Montana’s wellness during COVID-19 discussed at April 15 Doig Center forum
From MSU News Service
BOZEMAN – Members of a team of Montana State University researchers will share the results of one of the first statewide studies of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on well-being at a free online forum set for 6 p.m. Thursday, April 15.
Carmen Byker Shanks and Michelle Grocke, both professors in the MSU Department of Health and Human Development, and Justin D. Shanks, a researcher and instructor with the MSU Library, will present their research at the forum sponsored by the Ivan Doig Center for the Study of the Lands and Peoples of the North American West at MSU. The presentation can be accessed via a link at the center’s website, montana.edu/doig.
“In a matter of weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic transformed our everyday lives to accommodate social distancing, working and learning from home, and closing businesses,” said Mary Murphy, director of the Doig Center. “We know the numbers: how many Montanans contracted the disease, how many died. But what about some of the other profound effects on Montanans’ well-being?”
Byker Shanks, Grocke and Shanks will share what they discovered about food security, mental and physical health and media use across the state. The goal of their work is to ultimately build policies, systems and environments that support human resilience in the face of public health crises.
Byker Shanks is an associate professor of food and nutrition and sustainable food systems. She is a registered dietitian nutritionist whose research promotes strategies that provide nourishing food for all. Grocke is an assistant professor and is the health and wellness specialist for MSU Extension. Her research is on the socio-cultural and environmental determinants of health in rural areas. Shanks’ research investigates sociocultural roles of digital technology, practices of mindfulness and processes of information exchange.
For more information about the forum, go to montana.edu/doig. •