing fruit and vegetable voucher incentives; and promoting produce prescription programs.
  • Providing safe and accessible physical activity by connecting pedestrian, bicycle, and transit transportation networks to everyday destinations.
  • Expanding continuity of care in breastfeeding support by collaborating with partners to implement breastfeeding-friendly policies and practices.
  • Improving access to healthy foods in early care and education settings.

Karna will work alongside the Georgia Health Policy Center at Georgia State University, with additional partners including Quality Care for Children, HealthMPowers, Wholesome Wave Georgia, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Strong4Life initiative, the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other state agencies and community partners. Ken Goodman, Research and Evaluation Team Lead, is serving as Karna’s main point of contact for this work.

“SPAN builds on Georgia’s established, 25-year history of physical activity and nutrition initiatives, including the Georgia Shape effort to address chronic disease and obesity prevention,” said GHPC assistant project director Debbie Kibbe, who leads this project with Chris Parker, director of global and population health for the GHPC. “Obesity and inactivity impact more young people and adults living in Georgia than any other health concerns. We are hopeful that SPAN will create more opportunities for all people in Georgia to experience the benefits of regular physical activity and healthy eating.”

To learn more about Georgia State University’s SPAN program, click here.

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