Sandra Slater, PhD, MS, an associate professor in Concordia's School of Pharmacy, had an essay published earlier this month in the journal, Preventing Chronic Disease, part of a special supplement, "US Public Health Response to Covid-19 and Chronic Disease: Continuing the Commitment to Improve Population Health."

Slater’s commentary was entitled Recommendations for Keeping Parks and Green Space Accessible for Mental and Physical Health During COVID-19 and Other Pandemics, and lays the groundwork for a research study of all available state-level documents outlining guidelines for restrictions to public spaces to help mitigate the spread of the virus. This study is presently in the pilot testing phase, according to Slater, who co-authored the piece along with co-chairs of a Center for Disease Control (CDC) sponsored Physical Activity Policy Research and Evaluation Network Parks and Green Space Work Group, Richard Christiana, PhD, and Jeanette Gustat, PhD, MPH.


“Our parks are a community resource that are normally free and available to all community members,” said Slater, “so I’ve been examining the influence that parks and renovations to them may have on physical activity behavior for a number of years.” A faculty member in the School of Pharmacy since 2018, she has conducted a number of funded research studies related to this topic and recently participated in a CDC expert panel on defining “Play Deserts.”

Slater noted her research interest focuses on understanding how environmental policies and factors impact health behaviors such as physical activity, sedentary behavior, and tobacco use, as well as health outcomes including cardiovascular disease and obesity. It further concentrates on better understanding racial, ethnic and cultural differences in health behaviors and environments as they specifically relate to health disparities.

Slater’s essay marks her second one published in this journal, although she’s authored or co-authored 54 articles in publications including The Journal of Public Health Management & Practice and The Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior.

She is a member of numerous committees, including the Washington/Ozaukee County Health Department’s INVEST Obesity Committee, and the Washington/Ozaukee County Health Department’s Eat and Move Well Committee.

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