Delta Health Education Center (DHEC)
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)

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Map of Arkansas

Meet the Investigators
Target Population
Proposed Strategy
Anticipated Outcome
HSA-Level Statistics

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Becky Hall, Ed.D., Spokesperson
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Principal Investigator: Becky Hall, Ed.D.
Phone: (870) 338-9100
Fax: (870) 338-9151


Delta Health Education Center (DHEC)
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)
Eastern Arkansas

Target Population

The project's target population includes eight churches serving primarily African Americans; eight churches serving primarily Caucasians; and community health center physicians, nurses, and office staff located in two rural Arkansas Delta counties: St. Francis and Lee. Both counties rank in the top 15 percent of countries in the Nation for coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke mortality. Within Arkansas, Lee County ranks third highest in deaths due to heart disease, and St. Francis ranks ninth in deaths due to stroke.

Proposed Strategy

This project will use both church-based and clinic-based approaches to increase heart-healthy behavior among children and adults within each community. Specific strategies include:

  1. Enlisting existing DHEC Community Advisory Boards for guidance on implementing and expanding the project in their respective counties.
  2. Implementing activities to disseminate National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) science-based information to community members through local churches using Lay Health Minister and Witness Project® models. Specific activities include health summits and health fairs; exercise, nutrition, smoking cessation, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes; and blood pressure and cholesterol screenings and referrals.
  3. Implementing health care provider interventions, using a combination of on-site office programs and interactive video continuing medical education programs, designed to educate professionals in presenting cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke preventative information to their patients.

The proposed strategies will focus on one NHLBI performance goal: prevent development of risk factors.

Anticipated Outcome

The anticipated outcome of this project is to increase community awareness and understanding of the risk factors associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, and their associated preventive measures. As a result, children and adults will engage in heart-healthy lifestyle behaviors, thereby reducing the CHD and stroke disparities that currently exist between their communities and the rest of the population. Specifically, the project aims to:

  • Increase understanding of the behavior associated with reduced risk of developing CHD and stroke.
  • Increase readiness to change.
  • Increase participation in physical activities.
  • Increase consumption of low-fat and heart-healthy foods.
  • Decrease uncontrolled hypertension.
  • Decrease tobacco use.
  • Increase awareness among children of heart-healthy behavior and risk factors associated with CVD.
  • Improve provider practice behavior skills.
  • Increase the level of preventive counseling to patients by providers.