Alice Ammerman, DrPH, director of the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and Mildred Kaufman distinguished professor of nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been awarded the Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for engaged research for the Heart Healthy Lenoir Project.
The award was presented at UNC-Chapel Hill’s 2018 Public Service Awards celebration on April 9, hosted by the Carolina Center for Public Service.
The Provost award was created in 2000 by former UNC Provost Dick Richardson to recognize extraordinary engaged scholarship in service to the state of North Carolina at the University. Recipients of the award have demonstrated a commitment to community concerns and fostered strong community partnerships.
The Heart Healthy Lenoir Project took place from 2010-2015 and was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The project was interdisciplinary and community-based, with work being shared by HPDP, Lenoir County agencies, and East Carolina University. The goal of the project was to reduce rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Lenoir County, where the rates of heart attack and stroke are much higher than most of the United States.
Dr. Ammerman and her team worked with local primary care practices to help patients understand their risks for heart disease and control their blood pressure. The project also involved partnerships with local restaurants to help them offer information about healthy food options.
The project was largely successful, and the community received it well as it involved only minor changes to the foods they enjoyed eating. The Heart Healthy Lenoir diet led to reduced blood pressure and weight loss in many subjects.
More information about the award and other awardees can be found here.