Delta Health Education Center (DHEC)
University of Arkansas
for Medical Sciences (UAMS)
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.
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:
- Enlisting existing DHEC Community Advisory Boards for guidance
on implementing and expanding the project in their respective counties.
- 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.
- 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
The proposed strategies will focus on one NHLBI performance goal:
prevent development of risk factors.
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
- 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