COLLABORATE AND LEVERAGE EVIDENCE IN AFRICAN AMERICAN RURAL NETWORK

Heart Matters: Co-LEARN to Reduce CVD

Background:

     Collaborate and Leverage Evidence in African American Rural Network (Co-LEARN) is an education program to reduce the burden of heart disease and its risks in five counties of rural North Carolina (Edgecombe, Franklin, Nash, Vance, and Warren counties). Co-LEARN has two components– a learning collaborative and Heart Matters.

     Heart Matters is a 12-month comprehensive lifestyle modification education program, focused on lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, to decrease blood pressure. High-quality heart disease prevention programs help participants lower their risk in multiple ways including, eating less salt and fat, moving more, limiting alcohol intake, and losing weight. This program uses interactive individual and group educational sessions to help participants learn new information, build new skills, and set and track their goals over a year-long period. Sessions are led by community members trained to deliver the program. It has been tailored for rural African American communities with education session facilitators and diet and exercise experts from the community.

     The next step is to implement the program in this setting and test its real-world impacts on cardiovascular health. However, organizations in rural communities may face unique barriers to implementing and sustaining programs, even when tailored to their context. Co-LEARN will engage community members to collaborate in addressing these barriers. Small groups of community members will work together to develop strategies for the implementation of Heart Matters. These groups will build a foundational blueprint that builds organizational readiness, strengthens connection networks, and increases the efficacy of Heart Matters.

Program Overview:

AIM 1. IDENTIFY IMPLEMENTATION BARRIERS

AIM 2. DEVELOP IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY BLUEPRINT

AIM 3. SUPPORT AND TEST PROGRAMS IN THE REAL WORLD

Collaboration: 

This project is made possible by a collaborative effort from UNC– Center for Health Equity Research, Project GRACE Washington University, Project Momentum, Inc., James McFarlin Community Development, and Opportunities Industrialization Center.

Call 252-977-0765 or email us at ProjectMomentumpmirmt@outlook.com for questions about this project!

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Project Goals

  • Prepare organizations to implement evidence-based programs to improve cardiovascular health.

  • Expand Heart Matters to mitigate cardiovascular disparities in rural African Americans in rural eastern North Carolina.

  • Improve cardiovascular outcomes for rural African Americans in rural eastern North Carolina.

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Project Coordinator

Katrina Blunt​