I learned of Toni Yancey’s death today. Though I knew the end of her extraordinary life was coming, it was a painful blow. I immediately felt the world deprived of her uncommon passion, enthusiasm, optimism, confidence, altruism, intelligence, and collegiality, all directed towards helping the most vulnerable people have healthier and more active lives. I so valued Toni as a colleague and friend that I want to share my memories and impressions.
I often called us “co-conspirators” because of our shared commitment to improving physical activity’s priority in public health. Though we were an “odd couple” in many ways, I felt a special kinship with Toni, as many people did. Our strongest connection was our shared mission to raise the priority of physical activity in the public health field. Both of us are appalled at the lack of commitment to increasing a behavior that could bring more physical and mental health benefits to people of all ages than anything else we know. While Toni was the guest editor of a 2009 theme issue on physical activity of Preventive Medicine, I was honored to work with her behind the scenes on this project. Moving this agenda forward would be a high tribute to Toni’s life work.
It has been heartbreaking watching Toni cope with her devastating illness that seemed to come out of nowhere. Lung cancer is usually a death sentence, but I and Toni’s legions of friends and fans hoped her outcome would be different. She fought hard, and she had lots of support, but she could not win this one.
I feel fortunate that I spent an afternoon with Toni March 31. Though she was in the final stages of her cancer and was on constant pain medication, her eyes were bright and her mind was active as ever. Her body was ravaged, but her spirit was powerful. She showed me some of the art pieces around her house that showed diverse interests and good taste. She was kind enough to share several facets of her vibrant personality. We paged through a book of photos from her modeling career, which was amazing in the variety of looks and moods. Though she did not talk about her basketball career, she was watching the college championships when I arrived. I read through some of her poems, which fully reflected the many themes of her life, a confidence that does not always accompany people from humble roots like hers, and comfort with her place in the world. I loved the poem that talked about her feeling at home around leading physicians and scientists, national leaders, and European royalty. She was every bit their equal.
I left inspired by her drive to use her remaining time and energy for the highest purposes. I was reminded that Toni always had a clear vision and was not afraid to take on the most difficult challenges. Two examples are most vivid. When I learned a few months earlier that she had won a huge $20 million grant from CDC to disseminate Instant Recess, it was bittersweet news. Though it was a fitting recognition of her years of systematic building of evidence, it was sad to me, and it must have been frustrating to her, that she would not see the project through. I asked her about what happened to the project and was stunned to learn that she had already set up six regional centers to carry out the grant. She had devoted her remaining energy to ensuring the project would live. The second example was that she showed me the final proofs for a book of her poetry, illustrated by art she had collected. Her poetry really is a summary of her passions, views of the world, and defining experiences. To create a book like this as one of her last acts is a beautiful exclamation point on a remarkable life. To see all that she accomplished when it was hard for her to even breathe makes me miss her spirit even more.
My last observation is about the exquisitely attentive care Toni was given by her partner Darlene. It was touching for me to observe Darlene making sure Toni’s regimens were faithfully carried out. Darlene noticed a disruption in Toni’s breathing that I did not hear and called the palliative care nurse for a consult. The nurse came for a home visit. Although Toni’s life was cruelly cut too short, she lived her last days with the highest possible quality and meaning, connected with caring family, devoted friends, and adoring colleagues.
I miss you, but I am inspired to carry on your work.
Please see more postings about Toni on the Active Living Research website.
2013 Publications and “Accepted” List (with a few late 2012 papers)
James F. Sallis, Ph.D.
Updated October 23, 2013
Candelaria, J.I., Sallis, J.F., Conway, T.L., Saelens, B.E., Frank, L.D., Slymen, D.J., Cain, K.L., and Chapman, J.E. (2012). Differences in physical activity among adults in households with and without children. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 9(7), 985-995. Link
Tandon, P.S., Zhou, C., Sallis, J.F., Cain, K.L., Frank, L.D., and Saelens, B.E. (2012). Home environment relationships with children’s physical activity, sedentary time, and screen time by socioeconomic status. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 9:88. PMCID: PMC3413573. Link
Ding, D., Sallis, J.F., Conway, T.L., Saelens, B.E., Frank, L.D., Cain, K.L., and Slymen, D.J. (2012). Interactive effects of built environment and psychosocial attributes on physical activity: A test of ecological models. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 44, 365-374.
