Community Programs

The Community Programs team works with community partners to create and improve access to resources, healthy foods, health care, and safe places for physical activity for all. Through Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH), the Community Programs team has worked to increase nutrition and promote physical activity throughout the state, and to offer better clinical access for Marshallese, Hispanic and rural populations in Northwest Arkansas. As of March 2020, staff have enrolled more than 300 students in the Teen Outreach Program (TOP), which helps students make healthy decisions that will lead to them becoming healthy, thriving adults. Together, the Community Programs team works to build an environment where every person has access to their best health.

For more information on Community Programs, contact Layza Lopez-Love at or Hershell West at


The Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) team is working to develop community linkages in the Marshallese and Hispanic communities in Northwest Arkansas to increase access to chronic disease prevention and management services and increase access to healthy foods. Our team works with churches, schools, businesses, and community organizations to connect them to the services that can improve overall health and wellness in the community.

For more information about the REACH team’s Food Systems work, contact Jenni Vaughan at For information about the team’s Physical Activity and Built Environments work, contact Katie McCraney at For information about the team’s work in Early Childhood Education centers and state parks, contact Peter Cooper at For information about breastfeeding education and how businesses can support new mothers in the workplace, contact Karra Sparks at

Funding for REACH is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The Teen Outreach Program (TOP) is a three-year program that empowers teens to make healthy decisions and avoid risky behaviors. Curriculum lessons, community service learning activities, tools and resources will help youth identify sexual risk behaviors and employ practical skills to make smart choices in their relationships and health. The Office of Community Health and Research is partnering with the Springdale Public School District and local nonprofit youth agencies to provide the program to 1,200 ninth graders in the Springdale Public School District.

NWA-TOP uses the Wyman Center’s TOP approach, which uses a medically accurate curriculum that is age-appropriate, culturally and linguistically appropriate, and trauma informed. The Wyman TOP curriculum has been in existence for more than 30 years and has piloted some of the nation’s most successful youth development solutions.

For more information about the Teen Outreach Program, contact Hershell West at

Funding for TOP is provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Children, Youth and Families.