|November 27, 2007
|The W.K. Kellogg Foundation board has announced a $10 million grant to continue funding its Kellogg Health Scholars Program through 2012. The financial support will provide training for 40 postdoctoral scholars over the next five years.
The University of North Carolina School of Public Health is one of eight national training sites for the program. The UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, a research center with expertise in community research, administers the UNC grant.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation launched the Health Scholars Program, then called the Community-Based Public Health Initiative, in 1991. As of the 2007-2008 academic year, 52 postdoctoral students had received fellowships to train in communities around the country.
The goal of the Health Scholars Program is to reduce and eliminate health disparities by developing young leaders who participate in community-based participatory research (CBPR). CBPR is a collaborative approach through which research endeavors are chosen based on the needs of a community. It aims to combine academic study with social and policy initiatives that will improve health outcomes.
“This new grant expresses a significant vote of confidence by the Kellogg Foundation in the impact our program is making and its potential for the future,” said Toby Citrin, director of the national office of the community track program, based in Ann Arbor, Mich. “We look forward to working together as we enter this new and exciting phase,” Citrin said.
Two areas of study are offered by the program — a multidisciplinary track and a community track.
UNC serves as a training site for the latter. The new funding will allow one or two new scholars each year to receive a two-year fellowship in academic and community settings in North Carolina, developing skills in partnering, CBPR, and the application of research to policy development and advocacy.
Eugenia Eng, DrPH, professor in the department of health behavior and health education, is director of the UNC training site.
Kellogg Health Scholars at UNC may become involved in any number of community-based initiatives to promote individual wellness, community competence and social change.
These initiatives are part of cooperative projects between the School of Public Health and UNC research centers, including the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Among these projects are:
Seven other universities also serve as training sites for the program: Harvard University, University of California at San Francisco and Berkeley, University of Pittsburgh and University of Texas at Houston (in the multidisciplinary track) and Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University, and University of Michigan (in the community track). UNC was selected in 1997 as one of three original training sites.