Joanne Lee is the Collaborative Learning Director of Active Living By Design (ALBD), and part of the organization’s leadership team. As the Collaborative Learning Director, Joanne oversees a culture of collaborative networking and learning that enables the organization to build internal and external capacity, and incorporate new knowledge and approaches into products, services and strategic direction. Joanne also provides strategic coaching and technical assistance to community-based partnerships across all phases of planning, implementation and sustainability. She engages directly with funders and leaders in the field to build capacity and develop healthy community strategies that have impact and are sustainable. Joanne frequently participates in program development and field building processes, and serves in various advisory roles. She represents ALBD on issues related to nutrition, public health, community-based policy and environmental strategies, children’s and women’s health, and diverse populations. She has a special interest in community engagement, equity, collaborative learning and networking, capacity building, and sustainability. Joanne joined the ALBD team in 2005, and has been involved several of ALBD’s major portfolios including Roadmaps to Health Action Awards; Healthy Neighborhoods Fund; Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities; Fit Community and Fit Together.
Joanne has lived in North Carolina, Hawai’i and Arizona, and worked in other diverse settings across the country. Prior to joining ALBD, Joanne served as Program Director for the Nutrition Division of the Pitt County Health Department in eastern North Carolina. Previously, she was Lead Research Dietitian for the Nutrition Support Shared Resource Unit of the Cancer Research Center of Hawai`i. She has also served in lead roles on national and international research studies, including NIH-funded investigations.
A Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist, Joanne completed her M.P.H. and B.S. degrees at the University of Hawai’i, and holds a Certificate of Advanced Clinical Education in Child and Adolescent Obesity from the University of California, San Francisco.
Joanne grew up in Hawai’i and currently resides in rural eastern North Carolina. She supports local parks and walkability initiatives, and is a regular patron of her local farmers’ market and community garden. Joanne is the proud owner of three dogs, all rescued from shelters. She and her certified therapy dogs visit local facilities, and Joanne has been involved as a volunteer trainer for the New Leash on Life program at a local correctional institution.
Eating fresh mangoes, bananas and papayas picked from trees in the backyard, walking to school, and playing at the beach with friends were normal routines during my childhood days in Hawai’i. I feel fortunate to have grown up in a place where the healthy food options were as rich as the ethnic diversity, and the climate and environment made physical activity easy. Living in different communities in other parts of the country increased my awareness about the importance of environments in shaping choices and lifestyles. The uniqueness of each community has motivated me to find new ways to incorporate healthy eating and active living in my life. Although the availability of fresh, local produce and opportunities for physical activity are different now that I’m living in a small rural town in eastern North Carolina, it’s been a reaffirming adventure to explore new healthy foods and ways to be active. I now take advantage of opportunities to enjoy fresh berries and melon in season, and help create “desire lines” from my home to the post office and other community destinations where there are no sidewalks. I believe that experiencing the food, activity and culture are keys to becoming established and part of one’s community.