Winston-Salem State University this week announced plans to create a wellness intervention program for African-American women beginning in 2014.
The program, funded by a $200,000 grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will give resources to Black women ages 30-65 to combat obesity and raise awareness about obesity-related outcomes.
“African American women have the highest obesity rate in the United States and obesity is a major cause of chronic disease, which means an increase in medical spending,” said Dr. Shawn Ricks, assistant professor, program coordinator of rehabilitation studies and the principal investigator of the research study. The psychological effects of obesity and its impact on obesity prevention are often overlooked and African American women face a unique set of psychological factors that impact their obesity outcomes such as discrimination and stress. The aim of The COACH Approach is to develop and evaluate a new direction in treating and preventing obesity for this group.
The program will offer a stipend to women participating in the 16-week program that includes free wellness coaching, exercise classes and health screenings. The program is a collaborative service initiative in partnership with Novant Health Maya Angelou Center for Women’s Health and Wellness at Forsyth Medical Center, the Mental Health Association in Forsyth County, the YWCA of Winston-Salem, Goler Memorial AME Zion Church and U-Fit2 Health & Wellness Incorporated.