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Regional Correspondents

Regional Correspondents are located in all the major regions of the world to identify and provide recent physical activity-related publications and programs happening within their area. Their contribution assists in keeping the GlobalPANet database up to date in developments on international physical activity.

Dr Shifalika Goenka, MBBS(Mumbai), PhD(AIIMS), is Associate Professor, Public Health Foundation of India,  Indian Institute of Public Health- Delhi. Dr Goenka has been working in the research and delivery of public health for the last 16 years. She has intensive hardcore field experience working at the ground level with marginalized communities and populations, with different stake holders and a wide range of providers.
She is passionate about promoting physical activity in daily living in communities and populations through promoting an environment that  fosters physical activity during transportation, at work, at home and for leisure. She believes that national, state and local policies across sectors should directly and indirectly make physical activity in everyday living, the easy choice, the affordable choice, the accessible choice and the most desirable choice for all sections of society including the elderly, the disabled, women and children. Her book ‘Powering India’s Growth’, advocates the various context specific public health measures to promote physical activity and healthy eating in populations to prevent non-communicable diseases in India. She has been the co-investigator on a number of large successful health promotion projects.

Sonja Kahlmeier joined the University of Zurich, Switzerland, in 2010 as Deputy Head of the Unit on Physical Activity and Health. Her work focuses on physical activity promotion policy and networking as well as transport and economic approaches. Before that, she was with the WHO Regional Office for Europe in the Noncommunicable Disease and Environment Unit, where she addressed the same topics. She also serves as Executive member of the Steering Committee of the European Network for the promotion of Health-Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA Europe) since 2010 and was one of the leaders in its development and launch since 2005. She also worked at the Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine of the University of Basel, Switzerland, with a focus on policy evaluation and indicators on environment and health. She is involved in WHO, EU, national and local projects, carrying out research projects and serving in advisory capacity for projects, conferences and review boards.
She holds a Masters in Environmental Hygiene from the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich) and a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Basel.

Dr Tracy Kolbe-Alexander’s research includes characterising the environmental, inter- and intra-personal factors, influencing worksite health. She is the principal investigator in “Working on Wellness”, a randomised control trial investigating the effectiveness of wellness counselling among employees on their levels of physical activity. Her worksite intervention work has recently been expanded to include the provincial Department of Health of the Western Cape and also the Discovery Healthy Company Index, in which she is exploring the relationship between the worksite health promotion facilities and employee health. Her most recent worksite based research will be a formative assessment evaluating the health status and lifestyle behaviours among nurses.
Her other area of research is investigating the effectiveness of intervention programmes among older adults. Dr Kolbe-Alexander is also currently part of the team providing research and scientific support to Discovery Vitality, a national health insurer, where she is leads research related to worksite wellness, the South African Fittest City Initiative and Risk related age.
She is involved in physical activity advocacy initiatives in various sectors, including government, where she is a co-author on the ‘National Plan for Physical Activity in South Africa”. She is currently on the AFPAN secretariat, member of the GAPA executive committees, and scientific advisor to the Heart Stroke Foundation of South Africa. 

Silvia González is a Research Associate of the Group of Epidemiology at the Department of Public Health at the School of Medicine at the Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia). She holds a Nutrition Degree from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Bogotá), and an M.P.H. from the School of Government and the School of Medicine at the Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá). Her current research interests include physical activity, nutrition and built environment among the populations of children and adults in Latin America. She is currently a co-investigator of the projects: Longitudinal evaluation of the spread of behaviors related with overweight and obesity in school aged children: A social network analysis, The evaluation of the effectiveness of Muévete Escolar for the promotion of physical activity among school-aged children, The Evaluation of Ciclovías Recreativas programs as strategies for the prevention of non-communicable diseases and social inclusion through physical activity promotion, and the evaluation of the effectiveness of the Recreovia Program for the promotion of physical activity in community settings. She was a research assistant of The International Study of Childhood Obesity, Lifestyle and the Environment (ISCOLE), and she was the main coordinator of the first Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth in Colombia. Currently she is a co-investigator of the Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviors component of the National Nutrition Survey for 2015. She is an executive committee member of the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance.

Dr Temo K Waqanivalu MBBS, MPH, DFLM, is currently the WHO Coordinator of Non-communicable Disease (NCD) and Health Promotion Officer of the WHO Division of Pacific Technical Support (DPS) in the South Pacific Office of Suva, Fiji. From 1994, after graduation from medical school he has been working in the Ministry of Health of the Fiji Islands and has progressed through the ranks of Public Health. He last held the post of National Advisor NCD before moving to WHO in December 2005 as the Technical Officer of Nutrition and Physical Activity. He is currently the Coordinator of NCD and Health Promotion and oversees and coordinates WHO support in addition to providing direct technical and public health advise to the Pacific Island Countries. He has also held part-time and guest lecturer positions at the Fiji School of Medicine.

Morgan Clennin is a research assistance with the Children’s Physical Activity Research Group and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Exercise Science in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. She also works with the U.S. National Physical Activity Plan Alliance (NPAPA), a coalition of national organizations working together to insure that efforts to promote physical activity among the American population are guided by a comprehensive, evidence-based strategic plan. Morgan’s research interest include environment and system level influences on physical activity behavior. More specifically, her current research is focused on examining the effects of the social and physical environment on child and adolescent physical activity behaviors as well as the disparities that exist in these settings. She holds a Masters in Public Health from Saint Louis University.  


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