Dr. Laura Lessard

Assistant Professor of Community Health
lessardl@arcadia.edu

Laura Lessard, MPH, PhD, Assistant Professor, received a Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology and biostatistics from Tufts University and a doctorate in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education from Emory University.

Her research focuses on the effectiveness of policies and programs targeting childhood obesity, specifically in young children. She consults on a number of program evaluation projects including those focusing on healthcare system changes, physical activity programs, and training and technical assistance efforts focused on obesity prevention in child care settings. Dr. Lessard has a number of peer-reviewed publications and has presented at national meetings including the American Public Health Association and Society for Public Health Education.

Prior to joining the faculty at Arcadia, Dr. Lessard was a Social Scientist with the Nemours Foundation, a child healthcare system in the Delaware Valley, where she conducted research and evaluation in their Health and Prevention Services division. She also served as a Research Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Publications and Presentations

  • Leng SL & Lessard L. (2013). Family child care providers’ compliance with state physical activity regulations, Delaware Child Care Providers Survey, 2011. Preventing Chronic Disease, 10:120295.
  • Lessard L, Leng SL & Brennan R. (2013). Consistency of compliance with nutrition-related regulations among Delaware child care centers. Childhood Obesity, 9(3): 233-239.
  • Van Stan S, Lessard L, Dupont Phillips K. (2013). The impact of a statewide training to increase child care providers’ knowledge of nutrition and physical activity rules in Delaware. Childhood Obesity, 9(1): 43-50.
  • Van Stan S, Lessard L, Dupont Phillips K. (2013). The impact of a statewide training to increase child care providers’ knowledge of nutrition and physical activity rules in Delaware. Childhood Obesity.doi:10.1089/chi.2012.0057
  • Lessard L, O’Dell S, Osuji T, Dunn L , Breck A,Dawkins N, Dixon B, Goodman K, Jernigan J, Kakietek J, Lesesne C, Nonas C, Stephens B, Xu Y & Kettel-Khan L. Characteristics of New York City group child care and education centers associated with compliance with the regulations on beverage, physical activity, and screen time. (in progress)
  • Lessard L, Lesesne C, Kakietek J, Breck A, Jernigan J, Dawkins N, Dixon B, Dunn L, Goodman K, Nonas C, Stephens B, Xu Y &Kettel-Khan L. Methods and measurement of compliance with an obesity-prevention policy intervention in New York City child care centers (in progress)
  • Berg C , Lessard L, Perelkar P, Thrasher J, Kegler M, Escoffery C, Goldade K &Ahluwalia J. (2011). College student reactions to smoking bans in public, on campus and at home.Health Education Research, 26(1): 106-118.
  • VanStanS, & Lessard L. (2011, Nov). Delaware child care policy and environmental change: increasing child care provider knowledge and implementation around obesity prevention related state policies. Oral presentation at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Society for Public Health Education, Arlington, VA.
  • Lessard L & Enev T. (2011, Nov). An outcome evaluation of a large-scale training for childcare providers in Delaware: methodology and results. Oral presentation at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Evaluation Association, Anaheim, CA.
  • Lessard L. (2010, Nov). Obesity prevention and prime time: An exploration of the television viewing habits of young children from low-income communities in New York City. Oral presentation at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, Denver, CO.
  • Berg C, Perelkar P, Lessard L, Thomas J, An L, & Ahluwalia J. (2010). Defining “smoker”: College student attitudes and related smoking characteristics. Nicotine & Tobacco Research.Doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntq123.
  • Krieder H, Lessard L, Hill D, Akers D & Card J. (2009) 188 Scientific Facts about Teen Sex,
    Contraception, Pregnancy, Parenting and Sexually Transmitted Infections. Los Altos, CA: Sociometrics Press.
  • Lessard L. (2008) Using a Partial-Credit Rasch Model to detect Social Desirability Bias.Rasch
    Measurement Transactions. 21(4): 1134-1135.
  • Card J, Lessard L, & Benner T (2007) PASHA: Facilitating the replication and use of effective adolescent pregnancy and STI/HIV prevention programs. Journal of Adolescent Health, 40 (3), 275.el - 275.el4.

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