Words from our award recipients
2005 ECHO Pilot Award recipient shapes future
Judy Foxworth, associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) was awarded an ECHO pilot grant titled, “Addressing the Health and Wellness Needs of African-Americans Living in Subsidized Housing.” The overall goal of this study was to increase access to and participation in prevention and wellness programs for medically underserved older African-Americans so that they can remain living independently with the best possible quality of life. This project determined that older adult residents living in a subsidized housing setting have deficits in balance and gait parameters, increased depression, and increased co-morbidities compared to age matched norms. A 12-week exercise program was proven effective in decreasing depressive symptoms but did not affect balance or gait measures. This project also brought together WSSU faculty and students from nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy for the first time for the purpose of research. Students were trained in data collection procedures outside their typical field of study and were provided ample opportunities to test “real” people in these measures. This project led to two publications and multiple presentations. The data from this pilot project were used to apply for and receive NIH EXPORT funding to examine balance, gait and falls in elderly African-Americans with hypertension.
Deborah Jones, associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, used her ECHO Pilot Award to examine the role of “co-parents” in low-income, African American, single mother-headed families, the influence of co-parents on adolescent HIV/AIDS risk behaviors, and the feasibility of including co-parents in family-based HIV/AIDS prevention efforts. This project helped raise the conscientiousness about the role extended family members play in parenting African-American youth from single mother homes in both research and clinical work. It also highlighted the importance of considering extended families in child and family research on health disparities. This pilot project’s preliminary data generated three publications. The data were also used in a subsequent proposal for a K01 award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which was awarded for a total amount of $407,000.