Completed Projects

Child Lead Poisoning Prevention Program - The Tennessee Department of Health, through its grant with the Centers for Disease Control, contracted with the Center to evaluate the statewide Child Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. Completed June 2004.

Principal Investigator: Norman L. Weatherby, Ph.D., Health and Human Performance
Project Coordinator: Carol M Smith, M.A.

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Good Health Looks Good - Folic Acid Every Day - Good Health Looks Good project, funded by the March of Dimes Tennessee Chapter, educated young adolescent women about the importance of folic acid and vitamin supplementation, the role folic acid plays in the prevention of birth defects and as part of an overall healthy lifestyle. The goals of the project were to increase the number of adolescent girls who are aware of the need for folic acid (400 mcg daily) and who take a folic acid supplement daily. Hispanics, African-Americans, and young women in rural regions were targeted during the second year of the project, as statistics show unfavorable birth outcomes for these groups, which may be improved through folic acid education and usage.

Project outcomes include:

  • Training for troop leaders, camp staff, and other volunteers began in 2002 through the Tennessee Folic Acid Council. Over 1400 girls earned the folic badge or patch during the 2003 and 2004 years, with another 4,420 from 2005-2007.
  • During 2008-2009, the last year of the grant, 121 girls who participated in workshop activities and earned folic acid badges or patches completed evaluations. Of these girls:
    • 83% (101) of the girls at the beginning of the program knew what folic acid was, while at the conclusion of the program, 98 % (119) of the girls knew what folic acid was.
    • Only 25 girls (21%) reported knowing the role folic acid plays in good health pre-program, versus 119 (98%) post-program - 2 responded 'no' or gave no answer.
    • 55 girls (45%) reported multi-vitamins as the best way to get folic acid pre-program, while 111 (93%) reported food post-program - 10 gave wrong answers or did not respond as part of the pre-test.
    • Only 8 girls (7%) could cite the recommended daily intake of folic acid pre-program, while 102 (84%) correctly cited the recommended daily intake post-program.
  • The project was selected for poster presentation at the 2009 Tennessee Dietetics Association's annual meeting in Nashville on March 10th and 11th. The poster won first place out of all student posters submitted, and was presented by a MTSU dietetics student who worked with the grant as part of her student/classroom work.
  • The project has become self-sustaining through the Girl Scout organization in middle Tennessee.

Completed April 2009.
Principal Investigator: M. Jo Edwards, Ed.D.
Project Coordinator: Cynthia Chafin, M.Ed., CHES

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Career Mapping Project - The Center partners with the Middle Tennessee Workforce Investment Board, the Nashville Career Advancement Center, and the Tennessee Hospital Association to produce a Health Care Career Map handbook and companion website to assist individuals interested in a health care career. The handbook and website also serve as resources for school counselors and employers. The project provides information and resources for specific allied health and nursing careers and requirements for entry into those careers. The nine counties served are Davidson, Rutherford, Wilson, Robertson, Sumner, Cheatham, Williamson, Trousdale, and Dickson. More Information.

Completed 2010.
Principal Investigator: M. Jo Edwards, Ed.D.
Project Coordinator: Cynthia Chafin, M.Ed., CHES

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Maternal and Child Health Needs Assessment (MCH) - This project focused on assessing the overall health and unmet needs of women and children throughout the state of Tennessee. Data collected include national and state statistical information, surveys of MCH professionals, and statewide focus groups with consumers of MCH services. Highlighted issues were content, timing, and availability of programs as well as health care disparities and perceived barriers to receiving services. The Center worked in partnership with the MTSU Sociology Department and the Tennessee Department of Health, which provided funding for this assessment. Completed June 2006.

Principal Investigator: Peter Heller, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator: Carol M Smith, M.A.

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SIDS Education: Reducing Risk in Middle Tennessee - Funded by the March of Dimes Tennessee Chapter, this project provided SIDS risk reduction education to health department clients and to day care providers working in low-income communities. The second year of the project was expanded to include high school students in consumer and health science classes, as well as high schools with daycare centers for parenting teens. Training materials were adapted from those developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, First Candle, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Project outcomes include:

