GO! Austin / ¡VAMOS! Austin (GAVA)

Banner image for GO! Austin / ¡VAMOS! Austin (GAVA)

Project Overview

GAVA is a coalition of residents, community leaders, and nonprofits that share a common interest in improving the health of the Dove Springs and 78745 communities. It is a place-based, multi-component obesity intervention targeting multiple community sectors with an emphasis on the built environment. The environmental changes resulting from GAVA’s efforts are hypothesized to lead to increases in healthy eating and physical activity among all residents of the community.

The research team from the Dell Center is leading the evaluation of the impact of the GAVA Initiative through a series of studies including a cohort study and a serial, cross sectional study. The overarching goal of the 5-year GAVA evaluation study is to measure the impact of the GAVA initiative on awareness of resources, barriers to using resources, utilization of resources, obesity-related behaviors and weight status of residents in a low-income, ethnically diverse communities. The GAVA evaluation study is headed by Dr. Alexandra van den Berg (PI) and Dr. Nalini Ranjit (Co-PI), with Aida Nielsen as Project Director. Field and research staff assisting the evaluation include Nika Akhavan, Christine Jovanovic, Kathryn Janda, Martha Diaz, Gozie Ibeji, and Laurence Denis. For more details, see under People.

For more information about GAVA, visit GoAustinVamosAustin.org

GAVA blog series from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation


Go! Austin / Vamos! Austin (GAVA) is a coalition of residents, community leaders, and nonprofits working to improve the health of communities in 78744 and 78745 by increasing access to and participation in physical activity and improved nutrition. GAVA uses community organizing and institutional alignment to improve the health of the built environment and build community power for health equity in five sectors: Physical Activity, Healthy Food Access, Coordinated School Health, Early Childhood, and Community Safety.

Learn more about GAVA on their Facebook page


Selecting and identifying strategies for a multi-sector place-based Intervention

12/15/17 - (GAVA White paper series; Nika Akhavan, MPH, Laurence Denis, MD, MPH, Aida Nielsen, MPH)

Designing Place-Based interventions for Sustainability and Replicability: the Case of Go! Austin/Vamos! Austin

(Hussaini, A., Basu, S., Pulido, C., Ranjit, N; Frontiers in public health; 2018)

Photo of Martha Diaz Marin

Martha Diaz Marin

Research Assistant, GAVA Evaluation Study Photo of Alexandra (Sandra) van den Berg

Alexandra (Sandra) van den Berg, MPH, PhD

Principal Investigator, GAVA Evaluation Study; Co-Investigator, Texas SNAP-Ed Evaluation Photo of Aida Nielsen

Aida Nielsen, MPH

Project Director, GAVA Evaluation Study Photo of Nalini Ranjit

Nalini Ranjit, PhD

Principal Investigator, Texas SNAP-Ed Evaluation; Co-Principal Investigator, GAVA Evaluation Study

Early results from GAVA: A place-based, multi-sectoral intervention targeting healthy lifestyles

GAVA seeks to implement strategies targeting residents’ fruit and vegetable behavior and physical activity practice. In this talk, we will describe GAVA’s strategies, and preliminary evaluation results with a specific emphasis on parks.