VISION: LEAP engages institutions, communities and neighbors in reciprocal partnerships that strive to create a healthy and just Guilford County.

PURPOSE: LEAP’s purpose is to ensure that the work of institutions to advance equity in healthy eating and physical activity are grounded in local data that are meaningful/useful, inclusive, and representative of the people who live here in Guilford County.

MISSION: We seek to improve the quality, quantity, and accessibility of data about healthy eating and physical activity in Guilford County to support effective, equitable, and just community health decisions.

VALUES: Committed to the principle of authentic community engagement, we work through reciprocal partnerships to ask better questions, access and understand better data, come to better answers, share ideas more clearly, and have the greatest impact.

  • Who We Are: LEAP is a network composed of professionals and community members in Guilford County with a wide range of expertise and experience related to advancing healthy eating and physical activity practices.
  • LEAP Activities: LEAP serves as a point of contact to help people and institutions connect more broadly across the county, particularly as it relates to collecting and using many forms of data from, about, and for local communities. Opportunities to engage include attending InProcess Series, researcher meetings, and consultations with the LEAP Community Board and LEAP researchers.

Read LEAP’s 2020-2021 Annual Review to learn more about our work.

Watch a couple of our 2020-2021 In Process research series presentations:

LEAP Community Board

Comprised of neighbors in the communities we serve, this diverse board allows researchers and service providers access to a robust, standing committee that can provide feedback to plans and provide input to study designs and other strategies to collect community level data. This board is distinct from other types of community boards in that it intentionally represents the various neighborhoods and populations of our community. Board members receive orientation, training, and compensation, per best practices.

Click here to learn more about the current LEAP community board members.

Thus far, the board has: (a) provided feedback to the LEAP core research team about the LEAP Report; (b) offered initial ideas and responses for a Cone Health survey; (c) contributed contacts, recommendations, and networking support to two social entrepreneurs looking for residential engagement regarding their food hub proposal; and (d) served as an integral resource for both distributing the COVID-19 survey on healthy eating and physical activity and providing their own observations and field notes to this research.

The Community Boards as Best Practice document provides information about Community Boards, including a definition, benefits, ethical practices, and references. It’s a good place to start if you’re looking to understand the fundamentals of a CB.

Below are two info-graphics co-created by LEAP Community Board members and UNCG partners. These discuss the rights of community members as well as important questions that community-engaged researchers should ask before beginning research in a community. Click each image for the enlarged version.


If interested, please email LEAP@uncg.edu.

LEAP Report

A “state of data”, as it relates to healthy eating and physical activity in Guilford County. The LEAP Report shares a year-long process of engaging all types of experts, including our Community Board, to provide a comprehensive view of the state of community-level data – and what we need to move forward. This report shares recommendations for targeting specific indicator areas, strategies for collecting and sharing data, and committing to authentic engagement of communities to identify, collect and use data, particularly data that is about and intended for programs that affect them.

Executive Summary (4 pages)

The LEAP2020FullReport (54 pages) goes into greater detail about the research and findings, covering these sections:

  • Introduction to LEAP
  • Navigating the Data Landscape for Eating and Physical Activity Practices
  • LEAP’s Process for Engaging Communities
  • Indicator Focus Areas
  • Recommendations and Next Steps
Executive Summary
Executive Summary

Full Report

LEAP Report

Contact: LEAP@uncg.edu

Multiple non-profits, local government offices, health organizations, and community residents contribute to LEAP’s various initiatives. LEAP is guided by a core research team, including Joanie Chavis, Kathleen Edwards, Michelle Gill-Moffat, Becki Haislip, Lauren Haldeman, Michael Hemphill, Jake Hochrein, Karen Jackson, Emily Janke, and Marianne LeGreco.

Our Previous Work

In Process Research Series, 2020-2021

We developed a new programming series this year, which presented local research studies and information shared from the perspectives of community residents. We offered these evening presentations over Zoom, and they attracted diverse audiences, including healthcare providers, university researchers, students, and community residents. The presentations spanned topics relevant to LEAP’s data priority areas and methods highlighting community-engaged and applied approaches. We recorded these presentations and posted them to YouTube. The presentation recordings have also been shared through our networks.

  • “Intergenerational Latinx Health Panel” – Liliana Guevara, Leslie Hernandez, Lesley Summers, Ana Vincent Reyna, and Kathleen Edwards. December 1, 2020, 6pm
  • “Redefining Food System Equity: Examining Innovation in Capital Access and Wealth Generation for People of Color” – Hannah Quigley and Karen Jackson, Feb. 2, 2021, 7pm
  • “From Home to Healthcare: Modeling and Messaging to Improve Child Health” – Tina Irrer, Coleman Murray, and Lauren Haldeman. March 23, 2021, 7pm
  • “Community Boards: Engaging Community Residents in Research and Decision Making” – Trey Godette, Marisa Gonzalez, Cornelia Montaque, and Kathleen Edwards. April 20, 2021, 7pm

Read about the LEAP Summit and ongoing work through this news feature!