UNC Community-Campus Partnership to bring HOPE programs to Lenoir County

The Community-Campus Partnership at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has awarded a $20,000 grant to the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP) to support public health and poverty alleviation programs in Lenoir County through its Health, Opportunity, Partnerships and Empowerment (HOPE) projects. The projects aim to improve health outcomes for low-income women by providing support and financial incentives to make healthy choices.  {readmorelink}Read more… {/readmorelink}

The Community-Campus Partnership is a campus-wide initiative to forge effective partnerships with economically distressed communities in North Carolina. It offers small grants ranging from $500 to $20,000 to full-time faculty, staff or students of UNC-Chapel Hill to support projects that align with local priorities in Caswell or Lenoir counties, the locations chosen for the partnership’s initial focus. Projects must build local capacity, skills or knowledge to address current and future challenges in the areas of community and economic development, education, infrastructure or public health or improve the livability and viability of local communities.

This grant will aid in the recruitment of up to 80 women from Lenoir County for HOPE projects. Participants in the project will open individual development accounts and receive matching funds that can be applied toward furthering their education, learning new skills or creating a business. Local partners include the Partnership for Children of Lenoir and Greene Counties and the Lenoir Community College Small Business Center. The HOPE projects are also funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health Challenge Award program.

“We’ve been impressed with the energy and commitment to community improvement in Kinston and Lenoir County, and I believe the HOPE projects will make a significant difference there,” said Dr. Marci Campbell, principal investigator for the HOPE project.

To learn more about Community-Campus Partnership or additional funding opportunities, visit www.sog.unc.edu/programs/ccp or contact Kendra Cotton, project director, at (919) 843-7736 or kendra@unc.edu.

Community-Campus Partnership contact: Will Lambe, (919) 966-4247, whlambe@sog.unc.edu.

 

School of Government contact: Ellen Bradley, (919) 843-6527, bradley@sog.unc.edu.

News Services contact: Susan Houston, (919) 962-8415, susan_houston@unc.edu.

Early childhood nutrition program recommended by First Lady’s Task Force on Childhood Obesity

A program designed by researchers at the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention to reduce obesity in preschool children was recommended by the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity last week.

The task force is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to reduce childhood obesity. Titled Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity within a Generation, the report recommended specific evidence-informed programs to achieve this goal. The Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC) was one of three programs identified by the task force as an intervention to combat childhood obesity in early childhood.

“We’re very pleased to have NAP SACC included in this list,” said Dianne Ward, principal investigator of the study and professor of nutrition at the UNC Gillings Global School of Public Health. “We think our reputation and the demonstrated usefulness of NAP SACC preceded us and led the task force to recognize NAP SACC as a model program.”

The other programs noted were Nemours Childhood Obesity Model, supported by the Nemours Health and Prevention Services and I am Moving, I am Learning, a health promotion and obesity prevention enhancement developed for Head Start.

“NAP SACC was developed with modest funding but strong community participation.  We are excited to be cited along programs that enjoy on-going funding.” said Ward. NAP SACC received funding from several sources, including the Prevention Research Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

NAP SACC focuses on the child care environment and asks center directors and teachers to identify aspects of the environment they want to improve. These aspects include nutrition, equipment, play time and opportunities for physical activity, among others.  The program measures success by changes in the foods offered and activity opportunities given to children rather than body measurements.

NAP SACC has been disseminated nationally and internationally, by government agencies, community groups and health practitioners. An Arizona partnership between local health departments and the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health implemented NAP SACC in Yuma County and found that the program “created a culture of health promotion within the child care setting.”

NAP SACC materials are available for download from the Center for Excellence in Training and Research Translation (Center TRT), a project also based at HPDP. The site offers a free online training to anyone interested in implementing NAP SACC, along with full program materials.  Website users must register on the site to access materials, but it is available to anyone.

The North Carolina Partnership for Children and Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation also provided grants to communities and groups interested in implementing NAP SACC. The grants provided salary support for health practitioners to assist groups to implement NAP SACC .

Ward said that although their NAP SACC research funding has officially ended, her team is looking for ways to establish permanent support to assist organizations who want to implement the program.

Join the Hippy Dippy Heelraisers in the Race for the Cure

A HPDP staff community service project seeks to raise $2,000 for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure by participating in the Triangle race on Saturday, June 12 at Meredith College in Raleigh.

Seven UNC HPDP employees have joined the Hippy DippyHeelraisers team, but they are looking for more members and donations.  The race includes a run, walk and “sleep-in” option for donations.

“Folks can still join, and we’d love for more people to join the team,” said Susanne Schmal. “So far, we’ve raised $1,205.”

Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the world today, with about 1.3 million people diagnosed annually. It is a widespread and random disease, striking women and men of all ages and races. However, thanks to heightened awareness, early detection through screening, improved treatment methods and increased access to breast health services, people have a greater chance of survival than ever before.

Many HPDP staffers have been touched by breast cancer, including Wanda Hunter, deputy director for research and operations, who is part of the team.

