Community Pilot Projects

As part of the program, each CHIRP group received a small grant to develop a 3-month pilot study addressing childhood obesity, a health concern all four communities independently identified as a local problem. The pilot studies allowed community members to participate as stakeholders in all phases of the research process – from idea generation through data collection, analysis, and dissemination.

Each of the CHIRP groups identified and refined a regional pilot study around childhood obesity. CHIRP members developed Population/Patient Problem, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome (PICO) statements, and then worked together to select one pilot research question.

The four CHIRP groups chose locally relevant issues for their pilot studies, and the results have already been used to inform school and community policies.

Crook County at Play (CCAP)

Crook County, Oregon

What are the facilitators and barriers in using recreation services and programs in Crook County?

Using key informant interviews with 40 non-, low-, medium-, and high-service users, CCAP sought to identify issues with local recreation services. They developed an interview guide and trained community members to carry out the interviews.

The results identified several problematic areas in recreational offerings. The CHIRP group used their results to successfully apply for a grant that is allowing them to build a new community bike path and are also using them as part of an ongoing environmental scan.


Milk Options Observations (MOO)

Jefferson County, Oregon

Will elementary students continue to drink milk if chocolate milk is no longer an option in the lunchroom? Chocolate milk availability in the school cafeteria was already a debated topic in this CHIRP community because of the tradeoff between added sugar to the children’s diets and the benefits of calcium and protein in milk.

The local CHIRP group used a mixed methods cafeteria plate waste study and observations to see if K-2nd graders would drink white milk after chocolate milk was removed from the lunch menu.

They found that children still drank milk or water at lunch, received adequate amounts of protein and calcium, and lowered their sugar consumption after chocolate milk was removed. The group has taken their results to the local school board and is recommending removing chocolate milk permanently.


Student Healthy Options Purchasing (SHOP)

Lincoln County, Oregon

Will a training curriculum improve high school students’ knowledge and shopping skills for purchasing nutritionally sound foods on a budget?

Lincoln County CHIRP used elements Share Our Strength’s curriculum, Cooking Matters, to educate high school students on how to read nutrition labels and to shop for healthy foods on a budget. Despite a small sample size, they found that the students were better at using the information on the nutritional label after receiving the curriculum. The group plans to revisit the study on a larger scale in the future.


Pick of the Month (POM)

Linn County, Oregon

Are “Pick of the Month” food flyers and tasting tables effective at getting families to eat more vegetables?

Pick of the Month food flyers highlighting an in-season vegetable had been distributed by public schools in one of the Linn County for three years, but their effectiveness hadn’t been evaluated. They also had tasting tables at some of the schools which featured samples of the featured vegetable for kids to try. The CHIRP group did a survey of parents to gauge their awareness of the program and use of the sample recipes. They also compared those whose children were in schools with tasting tables to those who only received the flyer.

One of the main outcomes of the study was that, despite interest, Spanish speaking families used the flyers at a much lower rate. The group is now working to make improvements to the fliers including translating them into Spanish.