Health-Smart for Weight Loss Study

A research team lead by Dr. Carolyn M. Tucker (principal investigator) at the University of Florida has been approved for a $2,099,943 million funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to implement and study culturally sensitive, primary care clinic-based interventions by community health workers and trained physicians to promote and sustain weight-loss among african-american female patients with obesity. This project is being implemented in 20 primary care centers in the UF Health Jacksonville primary care network led by Dr. Nipa Shah (co-principal investigator) and supported by CHEQR faculty and staff.

“This project was selected for PCORI funding not only for its scientific merit and commitment to engaging patients and other stakeholders, but also for its potential to fill an important gap in our health knowledge and give people information to help them weigh the effectiveness of their care options,” said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH.

The study will test the effectiveness of a culturally sensitive, evidence-based, multi-component, behavioral program for treating obesity called Health-Smart. This program is being implemented by healthcare-team-integrated Community Health Workers (CHWs) and followed by either of two physician-implemented behavioral counseling programs to prevent weight gain--programs that are implemented quarterly over 12 months.

“I am confident that this project will be successful because it will be implemented using a partnership approach that involves community health workers, community stakeholders, patients, researchers, insurance companies, and primary care providers working together to achieve the goals of the project,” said Dr. Carolyn Tucker. “Furthermore, the lead researchers in this partnership, Dr. Nipa Shah, Dr. Stephen Anton, Dr. Lori Bilello, Dr. Shiva Gautam, and Dr. Anne Mathews, as well as others involved in implementing this project are genuinely committed to empowering african-american female patients to take charge of their weight and health under whatever conditions that exist in their lives and to providing physicians with the tools to promote this patient empowerment.”

If you would like to know more about the weight loss study or may be interested in participating in the study, please call 904-244-9630.

PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions.

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