Projects

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CLUB FIT

Description

Childhood obesity is a public health epidemic that has been increasing at alarming rates in the U.S. Approximately one-third of children and adolescents in the U.S. are obese or overweight. Childhood obesity disproportionately affects children of ethnic minorities and low-income populations.

Boys & Girls Club of Rochester (BGCR) serves over 1,600 children each year. Close to two-thirds are children of color, and a majority live in low-income homes. BGCR offers youth development programs and services in several core areas including Health and Life Skills, which focus on physical activity and nutrition.

Club Fit is a program aimed at preventing obesity among BGCR members. The first phase of this project aims to review existing physical activity and nutrition programming, and define opportunities to enhance these programs at BGCR. Researchers will use focus groups, surveys, and physical measures to assess perceived barriers, facilitators, and opportunities for improvement to sustaining healthful physical activity and nutrition behaviors among BGCR members. Results of this pilot project will be used to enhance existing BGCR programs for the prevention of overweight and obesity among its members, to achieve the goal of healthier youth.

Started

2012

Status

Data analysis ongoing

Funding

Mayo Clinic: Office of Health Disparities Research.

Significant Partners

Boys & Girls Club of Rochester

Mayo Clinic

HEALTHY IMMIGRANT FAMILIES

Description

Immigrants and refugees arrive to the United States healthier than the general population.  But, the longer they live in the U.S., the more likely they are to approximate the cardiovascular risk profiles of the general population, including increased rates of  obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease. Two reasons for the development of these diseases are low levels of physical activity and lack of access to healthy foods.  The reasons for these behaviors are complex, and include many social, economic, environmental, and cultural factors.

Healthy Immigrant Families is a project aimed at improving physical activity and dietary habits among immigrants and refugees to Rochester, Minnesota. Healthy Immigrant Families uses a CBPR approach to design an intervention aimed at improving physical activity and dietary habits with and for families from participating communities. The intervention includes delivery of family-centered, home-based coaching and learning regarding physical activity and healthy eating to participating Hispanic, Somali and Sudanese Families. These lessons will be facilitated by specifically trained Family Health Promoters from the same community or ethnic group as the participants. Community physical activity and nutrition resources will be accessible through a specifically created interactive web-based asset map. Program efficacy will be evaluated by measuring physical activity using accelerometery, and dietary quality by 24-hour dietary recall. Other health indicators include measurement of blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), and health-related quality of life survey.

Started

2011

Status

Ongoing

Funding

National Institutes of Health: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (RO1 HL 111407-03)

Mayo Clinic: Center for Translational Science Activities, Office of Health Disparities Research, Divisions of Infectious Diseases and Primary Care Internal Medicine

Significant Partners

Alliance for Chicanos, Hispanics and Latin Americans

Hawthorne Education Center

Somali Community Resettlement Services

Sudanese Community

Winona State University

Mayo Clinic

 

LET’S TALK

Description

Healthy literacy influences health behaviors and health outcomes. It is estimated that close to half of the adult U.S. population is functionally illiterate when it comes to health. Adults with low literacy levels are disproportionately racial and ethnic minorities. Let’s Talk was a pilot-project to test the feasibility and sustainability of a community-based health literacy curriculum aimed at improving knowledge and healthy behaviors on topics identified by the community.

The project consisted of a series of information sessions where students of Winona State University Graduate Programs in Nursing, who are registered nurses, discuss health-care system navigation, health prevention, health promotion, and chronic disease management with members of African American, Cambodian, Hispanic, Somali and Sudanese communities who participated in the program. Nurses worked closely with community leaders or liaisons on refining the program to meet community needs. These information and learning sessions took place in various locations around Rochester, such as schools, community centers, homes, and religious gathering places. Sessions varied for different community groups, based on the recommendations of the respective community leaders or liaisons. For example, sessions were incorporated once a week during Cambodian Cultural School, and after church services with Sudanese families and those belonging to the African American community. Nurses met with elderly Somalis at the common room of their apartment building, and with Hispanic families at home. In many instances, the sessions followed the curriculum contained in a book called Staying Healthy from the Florida Literacy Coalition, Inc., which was adapted to provide Minnesota specific health resource information, and expanded to focus on topics of interest identified by Rochester communities. Click for PDF.

Started

2011

Status

Ended 2013

Funding

Winona State University Foundation

Mayo Clinic: Divisions of Infectious Diseases and Primary Care Internal Medicine

 Significant Partners

Alliance for Chicanos, Hispanics, and Latin Americans

Rochester Public Schools

Somali Community Resettlement Services

Winona State University

Mayo Clinic

 

LET’S TALK ABOUT DIABETES

Description

Racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, including immigrants and refugees, have higher rates of diabetes, and worse outcomes than the general population. Stories told by people who live successfully with diabetes may improve the health of people who are having difficulty living with diabetes.

