Adam Hughes

CCE’s Adam Hughes named to ECOP Health and Well-being group

Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Director Chris Watkins has named State Extension Specialist Adam Hughes to represent CCE on a new Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) group that will enhance strategy development for work related to health and well-being. The group is led by Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) Health Director, Roger Rennekamp and will feature Extension representatives from every Public and Land-Grant University in the U.S.  

Along with raising the visibility of current work to the broader health ecosystem, the new group will help build the capacity of the Cooperative Extension system to efficiently and effectively carry out work in the area of Health and Well-Being, the first interprogrammatic area of work to have the benefit of full-time leadership from ECOP, thanks to financial support provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation(RJWF). RWJF hopes Cooperative Extension can change the health trajectory of the nation by building what they describe as a "culture of health" in every community across America. Cooperative Extension is now uniquely positioned to demonstrate Extension’s reach and capacity to an influential philanthropic partner, as well as other potential collaborators, partners, and funders. 

Before joining CCE, Hughes got his start in the public health field as a street outreach worker in HIV prevention and has been working in the sector for more than 15 years His work includes substance use prevention with the Boston Public Health Commission, oversight of a youth center for high risk and homeless youth with Justice Resource Institute, and most recently he worked in support of regional health policy in upstate NY.  

“Since coming to Extension, it has been clear to me that Extension systems across the country need to be continuously evolving to ensure they’re meeting the needs of communities,” Hughes said. “We already do this type of work through SNAP-Ed, parenting as well as 4-H youth development. Thinking about Extension as a viable entity in the area of health and well-being makes sense and has the potential to create opportunities for partnerships and funding in the future.” 

It is great to have someone with Adam’s background in public health practice in the Extension ranks,” said Rennekamp.That perspective enriches our system greatly.”  

Said Hughes: “My hope is that this will open the door for opportunities to expand health-related work within our system. CCE is well-positioned considering our comprehensive, community-level footprint across NY State. So much of preventive health and public health work relies on education to individuals and communities, which is aligned with our mission as a system.” 

R.J. Anderson/Cornell Cooperative Extension