Nutrition professor receives grant for diabetes intervention, rural health program

Apr 29, 2009 | General News

Dr. Mary Murimi, associate professor of nutrition in Louisiana Tech’s School of Human Ecology, has been awarded a $375,000 grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for the development of a rural healthcare services outreach program aimed at diabetes prevention and overall community health enhancement.

Mary MurimiThis grant will provide funding to serve members of the African-American community through churches and a local high school in two parishes in north central Louisiana.

“Diabetes is epidemic in the United States and a disproportionate burden in African-American populations,” says Murimi. “This grant will help us to maximize resources, increase the number of individuals and families receiving preventive care, and foster a sense of positive behavior that reflects health and self-help.”

According to the latest Louisiana Health Card, more than 25% of the populations in Lincoln and Claiborne parishes live in poverty with the leading causes of death among the African-American population being heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

In addition to education, subjects will receive primary prevention, such as screening, testing, health education, nutritional assessment, and counseling including early treatment referrals and follow-up.

Community-based small groups will be established to facilitate the implementation of physical activity and nutrition counseling and behavior modification sessions.

Written by Dave Guerin