Ding, D., Sallis, J.F., Norman, G.J., Saelens, B.E., Harris, S.K., Kerr, J., Rosenberg, D., Durant, N., and Glanz, K. (2012). Community food environment, home food environment, and fruit and vegetable intake of children and adolescents. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 44, 634-638. doi:10.1016/j.jneb.2010.07.003.
Sallis, J.F., Carlson, J.A, and Mignano, A.M. (2012). Promoting youth physical activity through physical education and after-school programs. Adolescent Medicine: State of the Art Reviews, 23(3),493-510. (Invited review)
Van Dyck, D., Cerin, E., Conway, T.L., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Owen, N., Kerr, J., Cardon, G., Frank, L.D., Saelens, B.E., and Sallis, J.F. (2013). Perceived neighborhood environmental attributes associated with adults’ leisure-time physical activity: Findings from Belgium, Australia, and the USA. Health and Place, 19, 59-68.
Carlson, J.A., Sallis, J.F., Chriqui, J.F., Schneider, L., McDermid, L.C., and Agron, P. (2013). State policies about physical activity minutes in physical education or during the school day. Journal of School Health, 83(3), 150-156. Link
Dirige, O.V., Carlson, J.A., Alcaraz, J., Moy, K.L., Rock, C., Oades, R., and Sallis, J.F. (2013). Siglang Buhay: Nutrition and physical activity promotion in Filipino Americans through community organizations. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 19(2), 162-168. DOI: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e3182571708
Whitt-Glover, M.C., Bennett, G., and Sallis, J.F. (2013). Introduction to the Active Living Research supplement: Disparities in environments and policies that support active living. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 45(1, suppl 1), 1-5.
Sallis, J.F., Carlson, J.A., Mignano, A.M., Lemes, A., and Wagner, N. (2013). Trends in presentations of environmental and policy studies related to physical activity, nutrition, and obesity at Society of Behavioral Medicine, 1995-2010: A commentary to accompany the Active Living Research Suppment to Annals of Behavioral Medicine. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 45(1, suppl 1), 14-17. http://www.activelivingresearch.org/journalspecialissues/abm2013
Adams, M.A., Ding, D., Sallis, J.F., Bowles, H.R., Ainsworth, B.E., Bergman, P., Bull, F.C., Carr, H., Craig, C.L., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Gomez, L.F., Inoue, S., Heggebo, L.K., Lefevre, J., Macfarlane, D.J., Matsudo, S., Matsudo, V., Murase, N., Sjöström, M., Tomten, H., Volbekiene, V., and Bauman, A. (2013). Patterns of neighborhood environment attributes related to physical activity across 11 countries: A latent class analysis. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10:34. DOI: 10.1186/1479-5868-10-34 Link
Tappe, K.A., Glanz, K., Sallis, J.F., Zhou, C., and Saelens, B.E. (2013). Children’s physical activity and parents’ perception of the neighborhood environment: Neighborhood Impact on Kids study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10:39. DOI: 10.1186/1479-5868-10-39 Link
Cerin, E., Conway, T.L., Cain, K.L., Kerr, J., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Owen, N., Reis, R.S., Sarmiento, O.L., Hinckson, E.A., Salvo, D., Christiansen, L.B., MacFarlane, D.J., Davey, R., Mitas, J., Aguinaga-Ontoso, I., and Sallis, J.F. (2013). Sharing good NEWS across the world: Developing comparable scores across 12 countries for the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS). BMC Public Health, 13:309. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-309. Link
Cain, K.L., Sallis, J.F., Conway, T.L., Van Dyck, D., Calhoon, L. (2013) Using Accelerometers in Youth Physical Activity Studies: A Review of Methods. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 10, 437-450.
Roesch, S.C., Norman, G.N., Merz, E., Sallis, J.F., and Patrick, K. (2013). Longitudinal measurement invariance of psychosocial measures in physical activity research: An application to adolescent data. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 43, 721-729.
