Sheena Sayres, MPH (August 2013), has recently had her abstract titled “A view from the field: Implementation, evaluation and sustainability of comprehensive school physical activity programs” accepted for presentation at the American Public Health Association (APHA) national conference in Boston, M.A. this fall. Ms. Sayres worked on her abstract under the guidance of her preceptor, Patricia Kelly, MD, F.A.A.P., University Pediatrics, Marshall University Medical Center. Dr. Kelly is chair elect of the board of West Virginia on the Move (WVOM).
Ms. Sayres is wrapping up her internship with WVOM, a statewide, non-profit organization that promotes a physically- active lifestyle for the prevention of chronic disease. Schools on the Move (SOM) is a program under the direction of WVOM disbursing grants tofive WV public or private schools, serving students from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade. These grants, up to $5,000 each, support initiatives that promote comprehensive approaches to increase physical activity.
Ms. Sayres stepped into the internship not realizing the breadth of responsibilities she would encounter and she quickly became a key member of the team. She rolled up her sleeves and learned the many logistics required to assist a statewide, non-profit organization.
“Over the duration of my time with WVOM, I have completed a large variety of tasks. I did not realize what exactly went on behind the scenes within a non-profit organization. WVOM has multiple grant cycles and programs going on all year long, and board members collaborate to make everything come together and work smoothly. I seemed to stay exceptionally busy, but I loved every minute of it!”
When asked about the experience she most enjoyed, she commented, “Going to the schools to get to see the SOM physical activity programs in action was meaningful. It was such a great experience to get to see the students participating in the programs and becoming more physically active.”
Ms. Sayres traveled throughout the northern and eastern panhandles of the state, auditing programs in the schools and meeting with educators, while collecting data for evaluating the different programs.
“Gathering this information and data from previous SOM grant recipients was very interesting. It was difficult to get responses from the previous schools, but receiving their feedback was important to us. This data is crucial to SOM, especially in trying to improve our program in as many ways as possible for the future. This data has been excellent for determining each program’s sustainability and how successful the program has been.”