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Anders Cedergren

Assistant Professor
Public/Community Health Edu
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Anders Cedergren

Assistant Professor

Public/Community Health Edu

Specialty area(s)

Health Program Planning & Evaluation

Health Education Research Methods 

Global Health 

Brief biography

My areas of interest include the role of health education in health care and value-based benefits. I am also interested in upstream approaches in public health using advocacy and ethics. I try to emphasize student involvement across professional responsibilities, as well as collaboration with community organizations for wise utilization of resources in translational projects. 

Current courses at UWL

PH 204

CHE 380

CHE 450

HED 706

HED 720


PhD in Health Education with and emphasis in Public Health (University of Cincinnati) 

MEd in Health Education (University of Cincinnati)

BS in Community Health (University of Cincinnati) 


Research and publishing

Select Recent Projects:

Let’s Talk About Sex: Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Sexual Health Promotion Program for College Students (The Health Education Monograph) 

Teaching, Learning, and Practicing Advocacy: Validity and Fidelity of an Extracurricular Training for Public Health Students (APHA 2018)

Employer Sponsored Volunteering and Organizational Engagement among Employees of a Large Health System (SOPHE 2017)



Tisha King-Heiden, Biology; and Cheyenne Bennett and Anders Cedergren, both Public Health & Community Health Education students; presented "Gauging UWL Student Awareness of PFAS Contamination in Wisconsin " at Midwest Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry annual meeting on April 11 in La Crosse, WI.

Submitted on: April 17


Anders Cedergren and Keely Rees, both Public Health & Community Health Education, presented "The Ripple Effect: The Extended Impact of Experiential Advocacy Efforts in Academic Public Health Programs" at Society for Public Health Education Advocacy Summit on Oct. 14 in Washington, DC. This year’s summit theme was “Vote for Health! Advancing Health Through Community & Civic Engagement.” We presented in the following educational track: Advocacy Skill-building Interactive and engaging workshops focused on advocacy at the local, state, or federal level to achieve health equity. Abstracts covered effective advocacy tactics or skills, uses of social media, technology, partnerships, coalitions, and/or evaluation in advocacy campaigns. Content also included advocacy pedagogy.

Submitted on: Oct. 23, 2023


KJ Newkirk, Mikka Nyarko, Anders Cedergren, Keely Rees and Emily Whitney, all Public Health and Community Health Education; Willem Vanroosenbeek, Pride Center; and Casey Tobin, Psychology; co-authored the book "Be the Change: Putting Health Advocacy, Policy, and Community Organization into Practice in Public Health Education" published on Oct. 14 by Oxford University Press . Advocacy has become a key part of public health degree programs across the country. Many programs have added policy and advocacy courses into curricula in response to new emphases in accreditation requirements, yet few public health textbooks comprehensively cover the advocacy skills that health professionals need to effect change. Be the Change is an affordable introductory resource on public health advocacy, policy, and community organizing for both undergraduate and graduate students within the health and social sciences. Using a conversational and reader-friendly style, the authors draw on their experience as diverse advocates and practitioners in the field to synthesize the purpose, strategies, and tactics used in successful advocacy campaigns in public health. In each chapter, they highlight case studies of actual advocacy campaigns alongside concrete strategic recommendations for implementing change at the local, state, and federal levels. Full of useful stories and advice, Be the Change amplifies the important advocacy work happening around the United States, from traditional health organizations to grassroots community activists, and provides readers with the tools and inspiration to put advocacy into practice every day. REVIEWS: "Few people truly understand how policy shapes our health. In simple language, Be The Change helps practitioners understand this critical connection and provides them with strategies from real world success stories to determine where they can act most effectively." -- Larry Cohen, Founder, Prevention Institute and author, Prevention Diaries "A timely and practical playbook, Be the Change offers students the how-to skills for change-making. An essential read for all students who want to make the world a better place." -- Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, Flint pediatrician and author of What the Eyes Don't See "As a public health researcher, I know that racism, not race, is a fundamental cause of racial health inequities. Structural racism is a fixable problem, and policy makers have the power to enact solutions. This book is a tool to educate and empower public health changemakers, providing them with context, wisdom, and inspiration to build our shared vision of an antiracist future." -- Rachel Hardeman, PhD, MPH, Founding Director, Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity, University of Minnesota School of Public Health