“As a breast cancer survivor, I am touched and thrilled that the team chose this project,” Hunter said.

Hunter is joined by Molly DeMarco, Cecilia Gonzales, Avia Mainor, Carolyn Naseer, Renee Rendahl, and Susanne Schmal on the Hippy Dippy Heelraisers.

Up to 75 percent of the NC Triangle Affiliate’s net income goes toward funding grants to local hospitals and community organizations that provide breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment programs for medically underserved women. The NC Triangle Affiliate services area covers the counties of Caswell, Chatham, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Harnett, Johnston, Nash, Orange, Person, Vance, and Wake.
Please visit the following websites to join the Hippy Dippy Heelraisers for the race or to donate to their team.

Instructions to Join:
1. Visit the Komen NC page
2. Select “register” in the upper right-hand corner and select “join a team that has already been created by a team captain.”
3. Select “I would like to join an existing team” and type “Hippy Dippy Heelraisers” as the team name and click search. The team name should populate, and you can then select “join.”

To donate:
1. Visit http://www.komennctriangle.org/komen-race-for-the-cure/donate/
2. Select “Donate to a specific team.”
3. Type in “Hippy Dippy Heelraisers” as the team name and click search. The team name should populate, and you can then click donate to this team on their homepage.

Church garden hopes to cultivate good health

A new partnership between the Coley Springs Missionary Baptist Church, pastored by Reverend Carson Jones, and the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP) seeks to cultivate better health and improve access to fresh foods through a community garden.

The Harvest of Hope project will create a church garden at Coley Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Warren County.  The project will examine how the garden can help develop farming skills in the community and reduce health disparities through improved access to fruits and vegetables.

Reverend William Kearney, an associate pastor and health ministry coordinator at Coley Springs, formed a committee with church members to consider turning one of the church’s fifty acres into a vegetable garden. He then approached HPDP researchers about developing the project because he knew of the Center’s interest in the health benefits of sustainable farming.

Molly De Marco, an HPDP researcher and Alice Ammerman, director of HPDP and professor of nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health first met Rev. Kearney while working on a project with Shaw University and Black churches to address health disparities.  De Marco and Ammerman will co-lead the study at UNC and will work in close partnership with Rev. Jones, Rev. Kearney, and Coley Springs leaders to continue the work the church leaders have already begun.

“This study was initiated by members of Coley Springs Missionary Baptist Church in an effort to empower their fellow members to make positive changes in their lives while also using the abundance of land they have been blessed with,” said De Marco. “Many churches have started community gardens, similar to victory gardens of past generations, but this is one of the first garden projects to have its impacts studied rigorously from the start.”

The project will study the garden’s impact using a new tool developed by the HPDP team that measures attitudes about grocery shopping, farming, gardening, food production, and fruits and vegetables,  as well as cooking skills, history with gardening,  and access to fruits and vegetables.

Warren County has some of the highest rates of poverty and unemployment in North Carolina. With the demise of tobacco, some residents are seeking new crops to farm, or are turning away from farming altogether.  Rev. Kearney remains  focused on the opportunities that exist in a county characterized by an abundance of land, experienced farmers and an engaged faith community. 

“We are rich in resources and we need to use those resources to empower our residents to improve their health and their economics,” said Rev. Kearney.

Click here to see a pdf of a presentation Rev. Kearney and De Marco gave about Harvest of Hope:

HPDP Contact: Sonya Sutton, Communications Specialist, ssutton@unc.edu; 919-966-4118

News Release: UNC project takes on heart disease in heart of U.S. ‘stroke belt’

For immediate use: Monday, May 3, 2010

CHAPEL HILL — A new $10 million grant will help researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and East Carolina University collaborate with health-care practitioners and community leaders in Lenoir County to tackle heart disease, the county’s leading cause of death.

The UNC-ECU project aims to better understand the causes of cardiovascular health disparities and test innovative solutions. It is one of 10 Centers for Population Health and Health Disparities funded by a five-year grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health. The 10 centers are also supported by the National Cancer Institute and the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research.
Lenoir County is on the “buckle” of the “stroke belt,” a name given to a region of the southeastern United States recognized by public health authorities for its unusually high incidence of stroke and other forms of cardiovascular disease. The county’s hypertension and cardiovascular disease rates are among the highest in the country, and many residents lack access to adequate medical care or opportunities that promote good health.

The project will be based at the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. The center’s director, Alice Ammerman, Dr.PH., professor of nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, is project co-leader along with Dr. Cam Patterson, Chief of  the Division of Cardiology at UNC School of Medicine and director of the UNC McAllister Heart Institute. Patterson and Drs. Darren DeWalt and Tom Keyserling, assistant and associate professors, respectively, in the UNC School of Medicine, will lead three related research projects within the center. The ECU team is led by Doyle M. Cummings, Pharm.D., a pharmacist and professor of family medicine, and Stephanie Jilcott, Ph.D., assistant professor of public health.

