Kristen Sullivan, MS, MPH

Director, Nutrition and Physical Activity

WHAT inspires my research?

I firmly believe that we will not make real progress against chronic diseases, including cancer, until everyone has equitable access to healthy foods and opportunities to be physically active. That access is foundational to good health. The work that we do at ACS helps define the impact of healthy eating and activity on cancer and contributes to environments–where we live, learn, work, and play–that support healthy diets and safe activity for all of us.”

At ACS since 2007

As Director of Nutrition and Physical Activity for the American Cancer Society (ACS), Kristen Sullivan, MS, MPH, has responsibility for overseeing the healthy eating and active living portfolio.

In this role, her work focuses on policy- and systems-level changes to make our environments–where we live, learn, work, shop, and play–more supportive of healthy eating and active living.

She has worked with health systems and other community-based partners to create healthier communities, and she conceptualizes research projects to help build the evidence base for needed health policy and systems changes.

Research focus and accomplishments

I’m responsible for planning and managing numerous projects to improve healthy eating and physical activity. Some of my recent work involved:

  • Managing a CDC-funded project to educate health care providers on the importance of nutrition and activity for cancer survivors.
  • Planning and implementing a project to provide training and technical assistance to hospital systems to help them develop system-wide policies to reduce or eliminate the sale of sugary drinks in their facilities.
  • Leading the development of a comprehensive strategy to address equitable well-being on college campuses.
  • Leading an internal ACS workgroup to develop a strategy for addressing food insecurity.

Publications

Let’s Talk: Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer Survivorship is an online, interactive training simulation from the ACS that provides primary care providers a responsive learning environment where they can feel safe practicing effective communication techniques to use during conversations with cancer survivors about nutrition, physical activity, and their risk for obesity. 

Healthy Healthcare Resources was developed through a partnership between the ACS and the Public Health Law Center. to support health care settings and other organizations with improvements for their food and beverage environments, including through policies to reduce or eliminate sugary drinks. These resources included:

  • A report about how we used a Learning Lab model to support health care organizations make positive changes during challenging times
  • A case study
  • An updated Healthy Healthcare Toolkit

Although these resources focus on beverages and health care settings, many of the principles and approaches outlined in it also can be applied to food environments and to other types of organizational settings as well.

The Campus Well Being Guide, sponsored by the ACS, aims to help college campus leaders promote a shared understanding of campus well-being, by providing them with actionable resources and inspirational stories, a flexible decision-support tool, and describing effective and equitable student and campus well-being programs.

 

 

Contact

kristen.sullivan@cancer.org

Work before ACS

  • ACS Corporate Communications Department
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity; Health Communications Fellow

Professional organizations

  • American Public Health Association, Member

Education   

  • MS: Nutrition Communication, Tufts University Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
  • MPH: Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Tufts University School of Medicine
  • BA: Molecular Biology, Lehigh University

Personal 

I enjoy reading, exercising, and binge-watching Nordic Noir crime dramas. I live in the Atlanta area with my husband, two children, and two dogs.