Let’s Talk about Diabetes is a digital storytelling intervention aimed at improving diabetes management among Hispanic and Somali immigrants and refugees with type-2 diabetes in Rochester, Minnesota. Culturally and linguistically appropriate interview-based surveys are being conducted to understand diabetes-related attitudes, knowledge and health-seeking behaviors among Hispanic and Somali adults with diabetes. A subset of survey participants will be invited to participate in focus groups to learn about their lived experiences with diabetes management. Information from surveys and focus groups will be used by “storytellers” as a guide to tell stories that center on the theme of successful culturally relevant strategies for medication management, self-monitoring, physical activity, and nutrition for diabetes. The effectiveness of digitally recorded stories in improving health outcomes among adults with diabetes will be evaluated in a clinical trial.

Started

2011

Status

Ongoing

Funding

Mayo Clinic:  Sponsorship Board, Divisions of Infectious Diseases and Primary Care Internal Medicine & Office of Health Disparities Research

Significant Partners

Alliance for Chicanos, Hispanics and Latin Americans

Somali Community Resettlement Services

Mayo Clinic

LET’S TALK ABOUT TB

Description

More than half of active tuberculosis (TB) cases in the United States occur in foreign-born individuals; the majority of these cases are attributable to reactivation of latent TB infection (LTBI). Reactivation of LBTI may be prevented with appropriate screening and treatment of those at risk. Hawthorne Education Center (HEC) serves up to 2,500 adult learners each year; approximately 85% are foreign-born, of whom about three quarters are from high TB burden countries. HEC experienced frequent cases of active TB among its adult learners, which caused worry about health and disruption to the school. Past attempts to address TB at Hawthorne through traditional ways had been ineffective. Hence, in 2004, HEC staff approached researchers at Mayo Clinic for help to address this issue over the long-term. A CBPR partnership was formed.

Let’s Talk about TB is a tuberculosis prevention and control program at HEC, and was the first CBPR project for RHCP. The community-academic research team provided orientation to CBPR. HEC staff and Mayo Clinic researchers developed the research strategy. Training workshops in focus group moderation enhanced community capacity to participate in the research process. Focus groups were conducted to understand HEC learners’ perception of TB and barriers and facilitators to screening and treatment. Together, HEC staff, learners and researchers developed educational tools to help answer and explain the most common TB questions and concerns in the Rochester community. Socio-culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate educational tools, (posters, leaflets, videos), and a series of innovative educational interventions including classroom discussions, interactive learning experiences, and demonstration of TB testing were shown around World TB Day each year for three years. Learners were given the opportunity to sign up for and get the test on-site. Those found to have positive test results were referred to the local health department for further evaluation and management.

TB education and screening continues at HEC three times each year. A streamlined procedure for follow-up care at Olmsted County Public Health Service is in place.

Started

2004

Status

Ended 2010

Funding

National Institutes of Health: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (RO3AI82703)

Mayo Clinic: Department of Medicine, Clinical and Translational Science Award through grant number 1UL1RR024150 from the National Center for Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health.

Significant Partners

Hawthorne Education Center

Olmsted County Public Health Services

Olmsted Medical Center

Winona State University

Mayo Clinic

 

POSITIVE LOSER

Description

Immigrants and refugees to the United States have physical activity levels and dietary behaviors that are less healthy than the non-immigrant majority. Low levels of physical activity and poor dietary behaviors are associated with greater risks for obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Interventions aimed at increasing physical activity and improving dietary quality among immigrants and refugees may promote healthier lifestyles and prevent chronic diseases.

Positive Loser was a pilot fitness program for exercise and nutrition for women with little experience with exercise, aimed at improving confidence in being physically active and eating a healthy diet. Positive loser was a six-week program with classes that met two times a week at the Rochester Area Family YMCA. Each class had two parts: 60 minutes of physical activity and 30 minutes of nutrition education. This socioculturally appropriate wellness program for women was co-created by community leaders and researchers based on feedback obtained during a half-day fitness retreat, along with data from focus groups. About 50 Somali, Cambodian, Hispanic, and African American women in Rochester participated in the program. Pre and post measurements showed that participants had lower weight, lower blood pressure, lower waist-hip ratios, and reported improved self-confidence about exercise and diet, along with improved quality of life. The experience and results from this project led to the Healthy Immigrant Families project.

Started

2010

Status

Ended 2010

Funding

National Institutes of Health: National Center for Research Resources through the Center for Translational Science Award to Mayo Clinic (1UL1RR024150)

Mayo Clinic: Center for Translational Science Activities & Department of Medicine

Significant Partners

Alliance for Chicanos, Hispanics and Latin Americans

Cambodian Association of Rochester Minnesota

Multi-Cultural Learning Center

New Vision Church

Rochester Area Family YMCA

Mayo Clinic