Congratulations to doctoral student Natalie Bareis for successfully passing her PhD comprehensive exams!

Congratulations to Prachi Desai, MPH on her graduation from the VCU Master's in Public Health program! Prachi presented her capstone titled "Evaluation of the Greater Richmond Area YMCA Diabetes Control Program" at the MPH Capstone and Poster Presentation Forum on May 1 and graduated the following week on May 8. She has accepted a position as the Waterborne Disease Surveillance and Outreach Assistant in the Division of Environmental Epidemiology at the Virginia Department of Health.

Dr. Briana Mezuk and Dr. Jeannie Concha held a two-day workshop on "How to obtain data to inform policy and practice" for the VCU Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program. Doctoral student Natalie Bareis also participated as a research assistant. The workshop addressed survey methodology, qualitative data collection, community mapping, and creating factsheets to communicate to policy makers. More information about the VCU Humphrey Fellow Program is available here.

Dr. Briana Mezuk will be presenting as part of a panel at the Institute of Medicine conference, "Training in Interdisciplinary Population Health Science: A Vision for the Future," June 1-2, 2015. She will be speaking on how her training experiences (undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate) prepared her to successfully engage in transdisciplinary population health research. The meeting is free and open to the public. Register here

GREMAP member, Lauren Gray, co-authored an opinion article in the Richmond Times Dispatch. The article, which posted on Saturday, July 19, focuses on the work of Gray and other VCU students at CrossOver Healthcare Ministry, a Richmond-based health clinic that delivers medical care to low-income and ininsured individuals. The students worked with VCU faculty and CrossOver health care providers to offer one-on-one bilingual diabetes education, psychological support, and case-management for Latinos with diabetes. Click here for the full article. 

Congratulations to Monique Brown, MPH, PhD on her December 2014 graduation from the VCU PhD in Epidemiology Program! Dr. Brown has accepted a position as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the University of South Florida. 

Datapalooza was a success! Dr. Elizabeth Prom-Wormley has directed a community-engaged survey within the Health and Wellness Initiative (HWI) to assess the needs of residents in the East End of Richmond and organized Datapalooza to explore the results of this survey. HWI staff and partners, community leaders, local organizations, student researchers, and East End residents all came together on November 15th to participate in Datapalooza. GREMAP members Natalie Bareis and Katherine Crawford also helped out with this event. 


Residents began the day creating a "Wall of Wellness," where everyone was encouraged to create a sign describing what a culture of wellness in the East End means to them.


After reviewing the preliminary results of the survey, everyone collaborated to reach a common goal for the evening, which was to work towards creating a culture of "collected wellness" for Richmond's East End. 


Residents then broke into teams to review the data sets with the help of data analysts. 


The group identified "next steps" to use the knowledge gained from Datapalooza: 1) Develop a comprehensive resource and services guide for East End residents, 2) Create a summary doument and strategy by which to develop legislative advocacy for mental health issues in the East End, and 3) Host a celebratory Datapalooza results-related event for the residents. Click here for more information on the 7th District Health and Wellness Survey. 


In early October Dr. Mezuk visited Tilberg University in Tilberg, Netherlands where she gave a talk entitled "Integrating social psychology and biology to examine the sources of social disparities in diabetes risk" at the Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic diseases (CoRPS). While there she met with Dr. Frans Pouwer, an international expert on the role of psychosocial factors in diabetes risk. She also traveled to Malmo, Sweden to meet with Drs. Jan and Kristina Sundquist at the Centre for Primary Care Research at Lund University to continue work on their project on the contribution of neighborhood factors to depression and diabetes risk.

Scene of Swedish city in the evening  Dr. Mezuk with group in Sweden