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Barnes on the Move with Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Program Evaluation

Barnes ON THE MOVE program is a federally supported Rural Health Outreach Grant program operated by City-County Health District (CCHD), Valley City, North Dakota. This program is supported by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy of the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


The federal grant program started in 1991 and has been important to rural health in North Dakota. Outreach grants require a network of at least three separate legal organizations. There have been 26 outreach grants to North Dakota rural health organizations during this time. Barnes ON THE MOVE program is the 26th. Rural hospitals and public health units have been the primary recipient; however, other organizations, such as Jobs Development Councils, have been recipients, too.

Barnes ON THE MOVE program is an outgrowth of a long standing Valley City effort that started in 1998, the Barnes County Health Partnership which was comprised of CCHD, North Dakota State University Extension, and CHI Mercy Health (a Critical Access Hospital). It has traditionally had a focus on healthy children, teens and adults, in Valley City and Barnes County by concentrating on nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco. This current grant includes CCHD as the formal recipient in partnership with Barnes County Extension, CHI Mercy Health, and Valley City Public Schools. It is a three-year grant.

Focus Areas

Barnes ON THE MOVE program focuses on two significant areas:

  1. Healthy eating
  2. Physical activity

Much of the effort involves working with Valley City Public Schools and other schools in Barnes County. There are also community-wide efforts like Let's Walk Valley City. The school-based activities are to incorporate more nutrition for the students (cooking classes, mobile kitchen, healthy eating, master gardener program, Future Farmers of America program) and enhanced physical activity (Walk/Bike to School, expanded physical activity program, School Alive Program, and Action Classroom training).


The Center for Rural Health evaluation is a formative evaluation where evaluation is associated with program implementation. Both process and outcome metrics are used. A primary focus of evaluation is on decision-making. A formative evaluation allows input to be gained while the program is being implemented so as to inform decisions. While evaluation is similar to research (research methods are used), research is primarily focused on identifying new knowledge whereas evaluation attends to organizational/program performance and outcome.