Meet the TeamThe merger of talent and expertise yields a strong project and team. Drs. Dianne Ward and Laura Linnan have worked together productively on multiple research projects blending their knowledge of child care settings and worksite interventions.
–Dianne S. Ward, EdD, Principal Investigator
Dr. Ward is a professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with over 30 years of experience in childhood obesity prevention research. Dianne led the development and evaluation of the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC), a policy and environmental intervention that is highly regarded within the public health community and used by many states to support the development of healthy eating and physical activity behaviors in young children. The NAPSACC project launched more than a decade of research focused specifically on the child care setting. Through this work, she has gained a deep appreciation for the community of child care providers and the health issues faced by these adults. For Dianne, the CARE project represents the chance to create a program that benefits these child care providers -- a group that has demonstrated such dedication to helping improve the health of young children.
–Laura Linnan, ScD, Principal Investigator
Dr. Linnan is a professor in the Department of Health Behavior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill whose research focuses on applied intervention strategies to prevent and control chronic diseases like cancer, CVD/stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. Laura's research has focused largely on worksite-based interventions in a variety of settings, including colleges/universities, beauty/barber shops, public libraries, and now child care. She is also the Founding Director of the Carolina Collaborative for Research on Work and Health (CCRWH), which brings together a multi-disciplinary group of individuals, including faculty, state/local government officials, and representatives from health care organizations, employers and nonprofits to stimulate new research on topics that intersect issues of work, health, and family life. The Collaborative's mission is to promote the development of evidence-based programs and policies that improve worker and workplace health. In addition to her work planning, delivering and evaluating interventions, she also designs/develops innovative, mixed method, process and outcome evaluations. For Laura, the CARE project provides an ideal opportunity to apply her worksite-based research experience to a new setting and an extremely important group of workers who have not had much access to health promotion programs at work.
–Falon Tilley, PhD, CARE Project Manager
Dr.Tilley is the Project Manager for CARE. She holds a Doctorate in Exercise Science from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. Her previous work focused on obesity prevention initiatives within the child care setting, where she worked alongside providers to create environments promoting physical activity and healthy eating behaviors. For Falon, the CARE projects represents an opportunity to recognize and give back to the dedicated community of child care providers.
–Ellie Morris, MPH, CARE Interventionist
Mrs. Morris is the Interventionist for CARE. She earned her master's degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She spent two years working with the Chatham County Department of Public Health on school-based nutrition and physical activity promotion programs aimed at both students and staff. More recently, she has lead the development of the Go NAP SACC -- an online version of the NAP SACC program that offers a suite of tailored and interactive tools that help child care programs improve their nutrition and physical activity provisions, practices, and policies. These experiences reflect her interest in how the settings where we learn and work can help us be healthy.