HEAL receives Award for the American Journal of Health Promotion Dorothy Nyswander Paper of the Year 2018

Congratulations to the HEAL for winning the Dorothy Nyswander 2018 Paper of the Year Award from the American Journal of Health Promotion for “Examining How Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status, Geographic Accessibility, and Informational Accessibility Influence the Uptake of a Free Population-Level Physical Activity Intervention for Children

“The goal of the Journal’s Paper of the Year Award is to honour some of health promotion’s best scientists and to recognize those who bring outstanding humanity to their field of inquiry and bigheartedness to their writing.” A collaborative team of authors from the HEALab and the City of London have won a 2018 Paper of the Year Award from the American Journal of Health Promotion. We are the first ever recipients of the new “Dorothy Nyswander Paper of the Year.”

Dr. Dorothy B. Nyswander was a pioneer in health education, mentoring many public health leaders; she had an remarkable career spanning over six decades at international, national, regional, and community levels. Dr. Nyswander advocated for equality and justice for all people. She was one of the first to introduce the concept of an “Open Society”, which she defined as “one where justice is the same for every [person]; where dissent is taken seriously as an index of something wrong or something needed; where diversity is expected; . . . where the best of health care is available to all; where poverty is a community disgrace not an individual’s weakness; [and] where desires for power over [people] become satisfaction with the use of power for people” (Nyswander 1982)

The purpose of this study, co-authored by Andrew Clark, Piotr Wilk, Christine Mitchell, Christine Smith, Josh Archer and Jason Gilliland, was to evaluate the uptake of the ACT-i-Pass (G5AP), a physical activity (PA) intervention that provides free access to PA opportunities, and to understand the extent to which the intervention provides equitable access to children. Differences in uptake were measured by comparing postal codes of registrants with the postal codes of all eligible children and significant differences were found in the uptake of the G5AP: residing in neighborhoods of high income (odds ratio [OR] = 1.062, P = .029) and high proportion of recent immigrants (OR = 1.036, P = .001) increased the likelihood of G5AP registration. Children who were recruited actively were significantly more likely to register for the G5AP. This study argued that to increase the uptake of a PA intervention, children need to be actively recruited. Interactive presentations provided children with increased access to information about both the program and its nuances that cannot be communicated as effectively through passive methods.

The award criteria the journal editors considered were applied for both the study and the paper such that the:

  1. Study addresses a topic of timely importance in health promotion.
  2. Research question is clearly stated and the methodologies used are well executed.
  3. Paper is often cited and/or downloaded.
  4. The study findings offer a unique contribution to the literature.
  5. Paper is well written and enjoyable to read.

The team from the Human Environments Analysis Laboratory would like to thank the Journal’s Associate Editors in Chief and colleagues, Lorianne Sarsfield and Nicky Cotterill, for presenting us with the lovely honour.

We would also like to thank our community partners and funders for their support of the ACT-i-Pass program.

The following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article included: Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, Children’s Health Research Institute and Children’s Health Foundation, Government of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Institute of Population and Public Health. The Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund provided funding to the CYN to help implement the program.


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