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P.U.L.S.E. Healthy Weight Research Team

The Promoting Universal Longevity via School-family Ecologies (P.U.L.S.E.) Team's ultimate objective is the promotion of healthy weight and behavioral health among individuals who may be overweight, obese, and/or at-risk for lifestyle-related disease.

Faculty: Laura Anderson*

Community Members (Ex Oficio): Gary Steeves (Pastor, Resurrection Village Ministry); Sue Ventresca (Director of Health-Related Services, Buffalo Public Schools); Melinda Yoder (Team dietician - Registered Dietician, Balanced Nutrition WNY)


Doctoral Students: Dianne White (Nursing), Amber Dewey (Education), Jessica Tamulonis (Education), Lauren Serio (Education), Lynda Lowry (Education), Angela Detschner (Education)

Masters Students: Rebecca Bartz (School Psychology), Isabelle Hogan (School Psychology)

Undergraduate Students: Eileen Diih (Cognitive Science), Sarah Dow (Nursing), Janelle Garcia (Nursing), Alexander Salinas (Nursing), Gabrielle Santander (Nursing), Heidi Weinborg (Nursing)

Mission Statement

The PULSE Healthy Weight Research Team seeks to collaborate with schools and community agencies in order to help children, teens, and family members achieve healthy weight and mental health. We neither promote nor utilize terminology associated with traditional, restrictive dieting. Our biopsychosocial, evidence-­‐based, and culturally sensitive approach emphasizes health and longevity. We seek to help people function effectively and thrive within modern, obesogenic environments. We strive to promote healthy weight and wellness through targeting intrapersonal, interpersonal, and environmental variables. Our ultimate objective is the promotion of healthy weight and behavioral health among individuals who may be overweight, obese, and/or at-­‐risk for lifestyle-­‐related disease.

We believe that community agencies and schools, in particular, are accessible, non-­‐threatening environments in which to support children and families from all backgrounds. We partner with schools and other agencies to access families, deliver interventions, and promote parent involvement in family healthy weight promotion. No doubt, we cannot accomplish our mission without support from our valuable community partners.

To Achieve our mission, the PULSE Healthy Weight Research Team

1) Collaborates with local school districts and community agencies in order to plan and implement targeted programs promoting healthy weight and related behavioral health in parents and their children.

2) Examines and targets specific variables or contexts that may influence mental and physical health outcomes in overweight individuals.

3) Consults with school districts to support, sustain and evaluate wellness policies that facilitate healthy weight in students, faculty/staff, and families.

4) Cooperates with community businesses and agencies seeking to promote healthy weight behaviors in children and families.

5) Pursues external funding to support our mission and offer our services at no cost to our partners and program participants.

6) Conducts ongoing research studies designed to justify, inform and evaluate all program activities.

7) Efficiently communicates and disseminates research results in order to encourage targeted, evidence-based healthy weight and wellness promotion across diverse communities.

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