The American Heart Association (AHA) has selected the Center for Community Health Development (CCHD) at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health to lead the evaluation of a $3 million chronic disease prevention initiative.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Community Health awarded the AHA funding to work with selected AHA affiliates who will organize community stakeholders to implement and disseminate evidence- and practice-based programs aimed at chronic disease prevention and the reduction of health disparities. AHA will identify approximately 300 affiliates over three years who will lead this effort across the nation.
Regents and Distinguished Professor Dr. Kenneth McLeroy, co-director of CCHD, will serve as principal investigator of the project, and Dr. Whitney Garney, will oversee the daily evaluation activities.
Dr. McLeroy is an expert in program evaluation, having served as principal investigator on several large evaluation projects throughout his career.
“These programs have the potential to effectively address chronic disease prevalence across our nation,” said Dr. McLeroy. “We are hopeful that our evaluation will provide the proper feedback for producing more effective chronic disease prevention programs.”
Chronic diseases and conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity and arthritis are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States and are responsible for seven out of 10 deaths among Americans each year.
CCHD will evaluate the three-year project to assess collaboration, capacity and awareness of AHA affiliates to implement strategies that promote chronic disease prevention.
“I am honored and excited to be a part of this nationwide project and to partner with a respected organization like the American Heart Association,” said Dr. Garney.
Both Drs. McLeroy and Garney have begun working with their AHA partners and are currently in the preliminary planning stages of the evaluation.