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Network created to address obesity, chronic health issues in Appalachian region
Date:4/29/2011

Lexington, KY April 27, 2011 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, residents of many Appalachian counties are three times more likely to die from diabetes than someone living in other counties in the same state, or in most other parts of the United States. Now, a group of seven regional academic centers and community organizations have joined forces to change those health disparities and improve health through the creation of the Appalachian Translational Research Network (ATRN).

"The causes of health issues in this region are multifactoral, such as poverty, education and access to care," says Kelly Kelleher, MD, MPH, director of the Community Engagement Program at The Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science (OSU-CCTS), one of the ATRN member organizations. "A collaborative approach that pairs experts from many different specialties with organizations already working within the Appalachian community will help us reach better solutions faster."

Recently, the ATRN, health experts and representatives from federal, state and local organizations met at the first annual "Appalachian Health Summit: Focus on Obesity" to discuss the obesity epidemic, promising research, and possible ways to tackle the region's many health issues. The new network will be looking at these issues through a translational science lens, a perspective that uses collaborations to help accelerate the process that lab research goes through to become real world health solutions.

"We are dedicated to seeing this region escape from being one of the sickest parts of America," says Phillip Kern, MD, Director at the Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Center, University of Kentucky (UK). "We also believe that what we learn here could be reapplied to other underserved or rural communities in the U.S. So it's much bigger than helping people in Appalachia we're looking for s
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Contact: Kim Toussant
kim.toussant@osumc.edu
614-366-7215
Ohio State University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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