Dr. Joey Lightner is an Assistant Professor and Program Director of the Bachelor of Science in Public Health at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Dr. Lightner’s research is focused on increasing physical activity for large populations. His current projects attempt to understand how to improve social relationships that may lead to improvements in physical activity behavior. Dr. Lightner enjoys improv, Sporting KC matches, hiking, kayaking, SUP boarding, skydiving and, of course, anything that has to do with physical activity.
Dr. Shayla Sullivant completed undergraduate training at Creighton University and medical school at the University of Kansas, where she also completed a residency in adult psychiatry and fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry. Since 2010, she has been on staff at Children's Mercy Kansas City where she currently serves as an associate professor. In July 2019, Dr. Sullivant was the recipient of the Shining Star award for having the highest patient satisfaction ratings among the medical staff at Children’s Mercy. Dr. Sullivant co-leads the suicide prevention research group at Children’s Mercy and is completing research on suicide screening in conjunction with the NIMH. Her current work focuses on providing education for parents on ways to reduce suicide risk for adolescents, including safe storage.
Research of Dr. Kong focuses on health during pregnancy and infancy. She aims to identify how eating behaviors in infants and toddlers influence body weight later in life, as well as how early interventions can protect those at risk for obesity. The premise of her work is grounded in the behavioral economics framework and necessitates valid early measures of food and non-food reinforcement. Based on this framework, an individual’s choice to obtain commodities, such as food or fun activity is influenced by the constraints on those choices, as well as the availability of alternatives surrounding him/her. Secondly, the premise of her work is also grounded by research on environmental enrichment, and principle of choice architecture. Literature in these two areas suggest that arrangement of one’s physical environment, such as increasing the availability of choices, substitutability between reinforcers and constraints on complements to eating, can be used to make healthful lifestyle choices more obvious and accessible.
Becky Wiseman, LSCSW, LCSW, is the Sports Family Therapist within the Sports Medicine Department at Children’s Mercy. Becky has over 17 years of experience working with adolescences and their families. Becky’s current position is working with athletes who are experiencing a period of adjustment due to injury. Becky works with the athlete on their mental approach to recovery in order to maintain goals and motivation throughout the healing process. Outside of injury, Becky also works with athletes who are encountering anxieties, depressed mood, or struggling with the school, sports and teenage life balance. The objectives while working with Becky are for the athletes to learn to become aware of their emotions, accept what they are experiencing in the moment, and then move towards what is most important.
Dr. Gina Besenyi is an assistant professor and director of the Physical Activity Research in Community Settings (PARCS) Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology at Kansas State University. Her research explores how built environments contribute to physical activity and population-level health. Within this broader field of health promotion, she has a specific interest in the role of parks and nature, and how active use of green community resources influences physical activity and reduces population risk of chronic disease (e.g., obesity, cancer) and related mortality.
The Weighing In Quarterly Meeting for March 2021 introduced the KCPA Plan. Sector Leads helped to introduce the strategies and priorities of each sector. The first draft of the KCPA Plan is available on the KCPA Plan website.
View video from the March 2021 meeting, featuring Dr. Robin Shook.