African Americans with low incomes and low literacy levels disproportionately suffer poor health outcomes from many preventable diseases . The issue of low functional literacy and low health literacy prevents access to health information by many individuals. Health literacy is described as; the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Some groups of people, including older adults, people with less education or cognitive impairments, racial and ethnic minorities, and low-income people are more likely to have health literacy problems and higher incidences of diabetes and other chronic diseases. Emerging research on technology-based interventions suggest that they have the potential to reduce health disparities in underserved populations. Saint Augustine’s University will examine health literacy levels among African American males by measuring baseline health literacy levels and introducing technology- based tools to improve the health literacy of obese, pre-diabetic and diabetic African-American men leading to better self-management and health outcomes indicated by a maintaining a better glycemic control, better self-management leading to delayed diabetes complication development.
The Principle Investigator (PI)
Dr. Salimah El-Amin is a public health behavioral scientist with a background in health education specifically sexually transmitted disease prevention and black infant mortality both being very important causes of health disparities among the minority population. She is skilled in survey research, qualitative research including focus groups, community health education, evaluation, and conducting needs assessments. She has conducted research on the HIV/AIDS beliefs and attitudes of HBCU college students and she has examined healthcare provider’s behaviors related to sexual history elicitation. Dr. El-Amin will be responsible for the day-to-day grant oversight. She will assist with the community health needs assessment in neighborhoods surrounding Saint Augustine’s University and will assist with the development, implementation, and evaluation of health literacy community outreach part of the project. Her analytical skills, program evaluation experience, and public health research background makes her a valuable PI which will contribute to the success of this project.
The Co-Principle Investigator (Co-PI)
Dr. Derrick L. Sauls previously held a Research Associate position in the Department of Pathology at Duke University Medical Center. During his twenty years of research studies at Duke, he has worked with several Biomedical start-up companies (Sphinx Pharmaceuticals, Trimeris, and Apex Biosciences). His investigations have led to the development of a method for the prevention/treatment of HIV, ultimately obtaining a patent (N0. 6,787,527). While obtaining his Ph. D. from North Carolina State University in the area of Nutrition (2003), he developed an interest in studying diabetes. He collaborated with his mentors (Drs. Leon C Boyd and Maureane Hoffman) and generated several publications. However, his research had entailed investigating the effect of homocysteine on fibrin clot formation and lysis. Dr. Sauls has orally presented his experimental findings at several conferences (ATVB, ISTH, Fibrinogen, and ASH) and published in Thrombosis Research, Journal Thrombosis and Haemostasis, Biochemistry, Nutrition, and Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry). Recently, he has been involved in health initiatives in diagnosis/prevention of diabetes and has collaborated with several health screenings performing clinical analysis. His research skills and knowledge of the progression of diabetes enables him to make positive contributions to the research project.