“This project gives us the opportunity to bring together a multidisciplinary research team with a wide variety of community partners in Lenoir County to tackle hypertension and heart disease from prevention to treatment,” Ammerman said.
“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in America, and our goal at UNC is to change that statistic by finding ways to prevent it and treat it,” said Patterson, whose specialty is determining genetic factors of the disease.” This project allows us to demonstrate our dedication to that goal, and we are especially grateful to the people of Lenoir County for helping us lead the way.”
The research will help determine genetic factors associated with cardiovascular disease risk and how clinical and public health communities can more effectively work together to reduce people’s risk of heart disease through medication, diet and physical activity. The project will also offer an intensive weight loss intervention for participants who are overweight.

The study will also include a partnership with a non-profit call center, Connect Inc., adding lifestyle and medication adherence coaching to its current focus on jobs, employment and benefits counseling. The project will explore opportunities to create jobs while promoting health, including local food production and distribution systems in Lenoir County.

Research support will be provided by the N.C. Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute at UNC. Interventions that prove effective will be disseminated through the center of excellence for training and research translation within the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.

The project is guided by a community advisory committee and researchers will work with local decision makers to implement policy and environmental changes to sustain long-term health improvements.

Multimedia note: For a graphic illustrating Lenior County’s position in the “stroke belt,” go to:
http://www.hpdp.unc.edu/news/stroke-mortality-in-lenoir-count-nc

National Institutes of Health news release: http://public.nhlbi.nih.gov/newsroom/home/GetPressRelease.aspx?id=2702

UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention contact: Sonya Sutton, (919) 966-4118, ssutton@unc.edu
News Services contact: Patric Lane, (919) 962-8596, patric_lane@unc.edu

 

New $10 million grant to reduce heart disease in Lenoir County

May 3, 2010– Residents of Lenoir County will have access to customized programs and strategies designed to reduce heart disease and stroke through a new 5-year community-based research project awarded to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH).

The new UNC-CH project is one of 10 Centers for Population Health and Health Disparities funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to understand and address inequities associated with the two leading causes of death in the United States – cancer and heart disease. The 10 centers are supported by the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Cancer Institute and the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research.

The project is a partnership between the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and East Carolina University (ECU) and will call on community members to advise the entire research process.

“Lenoir County seems to be on the buckle of the stroke belt we so commonly refer to,” said Joey Huff, Director of the Lenoir County Health Department.  “Heart disease is one of the health department’s focus areas to improve the health of our community. I see this project as a significant resource to our Lenoir County residents to improve their health status and reduce morbidity and mortality due to heart disease.”

The first step of the project will be to examine heart health programs and services currently offered in the county. Researchers will also examine lifestyle issues such as diet, exercise and smoking as well as genetic, racial, neighborhood and economic factors associated with heart disease. The new center will also explore opportunities for entrepreneurial efforts that address health and also have the potential to create future jobs.  After the initial review of current programs, and discussions with community partners, researchers will work with clinics in the county to implement new programs designed to meet the specific needs of Lenoir County residents and then begin recruiting participants.

“Anyone who is currently diagnosed with hypertension and has an interest in exploring a community-based approach to incorporate with their physician’s plan should think about participating in the project,” said Huff.  The project will also offer a lifestyle and weight loss program for up to 400 community members and will work toward changing the community environment to make healthier lifestyles an easier choice for everyone.

The project will be based at the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. The center’s director, Alice Ammerman, Dr.PH., professor of nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, is project co-leader along with Dr. Cam Patterson, Chief of  the Division of Cardiology at UNC School of Medicine and director of the UNC McAllister Heart Institute. Patterson and Drs. Darren DeWalt and Tom Keyserling, assistant and associate professors, respectively, in the UNC School of Medicine, will lead three related research projects within the center. The ECU team is led by Doyle M. Cummings, Pharm.D., a pharmacist and professor of family medicine, and Stephanie Jilcott, Ph.D., assistant professor of public health.

“This project gives us the opportunity to bring together a multidisciplinary research team with a wide variety of community partners in Lenoir County to tackle hypertension and heart disease from prevention to treatment,” said Ammerman.

“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in America, and our goal at UNC is to change that statistic by finding ways to prevent it and treat it,” said Patterson, whose specialty is determining genetic factors of the disease.” This project allows us to demonstrate our dedication to that goal, and we are especially grateful to the people of Lenoir County for helping us lead the way.”

The center researchers will create a community advisory committee to help guide the project. Huff and Constance Hengel, director of community programming and development at Lenoir Memorial Hospital in Kinston, worked with researchers to develop the grant proposal and will continue this collaboration.

“Our community leaders know each other well and collaboration on projects is not new to this group,” said Hengel. “As the plans evolved for the project, community health leaders met to talk about community health strengths and weaknesses.”

Hengel added she and others are excited that the local advisory partnership will continue to work to execute the project in order to positively impact the residents of Lenoir County.

HPDP CONTACT: Sonya Sutton, ssutton@unc.edu; 919-966-4118