Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Professor working to improve health resources for underserved populations

Dorine Brand, assistant professor of Public Health at the University of Illinois Springfield, is working to develop community outreach strategies to bring community health resources to underserved populations in the Springfield area.

As part of her effort, she has been invited to attend the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN) meeting Aug. 16-17 in Philadelphia. The invite-only event will explore strategies for achieving healthy weight loss among African Americans.

“The goal of the meeting is to provide a selective update and assessment of the last decade of progress in addressing obesity in African American communities,” said Brand. “The focus will be on obesity prevention and treatment interventions with children and adults in individual and family settings and in communities through environmental and policy change.”

Brand, who started teaching at UIS in the spring of 2012, has already begun her local outreach effort by contacting community leaders in the Springfield African American community.

“I believe that attending the AACORN meeting will be a great opportunity and very instrumental in my community outreach design,” said Brand. “I look forward to gleaning strategies, learning about best practices and developing new ideas to benefit the design.”

Brand completed her education at the University of Illinois earning a Ph.D. in Community Health (Urbana-Champaign) in 2011, a master’s degree in Public Health (Chicago) in 2001, and a bachelor’s in Community Health (Urbana-Champaign) in 1998.

Established in 2002, AACORN brings together a diverse group of senior and emerging academic scholars as well as community-based research partners to develop innovative, solution-oriented research to address obesity and weight-related health issues in African American communities. The network is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with continued support from others, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.