Kathleen Szegda, PhD, MPH, MS is the Director of Community Research and Evaluation at the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts. As part of the Institute's goals to foster health equity and advance racial justice, she is leading organizational efforts to foster more participatory community involvement and stakeholder capacity building in research and evaluation. Her research interests are in maternal and child health, mental health, and chronic disease prevention with a focus on systems and policy change to advance health equity. Her prior research has focused on maternal mental health during pregnancy and impact on birth outcomes among Latina women, as well as, reproductive health. She is an adjunct faculty in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she teaches a health impact assessment class.
Springfield, Massachusetts is a mid-sized city with a large community of color population experiencing socioeconomic and health inequities. Historically there has been little infrastructure in Springfield to support active transportation and recreational walking and biking, so in 2015, Springfield City Council adopted a city-wide “Complete Streets” resolution.