Enacting a framework for health community development: Engagement and outcomes for student and faculty co-researchers

Claire Budgen, Doris Callaghan, Linda Hatt, Donna Kurtz, Melissa Feddersen, Robyn Wiebe, Curt More, Casey Hamilton, Alexa Geddes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Healthy community development in cities, workplaces and educational settings has been the focus of considerable research, policy and practice activity. Healthy community development emphasizes changing health determinants. While the theory is appealing, engaging community members to translate theory into action is challenging. This paper outlines a framework for healthy community development which brings together cross-sector community members to change health determinants. Use of the VOICE framework in a long term project with a university campus is described. In the project, campus community members work as co-researchers to assess the health of the community, identify priority issues, mobilize existing resources, and create health-promoting change. Project achievements have included improvements in campus community health and increases in research and healthy community development capacity of all types of co-researchers. This paper focuses on the engagement of students and faculty as co-researchers and outcomes for each group from participation. Outcomes for non-academic co-researchers (other community members) are briefly described. Related literature on community service learning and undergraduate student researchers is reviewed. Other campuses and communities can easily adapt the VOICE framework and engagement strategies to change health determinants in their settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-42
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Health, Wellness and Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Community development
  • Population health
  • Health promotion,
  • Community engagement
  • Healthy Campuses


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