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Local Health Leader Completing Statewide Fellowship Program
Leslie deRosset, MPH is completing the North Carolina Health Disparities Fellowship program, sponsored by the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund and the Duke Global Health Institute. As a fellow, deRosset, Latino Campaign Coordinator at the March of Dimes North Carolina Preconception Health Campaign, is conducting research focused on postpartum weight loss among Hispanic women in Guilford County, utilizing the research and science-based curricula developed by Diane Berry, PhD, ANP-BC, Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s School of Nursing. As a result of this project, the Hispanic women will have increased knowledge about how to control portion size and make healthier choices when preparing and consuming food for themselves and their families.
“The Fellowship has been an incredible opportunity to meet with and work with experts around the state in the area of minority health disparities,” said deRosset. “I am grateful for the opportunity to implement a community-based research project and to have had this chance to work on a project that will hopefully impact the future of health of Hispanic women in North Carolina.”
The two-year North Carolina Health Disparities Fellowship aims to increase the leadership of individuals working to eliminate health inequalities in North Carolina through training, mentorship and opportunity. Fellows learn to effectively design and implement community assessments and interventions that address these complex issues. North Carolina Central University, East Carolina University and Duke University work together to implement the training. The fellowship includes mentorship by a Duke University faculty member and completion of a community-engaged project on the health disparity topic of the fellow’s choice. Fellows are mid- to senior-level public health or social work professionals working throughout the state. Four fellows have completed the program, and five more will finish this year.
“The fellowship program has allowed us to engage talented professionals in our efforts to eliminate health disparities in North Carolina,” said Dr. Laura Gerald, NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund (HWTF) Executive Director, “and it is a program we have been proud to be able to sponsor. These fellows are to be commended for their remarkable projects in communities around the state. We rejoice in all they have accomplished even as we are saddened at the prospect that our Health Disparities Initiative will end with the abolishment of the HWTF at the end of the month. The need for such programs clearly still exists, but there has to be the political will to sustain funding or the progress that has begun will be thwarted.”
Data from the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities at the NC Department of Health and Human Services shows that Hispanics, African Americans and American-Indians are three times more likely to be living below the federal poverty level than whites, a factor related to many health disparities. The infant mortality rate and deaths related to diabetes are two times higher for these minority groups than their white counterparts. The North Carolina Health Disparities Fellowship educates its fellows about these very topics, and helps them find creative ways to combat these issues in their communities.
“The Duke Global Health Institute was pleased to participate in the North Carolina Health Disparities Fellowship Program,” said Dennis Clements, faculty director, senior advisor at the Duke Global Health Institute and a Duke pediatrician. “Interacting with the fellows and seeing them grow as community health professionals has been a rewarding experience for me and for them.”
For additional information, contact Leslie deRosset at 919-424-2149 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To download a PDF of the new release, click here.
ABOUT MARCH OF DIMES
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. For free access to national, state, county and city-level maternal and infant health data, visit PeriStats, at marchofdimes.com/PeriStats.
ABOUT THE NC HEALTH AND WELLNESS TRUST FUND
The NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund makes North Carolina stronger, both physically and economically, by funding programs that promote preventive health. Created by the General Assembly in 2000 to allocate a portion of North Carolina’s share of the national tobacco settlement, HWTF has invested hundreds of millions in preventive health initiatives and prescription drug assistance programs. For more information, visit www.HealthWellNC.com.
ABOUT THE DUKE GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE
Duke University established the Duke Global Health Institute in November 2006 to address health disparities around the world and in our own community. The Institute works with faculty and students from all nine schools at Duke University (undergraduate, graduate and professional) to study and respond to global health issues from a multidisciplinary perspective. The Institute considers not only the diseases that cause health disparities, but the social determinants of these diseases, such as poverty, gender, environment and globalization. www.globalhealth.duke.edu