Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Population Health and Health Policy

Rural Active Living Assessment (RALA) Toolkit: Codebook and Assessment Tools


The RALA tools were developed using an evidence-informed framework and substantial input from rural residents, and were designed to balance the needs of practitioners (e.g., user-friendliness) and researchers (e.g., reliable measures). The modules capture specific physical activity amenities, programs and policies, as well as built environment features. The tools include: The RALA Codebook, Town-wide Assessment Tool, Program and Policy Tool, and Segment Tool. The RALA Codebook provides users with a practical and simple guide for implementing the tool in rural communities across the U.S. The development of the tools is described in Yousefian, et al. (2010, January). Development of the rural active living assessment tools: Measuring rural environments. Preventive Medicine, 50(Supplement 1), S86-S92.

Publication Type: 
Web Page
Publish Date: 
January 1, 2010

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Hartley Retires as Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center

David Hartley, PhD

David Hartley, PhD, the Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center (MRHRC) and a Research Professor of Public Health has announced that he will be retiring from the University of Southern Maine August 31st, 2014. David came to the University in 1994 and has directed the MRHRC since 2004. Andy Coburn, PhD, Research Professor of Public Health, will take over as the new MRHRC Director. Erika Ziller, PhD continues in her role as Deputy Director. David has had a distinguished career in rural health and rural health research, and has made lasting contributions to the field with his work on rural behavioral health, rural disparities and health, and rural active living.

A celebration will be scheduled in early fall to honor David and his many contributions to the field and the University.


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