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Kathryn Janda

UTHealth School of Public Health

Kathryn Janda, PhD, MPH is a postdoctoral fellow with UTHealth School of Public Health in the National Cancer Institute Cancer Control Research Training Program. For the last decade, Dr. Janda has worked on public health initiatives and research projects with an emphasis on community health promotion, food insecurity mitigation, and healthy food access in low-income, racially/ethnically diverse communities. Specifically, she has been very involved in examining food insecurity and healthy food access within Central Texas, collaborating with various City of Austin offices and numerous non-profit organizations in the Austin area. This experience includes fostering cross-sector collaborations, providing expertise in quantitative, qualitative, and geospatial data analysis, and has been able to provide crucial insight into where food insecurity and issues with food access are being experienced in Travis County as well as other parts of Central Texas. She has been active in examining the impact of COVID-19 on food insecurity, food access, and other experiences in the greater Austin area.


Alexandra van den Berg

UTHealth School of Public Health

Alexandra Van den Berg, PhD, MPH is a professor at UTHealth School of Public Health at the Austin campus. Dr van den Berg has over 20 years of experience in the development and evaluation of large behavioral and environmental interventions addressing health disparities associated with food insecurity and dietary behaviors in low income, ethnically diverse families living in underserved communities. Her research can be described by three broad themes: 1) development, implementation, and evaluation of cost-effective and sustainable interventions that increase access to healthy foods and promote resilient local food systems; 2) examination of the relationship between components of food systems and public health outcomes; and 3) examination of the impact of components of food systems on climate change and planetary health. Dr. van den Berg’s research is informed by both Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) and Team Science, and most of her studies involve extensive collaborations among many different partners, including community organizations, faculty from other universities, community residents, local health workers, and city of Austin staff. The majority of her studies are conducted within the central Texas region with a focus on low-income and under-resourced communities in Austin Texas and has been assessing the impact of COVID-19 on local food insecurity in Central Texas.

Policy Briefs



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