Center for Diabetes Translation Research



Latino Outreach: Center for Diabetes & Translation Research



A multidisciplinary team of health care professionals from Vanderbilt University and Meharry Medical College is partnering with Latino communities to improve the health and health care of families and individuals.  Under the leadership of Dr. Tom Elasy, director the Prevention and Control Core of the Vanderbilt Diabetes Research and Training Center, the Latino Diabetes Improvement Program supports investigators with various interests who seek to identify and develop health initiatives to address disparities within the Latino community.  The Latino Diabetes Improvement Program was founded to advance and accelerate diabetes health initiatives, to demonstrate success in scalable, model programs, and to improve the health and health care of Latinos in Nashville and the surrounding region.
Current Programs:
Weight Gain Prevention Among Latina Girls
Over the past 30 years obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States (Ogden et al, 2006). While this epidemic affects all socioeconomic levels, certain racial/ethnic groups such as Hispanics, are disproportionately affected by obesity and diabetes.  The age of onset of excess obesity in Hispanic females, formerly young adulthood, is now younger. Childhood obesity poses intermediate and long-term health risks, including: type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, elevated blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome. Although biological factors may influence a child’s risk for becoming overweight, the home environment has been shown to be a predisposing and reinforcing contextual factor for unhealthy eating and exercise behaviors.  The goal of this implementation study is to contribute to the reduction of racial/ethnic disparities in obesity and risk of type 2 diabetes by tailoring a recently successful childhood obesity prevention program originally developed for African American girls to implement and evaluate with preadolescent Hispanic girls.
For additional information contact Dr. Bettina Beech.  Bettina.Beech@Vanderbilt.edu
Innovative Bilingual Patient Provider Program to Reduce Gestational Diabetes Risk in the Hispanic Population
The aim of this work is to develop a bilingual bicultural demonstration grant program to better serve the local Hispanic population by using a bidirectional instructional approach. The long term goal of this project is to reduce gestational diabetes risk in the Hispanic population by teaching a basic medical English terminology (B-MET) course to the patients and Hispanic community and also a Spanish and cultural competency course to the health care providers from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Meharry Medical College. Community partners for this project are The Foreign Language Institute and YMCA Young Hispanic Achievers.
This program is led by Dr. Gloria Richard-Davis.  For additional information contact Pilar Aguinaga, Ph.D. @ Maguinaga@MMMC.edu
Improving Health Communication to Help Prevent Childhood Obesity 
In 2003, Surgeon General Carmona stated that low health literacy was “one of the largest contributors to our nation’s epidemic of overweight and obesity.” Studies have found that low health literacy is associated with poorer caregiver breastfeeding knowledge, incorrect mixing of formula, difficulty understanding food labels and portion sizes, and higher Body Mass Index(BMI) in adults and children.  This proposal will develop and assess the efficacy of a low-literacy oriented intervention to promote healthy family lifestyles and prevent early childhood obesity. Collaborators include Vanderbilt, Meharry and the Nashville WIC Clinic. 
For additional information contact Dr. Russell Rothman. Russell.Rothman@Vanderbilt.edu
Salud Con La Familia – Latino families with young children
Obesity is a well-known risk factor for the development of diabetes. Obesity rates have rapidly increased over the past three decades for all Americans and have doubled for children. Latino children experience obesity at disproportionate rates.  Salud Con La Familia is a randomized controlled trial of a family-based community centered intervention. One-hundred Latino families with children ages 3-5 (BMI>50% and < 85%) will be involved in the study in which the intervention group participates in a 6-month skills building program to improve nutrition and aerobic activity for children and parents.
For additional information contact Dr. Shari Barkin.  Shari.Barkin@Vanderbilt.edu

Decreasing weight gain in the perinatal period- Latina pregnant women and their infants

This pilot study will design and test a curriculum that teaches pregnant women healthy lifestyles in an effort to ultimately prevent overweight in their children and return their own bodies to normal weight.  The study will use the Maternal Infant Health Outreach Worker (MIHOW) program through the Vanderbilt Center for Health Services’ as a strategy for pediatric obesity prevention.
For additional information contact Dr. Shari Barkin.  Shari.Barkin@Vanderbilt.edu
Medical Student Health Screens- addressing pediatric obesity
Emphasis project to assess the impact of provision of medical student led health screens related to pediatric obesity (BP, BMI, glucose checks, etc) on medical student careers and participant satisfaction.
For additional information contact Dr. Shari Barkin.  Shari.Barkin@Vanderbilt.edu
Teaching Kitchen- the effects of demonstration kitchens on cooking behaviors
Meharry student led project to assess the impact of a one-time community-based teaching kitchen on knowledge, intention to change behavior, and self-reported short-term behavior change.
For additional information contact Dr. Shari Barkin.  Shari.Barkin@Vanderbilt.edu
Teaching computer literacy skills- to access accurate health information for pre-adolescents
The Nashville Collaborative is an active partnership between Vanderbilt-Metro Parks & Recreation.  The Dell Foundation will support weekly computer classes for pre-adolescents.  The classes will be used to teach children at the Coleman Community Center effective and efficient Web search strategies.  The tutorials will teach the basic principles of efficient Web searches and the critical skills of accessing, processing, and evaluating large amounts of information.  The content of all searches will relate to healthy lifestyles, the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity, and related health consequences.  Importantly, the children will learn that the skill set built is applicable to other content areas and purposes, such as school projects. 
For additional information contact Dr. Shari Barkin.  Shari.Barkin@Vanderbilt.edu
The Impact of Health Literacy and Numeracy on Diabetes Care among Latinos: A small randomized trial
Investigators are adapting the current English version of the DLNET into a useful and culturally relevant toolkit for use among Latino patients with low health literacy and numeracy.  We plan to pilot this toolkit in a small randomized controlled trial in efforts to demonstrate significant improvement in hemoglobin A1c.
For additional information contact Dr. Richard White. Richard.White@Vanderbilt.edu
The Diabetes Literacy and Numeracy Educational Toolkit: An Educational and Behavioral Intervention to Improve Diabetes Care among Latinos
This is a cross sectional analysis of 200 patients in which investigators are attempting to validate a numeracy measure for use in the Latino population and simultaneously exploring the relationship between trust and acculturation and diabetes care. 
For additional information contact Dr. Richard White. Richard.White@Vanderbilt.edu

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