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Funded Projects

Currently Funded Projects

Application of an Evidence-Based Model of Smoking Cessation in Appalachian Pregnant Women: A Pilot of the “Save-A-Mom” Program.  The purpose of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of an evidence-based smoking cessation model when applied to pregnant women in Meigs County in the Appalachian region of Ohio. Pregnant Women will be referred from the Gallia-Meigs Pregnancy Pathways HUB to this randomized controlled pilot. The intervention, given the acronym “SAVE-A-MOM” (Smokefree Air AVailable for Every Appalachian Momby the partnership from Gallia-Meigs Community Action Agency and Ohio University, is a nurse-managed protocol of intensive behavioral counseling delivered by a Meigs County Pregnancy Pathways Care Coordinator, an indigenous lay community health worker. Control participants will be referred to the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line. This project addresses smoking cessation in Ohio pregnant women, a priority for the Ohio Department of Health. If results of this pilot support the hypothesis and feasibility of the model, it will be expanded in size to include all Gallia-Meigs, pregnant smokers, all Appalachian Ohio women at risk for smoking-related perinatal morbidity; and in scope to include prevention of postpartum relapse. Community Partner: Ms. Teresa Varian, Gallia-Meigs Community Action;  PI: Dr. Cathy Baker, ARHI Scholar

Creative Art as Medicine Program (CAMP) for Appalachian Seniors.  Aging is associated with a myriad of physiological and functional changes, which include reductions in both cognitive and physical function. To date, the majority of interventional strategies for aging taken a largely “silo” approach whereby an intervention is designed to target a sub-domain of overall health. Additionally, the majority of interventions have been illness-based, and, in many cases, the adherence to interventions in poor. Herein, we propose a novel intervention with a health and wellness approach that has combined emphasis on cognitive, emotional, social, physical (and potentially even economic) outcomes. Specifically, we propose to develop a pilot, community-based creative art intervention designed specifically for seniors living in the greater Athens, OH region. This 3-month intervention program will incorporate a variety of arts-based activities
(dance/movement, sculpture, painting, fibers, beading, etc.) that we hypothesize will enhance cognitive, emotional, social, and physical outcomes. The data generated from this pilot project will provide basic proof-of-concept evidence that will ultimately be used for extramural applications seeking
funding to further this line of community-based participatory research. Community Partner: Stacia Davis Moore. PI: Dr. Brian Clark, ARHI Scholar

Environmental Health and Social Justice Initiative.  People who live in Appalachian counties in Ohio are more likely than non-Appalachian residents to be exposed to many adverse environmental conditions. There are numerous unanswered questions about these exposures, particularly if there is a relationship between environmental conditions and human health outcomes, and whether there are environmental justice concerns within Appalachian communities. The goal of the Environmental Health/Social Justice Initiative is to create a research agenda that identifies Ohio University’s role in understanding the most important environmental concerns in our region.  PI: Dr. Michele Morrone, ARHI Faculty Fellowship

Teaching HENRY: Healthy Exercise and Nutrition Recommendations for Youth.  Teaching HENRY is a program centered on a children’s book written by Pierre Rouzier, MD, and Chaz Nielsen entitled: Henry Gets Moving! In this book Henry, an overweight hamster, realizes his current lifestyle behaviors have caused him to be overweight and unable to participate in children’s games or sports. By observing his classmates and visiting his physician, Henry begins to learn about healthy lifestyle choices, including staying active and nutritious dietary habits. In the end, Henry turns his new-found knowledge into action. Henry begins eating better, becomes more active, and as a result he becomes a healthier and happier hamster. As stated by the authors, “This is a book with the power to transform (and)… inspire children, families and communities to lead healthy, active lives.” OU faculty and graduate students have partnered with the Kids on Campus staff to create the Teaching HENRY team. Using Henry’s experiences in the book as a guide, the Teaching HENRY team will develop lessons and activities to teach children in 1st – 4th grade what is meant by eating healthy and being physically active and the importance for overall health and wellbeing. Teaching HENRY will be integrated into the curriculum of a local after school program, Kids on Campus. It is hypothesized that this 6-week program, including 2 lessons on physical activity, 2 lessons on nutrition and 2 combined lessons, will increase physical activity and nutrition knowledge, and this knowledge will lead to a healthier lifestyle, just like Henry. PI: Dr. Cheryl Howe, ARHI Scholar

Past ARHI Funded Projects

Chronic Disease Management in Rural Appalachian Elderly. The purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility of recruiting and retaining elderly individuals for a longitudinal study that tests the efficacy of employing an in-home monitoring system to improve type 2 diabetes (T2DM) management in individuals age >60 living in Appalachian Ohio. We used remote physiological monitoring (RPM), which is a form of telemedicine that tracks patients’ vital signs and health status without face-to-face contact. The goal was to improve our ability to deliver effective care to older and chronically ill patients at their homes.  PI: Dr. Deborah Murray, ARHI OSU-OU Joint Pilot Award

Environmental Health and Social Justice Initiative.  People who live in Appalachian counties in Ohio are more likely than non-Appalachian residents to be exposed to many adverse environmental conditions. There are numerous unanswered questions about these exposures, particularly if there is a relationship between environmental conditions and human health outcomes, and whether there are environmental justice concerns within Appalachian communities. The goal of the Environmental Health/Social Justice Initiative is to create a research agenda that identifies Ohio University’s role in understanding the most important environmental concerns in our region.  PI: Dr. Michele Morrone, ARHI Faculty Fellowship

Produce Intake, Food Insecurity, and Cervical Dysplasia in Women Living in Rural Appalachian Ohio: A Pilot Project.  Increased incidence of, and mortality from, cervical cancer continues among women living in Appalachian Ohio. The age-adjusted cervical cancer rate is 24.4% greater than outside the region, with even greater rates in Athens and Hocking Counties (proposed study region). While human papillomavirus infection is the primary cause, other factors facilitate disease progression. High antioxidant nutrient intake associated with eating fruit and vegetables (produce) has been shown to slow cervical tumorigenesis progression. Yet, in Appalachian Ohio, food insecurity—lacking access to nutritionally-adequate and safe foods for an active and healthy life, due to resource constraints—is a barrier to produce intake among impoverished women. Our interdisciplinary team’s overall research goal is to explore the interrelationship of produce intake, food insecurity, and cervical dysplasia in rural, Appalachian Ohio. PI: Dr. David Holben, ARHI Scholar