Submitted on: Nov. 11, 2022


Lauren Witt and Anders Cedergren, both Public Health and Community Health Education, presented "UWL MASKUP!: An academic and practice partnership to observe and report mask adherence on a college campus" at American Public Health Association 2022 Annual Meeting & Expo: on Nov. 8 in Boston, MA. University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UWL) collaborated with the La Crosse County Health Department and the CDC on a study to observe mask use on and around campus in the spring of 2021. Data were collected for 12 weeks for 3745 observations. Twelve on-campus locations were used by 17 student observers who loaded data into a CDC survey tool. UWL had about a 5% higher observed mask use rate (98%) as well as rate of correct mask use (96%) compared to overall finings among the 54 participating colleges/universities. There was a lower rate of mask wearing as well as correct mask usage outdoors than indoors. There were also some differences in rates of mask wearing and correct usage based on the observation site, time of day, and mask type. However, further inspection of descriptive data did not reveal proportional differences that were large enough to warrant recommendations for modified or more targeted disease mitigation. The most common reason reported by observers for how masks were not worn correctly was “nose out. The most common specific reason observed was “eating/drinking." However, though these data were collected, the online form that student observers used populated all observations with how masks were worn incorrectly and possible reasons, not just the subject or subjects specifically observed. One way to make these data more specific would be to explore notes entered by students relating to observations without masks or incorrect mask wearing. Student observers felt results may be different if there was more of an opportunity to collect data outdoors and in a community setting. There was also a sense that the online academic environment during spring 2021 hampered data collection and extent of collaboration. Going forward, the local Eta Sigma Gamma chapter is interested in exploring research that attempts to answer questions around students’ opinions on mask wearing and other mitigation mandates.

Submitted on: Nov. 11, 2022


Kimberly Morris, Global Cultures & Languages; and Anders Cedergren and Sarah Pember, both Public Health and Community Health Education; presented "The Health Belief Model as a predictor of the likelihood of pandemic mitigation practices among college students" at American Public Health Association 2022 Annual Meeting & Expo: on Nov. 8 in Boston, MA. Background: The global COVID-19 pandemic changed the nature of the university experience, while deeply affecting students’ mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Perceptions of the severity of the pandemic and the disease itself , as well as students’ attitudes towards preventative actions to halt the spread of COVID-19, could be important indicators of how likely they are to contribute to overall mitigation of future infectious disease outbreaks. The purpose of this study was to use the Health Belief Model as a theoretical framework to predict the likelihood of students performing various mitigation strategies. Methods: An online survey was emailed to a random sample of students at a midsized midwestern university in the Spring of 2021. Data from the final sample (n=516) were analyzed using stepwise logistic regression, with perceptions of disease seriousness, susceptibility, perceived benefits, and perceived barriers of the mitigation strategy used as possible predictors in 3 separate analyses: likelihood of avoiding large gatherings on and off campus and getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Results: The new models were significant improvements over baselines models, with predictors accounting for 36.9% (vaccinate), 45.3% (avoiding large on-campus gatherings), and 61.9% (avoiding large off-campus gatherings) of variance. Students who reported that avoiding off-campus gatherings was easy were 24 times more likely to say that they would. For avoiding large on-campus gatherings, ease was associated with a 9.9 times greater chance of likelihood. Finally, seeing the vaccine as helpful in reducing the spread of COVID was associated with an 87 times greater likelihood of choosing to get vaccinated. Interestingly, while the HBM traditionally states that increasing an individual’s perception of their likelihood of contracting the disease will lead to increased likelihood of performing preventative action, this study suggests that students were more willing to participate in certain mitigation strategies if they perceived the issue to be of great concern to the population globally, regardless of its individual impact on them. Conclusions: Understanding students’ beliefs and likelihood of performing specific public health actions can help health professionals better promote mitigation strategies and increase participation among the young adult population. Based on findings from this study, possible next steps to investigate could include the connection between mitigation intent and actual mitigating behaviors, as well as applied experimental research to test the impact of messaging specifically around ease and helpfulness.

Submitted on: Nov. 11, 2022