CDC injects YSU

University gets $719,000 to address chronic disease

YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown State University received more than $719,000 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the first of a five-year Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health program.

The money went to the university’s Consortium of Community Health.

The REACH funding will help the consortium, made up of faculty members from various health and wellness related fields, to improve health, prevent chronic diseases and reduce health disparities among Youngstown City School district students and their families’ highest burden of chronic disease in the Mahoning Valley.

The organization will use the funding to implement the Guin Fit program, or a family healthy weight program, with research led by YSU’s associate professor of Public Health and principal investigator Nicolette Powe.

Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke are among the most common causes of illness, disability and death in the United States. They also are leading drivers of the nation’s $4.1 trillion in annual health care costs. These chronic conditions — and the factors that lead to them — are more common or severe for some racial and ethnic groups, according to YSU.

The university will work with Mahoning County Public Health and Healthy Community Partnership Coalition to enhance existing resources; address health needs in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties; and reduce health disparities.

“With this funding, organizations will plan and carry out local, culturally-appropriate programs to address a wide range of health issues among racial and ethnic minority groups where health gaps remain. REACH intends to improve health where people live, learn, work, and play,” said Terry O’Toole, program development and evaluation branch chief in CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity.

As one of 41 REACH recipients, the YSU Consortium of Community Health will implement proven public health strategies for family healthy weight programs — improving access to effective, family-centered, culturally relevant health behavior and lifestyle treatment programs.


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