About the Center

wrnec-map-smThe Regional Nutrition Education Center of Excellence – West (RNECE-West), a joint effort of Colorado State and Washington State Universities’ Extension, will improve the health of low-income Americans, especially Hispanics, through strategies at the individual and environmental levels of the social-ecological model, including complementary nutrition education and public health approaches particularly for EFNEP and SNAP-Ed programs.

Objectives include building the evidence-base for nutrition education interventions through rigorous evaluation; developing research collaborations and synergistic relationships; and supporting effective education, policy, systems and environmental (PSE) activities that promote health.

Center methods include:

  • build partnerships;
  • conduct regional needs assessment;
  • partner with Advisory Committees (nutrition education; PSE);
  • maintain a web-based multi-state network to provide interactive dialogue and exchange of information;
  • pursue program implementation research to support best practices in nutrition education;
  • administer competitive sub-awards;
  • aggregate regional data to report common outcomes; and
  • contribute to a national SNAP-Ed evaluation system.

RNECE-West’s signature research program will focus on long-term evaluation of program effectiveness in diet quality, physical activity, and food resource management.  This will entail testing approaches for reaching program graduates for follow-up studies and determining suitable, objective variables (BMI, blood pressure).

All of the above efforts will be transferable to most EFNEP, SNAP-Ed and similar programs.  However, the signature research will be especially applicable as we will recruit programs that use the Eating Smart • Being Active (ESBA) adult nutrition education curriculum for the research.  ESBA is evidence-based and used in 44 states and several territories.  Findings will be broadly applicable to low-income audiences.

For more information see the Center logic-model.