Originally titled “Nutrition World”, the exhibit debuted for two weeks in 2007 at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) in Portland, in conjunction with the museum’s Body Worlds 3 exhibit. The exhibit was developed to educate the public about relationships among diet, weight and chronic disease; introduce attendees to biomedical research and invite them to become research participants. The exhibit emphasized the role of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in sponsoring this exhibit and similar research. Over 3,000 individuals lined up to participate over the week and a half of the exhibit. Nutrition World proved enormously popular with the public, prompting requests to reproduce the exhibit at health fairs, schools, and other venues.
In addition, numerous requests to address other health issues (e.g. sleep, physical activity and diseases such as cancer) prompted the exhibit name to change to “Let’s Get Healthy!” so that exhibit topics could expand beyond nutrition. The “Let’s Get Healthy!” program supports research, data collection and data analysis activities resulting from the exhibit. The program is housed within OHSU’s Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology (CROET).
The research and educational value of the “Let’s Get Healthy!” exhibit are a result of the vital roles played by the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI) and our Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program in developing and promoting the exhibit. As a result, both OCTRI and SEPA programs at OHSU were awarded NIH administrative supplement grants in 2009 to take “Let’s Get Healthy!” to rural Oregon communities over two years. These grants supported community engagement, NIH research and health education as the program built partnerships among NIH-funded programs and other organizations. Together, these new collaborations allowed for new and creative ways to bring the “Let’s Get Healthy!” exhibit to rural communities and to allowed for direct community access to resulting data – in both community venues and medical facilities – thereby, serving the interests of the communities, OCTRI and NIH investigators.
Let’s Get Healthy! is a part of the Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology (CROET). We are proud to call CROET our home, and are lucky enough to work with many of their researchers and professors. Learn more about CROET by visiting their website.