Cain, K.L., Conway, T.L., Adams, M.A., Husak, L.E., and Sallis, J.F. (2013). Comparison of older and newer generations of ActiGraph accelerometers with the normal filter and low frequency extension. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10:51. (Posted online April 25, 2013). DOI: 10.1186/1479-5868-10-51. PMCID: PMC3641979. Link
Ding, D., Adams, M.A., Sallis, J.F., Norman, G.J., Hovell, M.F., Chambers, C.D., Hofstetter, C.R., Bowles, H.R., Hagstromer, M., Craig, C.L., Gomez, L.F., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Macfarlane, D.J., Ainsworth, B.E., Bergman, P., Bull, F.C., Carr, H., Klasson-Heggebo, L., Inoue, S., Murase, N., Matsudo, S., Matsudo, V., McLean, G., Sjostrom, M., Tomten, H., Lefevre, J., Volbekiene, V., and Bauman, A.E. (2013). Perceived neighborhood environment and physical activity in 11 countries: Do associations differ by country? International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10:57. Posted online May 14, 2013. PMCID: PMC3663693. Link
Winston, C. P., Sallis, J. F., Swartz, M., Hoelscher, D. M., and Peskin, M. F. (2013). Consumer nutrition environments of hospitals: An exploratory analysis using the Healthy Hospital Environment Scan for Cafeterias, Vending Machines and Gift Shops. Preventing Chronic Disease, 10:120335. Posted online July 8, 2013. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd10.120335 PMCID: PMC3702231. Link
Kerr, J., Sallis, J.F., Owen, N., DeBourdeaudhuij, I., Cerin, E., Frank, L., Reis, R., Fromel, K., Mitáš, J., Troelsen, J., MacFarlane, D., Salvo, D., Schofield, G., Badland, H., Guileen-Grima, F., Davey, R., Bauman, A., Saelens, B., Riddoch, C., Ainsworth, B., Pratt, M., Schimd, T., Adams, M., Conway, T., Cain, K., Van Dyke, D., and Bracy, N. (in press). Advancing science and policy through a coordinated international study of physical activity and built environments: IPEN methods. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. Link
Norman, G.J., Carlson, J.A., Omara, S., Sallis, J.F., Patrick, K., Frank, L.D., and Godbole, S. (2013). Neighborhood preference, walkability and walking in overweight/obese men. American Journal of Health Behavior, 37(2), 277-282.
Van Dyck, D., Sallis, J.F., Cardon, G., DeForche, B., Adams, M.A., Geremia, C., and De Bourdeaudhui, I. (2013). Associations of neighborhood characteristics with active park use: An observational study in the USA and Belgium. International Journal of Health Geographics, 12:26. PMCID: PMC3651346. Link
Oyeyemi, A.L., Sallis, J.F., Deforche, B., Oyeyemi, A.Y., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., and Van Dyck, D. (2013). Evaluation of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scales in Nigeria. International Journal of Health Geographics, 12:16. PMCID: PMC3606828. Link
Patrick, K., Norman, G.J., Davila, E.P., Calfas, K.J., Raab, F., Gottschalk, M., Sallis, J.F., Godbole, S., and Covin, J. (2013). Outcomes of a 12-month technology-based intervention to promote weight loss in adolescents at risk for type 2 diabetes. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 17(3), 759-770. Link
Kneeshaw-Price, S.H., Saelens, B., Sallis, J., Glanz, K., Frank, L., Kerr, J., Hannon, P., Grembowski, D., Chan, K.C.G., Cain, K. (2013). Children’s objective physical activity by location: Why the neighborhood matters. Pediatric Exercise Science, 25, 468-486.
Oyeyemi, A.L., Deforche, B., Sallis, J.F., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., and Van Dyck, D. (2013). Behavioral mediators of the association between neighborhood environment and weight status in Nigerian adults. American Journal of Health Promotion, 28 (1), 23-31.
Millstein, R.A., Cain, K.L., Sallis, J.F., Conway, T.L., Geremia, C., Frank, L.D., Chapman, J., Van Dyck, D., Dipzinski, L., Kerr, J., Glanz, K., and Saelens, B.E. (2013). Development, scoring, and reliability of the Microscale Audit of Pedestrian Streetscapes (MAPS). BMC Public Health, 13:403. Published online April 27, 2013. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-403. PMCID: PMC3728214 Link
Crespo, N.C., Corder, K., Marshall, S.J., Norman, G.J., Sallis, J.F., Patrick, K., and Elder, J.P. (2013). An examination of multilevel factors that may explain gender differences in children’s physical activity. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 10(7), 982-992. Link
Winston, C. P., Sallis, J. F., Swartz, M., Hoelscher, D. M., & Peskin, M. F. (2013). Reliability of the Healthy Hospital Environment Scan for Cafeterias, Vending Machines and Gift Shops. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 113(8),1069-1075.
Patrick, K., Norman, G.J., Davila, E.P., Calfas, K.J., Raab, F., Gottschalk, M., Sallis, J.F., Godbole, S., and Covin, J. (2013). Outcomes of a multimodal intervention to promote weight loss in adolescents at risk for type 2 diabetes. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 7(3),759-70.
Papers Accepted and In Press
Oyeyemi, A.L., Sallis, J.F., DeBourdeadhuij, I., Deforche, B., and Oyeyemi, A. (in press). Adaptation, test-retest reliability, and construct validity of the Physical Activity Neighborhood Environment Scale in Nigeria (PANES-N). Journal of Physical Activity and Health. Posted online December 7, 2012. Link
Molina-Garcia, J., Sallis, J.F., and Castillo, I. (in press). Active commuting and sociodemographic factors among university students in Spain. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. Link
Van Dyck, D., Cerin, E., Conway, T.L., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Owen, N., Kerr, J., Cardon, G., and Sallis, J.F. (accepted). Interacting psychosocial and environmental correlates of leisure-time physical activity: A three-country study. Health Psychology.
Molina-Garcia, J., Castillo, I., Queralt, A., and Sallis, J.F. (accepted). Bicycling to university: Evaluation of a bicycle-sharing program in Spain. Health Promotion International.
Sallis, J.F., Conway, T.L., Dillon, L.I., Frank, L.D., Adams, M.A., Cain, K.L., and Saelens, B.E. (in press). Environmental and demographic correlates of bicycling. Preventive Medicine. Published online June 19, 2013. Open access. DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.06.014 Link
Carlson, J.A., Sallis, J.F., Norman, G.J., McKenzie, T.L., Kerr, J., Arredondo, E.M., Madanat, H., Mignano, A.M., Cain, K.L., Elder, J.P., and Saelens, B.E. (accepted). Elementary school practices and children’s objectively measured physical activity during school. Preventive Medicine.
Carlson, J.A., Mignano, A.M., Norman, G.J., McKenzie, T.L., Kerr, J., Arredondo, E.M., Madanat, H., Cain, K.L., Elder, J.P., Saelens, B.E., and Sallis, J.F. (accepted). Socioeconomic disparities in elementary school practices and children’s physical activity during school. American Journal of Health Promotion.
Rovniak, L.S., Sallis, J.F., Kraschnewski, J.L., Sciamanna, C.N., Kiser, E.J., Ray, C.A., Chinchilli, V., Ding, D., Matthews, S.A., Bopp, M., George, D.R., and Hovell, M.F. (accepted). Engineering online and in-person social networks to sustain physical activity: Application of a conceptual model. BMC Public Health.
Patrick, K., Norman, G.J., Davila, E.P., Rosenberg, D.E., Sallis, J.F., Calfas, K.J., and Covin, J. (accepted). Two-year outcomes of a primary-care and home-based intervention for physical activity, sedentary behavior, and diet in adolescents. ICAN: Infant, Child, and Adolescent Nutrition.
Ding, D., Sallis, J.F., Norman, G.J., Frank, L.D., Saelens, B.E., Kerr, J., Conway, T.L., Cain, K., Hovell, M.F., Hofstetter, C.R., and King, A.C. (accepted). Neighborhood environment and physical activity among older adults: Do the relationships differ by driving status? Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.
Sallis, J.F., Cutter, C.L., Lou, D., Spoon, C., Wilson, A.L., Ding, D., Ponkshe, P., Cervero, R. Patrick, K., Schmid, T.L., Mignano, A., and Orleans, C.T. (accepted). Active Living Research: Creating and using evidence to support childhood obesity prevention. American Journal of Preventive Medicine.