  • 48% increase in the knowledge that there is no increased risk of choking if a baby is placed on his/her back to sleep.
  • 100% increase in knowledge that babies who sleep on their back and are then put to sleep on their stomach are at a greater risk of SIDS.
  • 100% increase in knowledge that premature or low birth weight babies are at a greater risk for SIDS.
  • 35% increase in knowledge that babies exposed to tobacco smoke are more likely to die from SIDS; it should be noted that a large percentage of respondents answered correctly on the pre-test (74%), and the post-test question was answered correctly 100% of the time.
  • 50% increase in knowledge that bed sharing does not help prevent SIDS. This is an improvement over previous years where there was actually a decrease (4%) in knowledge about bed sharing and that it does not help to prevent SIDS. The curriculum presented to parents strongly encourages room sharing but not bed sharing .
  • Both English speaking and Spanish speaking groups improved their SIDS risk reduction knowledge by over 20% (English-speaking increased knowledge by 44% and Spanish-speaking increased knowledge by 34% in year two and by 27% and 25% respectively in year one). Among our group of parents, English-speakers had a better understanding of SIDS both before and after the education presentations.

Completed February 2010.
Principal Investigator: M. Jo Edwards, Ed.D.
Project Coordinators: Carol M Smith, M.A., Cynthia Chafin, M.Ed., CHES

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Smart Mothers Are Resisting Tobacco (S.M.A.R.T. Moms) - A program to promote smoking cessation among pregnant women throughout the state of Tennessee. Funded by the national March of Dimes office, this program partnered the Center with the Tennessee Chapter of the March of Dimes and the Tennessee Department of Health WIC offices throughout the state.

Project outcomes include:

  • At the conclusion of the 4-year project, 13,285 WIC patients received counseling and smoking cessation resources through the duration of the project.
  • The overall success rate for participants who received counseling and agreed to use the self-help guide was 24.2% vs. 20.9% for those who did not choose to sue the self-help guide but did receive counseling, exceeding success rates previously found in similar settings (14%).
  • Outcomes of this project support research that even brief tobacco cessation counseling (5 to 15 min) delivered by trained providers and coupled with pregnancy-specific self-help materials, can increase cessation rates in women during pregnancy.
  • Outcomes from this project also support that when provided with adequate training and pregnancy-specific self-help materials, health care providers will more consistently counsel patients on smoking cessation during pregnancy.
  • The S.M.A.R.T. Moms project was honored through two awards. The National "Dr. Audrey Manley" award, never before presented, and named for the former U.S. Surgeon General and National March of Dimes Board of Trustees member, was presented to the S.M.A.R.T. Moms project in October of 2005. This award recognizes an 'exemplary program' addressing the needs of mothers and babies. The Tennessee Chapter of the March of Dimes was awarded the "2004 Chapter of the Year Award" based on the S.M.A.R.T. Moms project which was highlighted in the award application. The Tennessee Chapter competed with multiple states nationwide for this prestigious award.

Completed April 2006.
Principal Investigator: M. Jo Edwards, Ed.D.
Project Coordinator: Cynthia Chafin, M.Ed., CHES

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Student Tobacco Outreach Prevention (STOP) - In an effort to decrease the use of tobacco, the project provided outreach of tobacco use prevention and cessation programs to high school students in nine Tennessee counties - Campbell, Cocke, Grundy, Hardeman, Johnson, Lake, Meigs, Union, and Wayne. The STOP Program involved partnerships with the Tennessee Department of Health, including its community based health councils, the Tennessee Department of Education's Office of Coordinated School Health and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and GEAR UP. CHHS provided supervision and coordination for activities in the west and middle TN counties. It also managed training meetings for staff across the state and coordinated the 3-day student tobacco summit held in June 2009. Completed July 2009.

Principal Investigator: M. Jo Edwards, Ed.D.
Project Coordinator: Jill Thomas, B.A.

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Tennessee Institute of Public Health - Center Director Jo Edwards served as founding director of the Tennessee Institute of Public Health Institute (TNIPH) and was responsible for preliminary planning and development of the Institute. The TNIPH focuses on public health and higher education projects and research. She continues to serve as a consultant and board member. Completed December 2008.

Interim Public Health Institute Director (May 2006-December 2007): M. Jo Edwards, Ed.D.
Project Coordinator: Cynthia Chafin, M.Ed., CHES

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Tobacco Use Prevention in Mid-Cumberland - This project sought to reduce the initiation of tobacco use among youth, promote cessation of tobacco products among youth and adults, and decrease exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, with a primary focus on Tobacco-Free Schools. Funded by the Tennessee Department of Health, this project teamed Center staff with Rutherford County and Mid-Cumberland Region youth, schools, and youth-based organizations. To view the Guidelines for Creating Effective Tobacco-Free School Based Policies, click here. Completed June 2007.

Principal Investigators: M. Jo Edwards, Ed.D.
Project Coordinators: Freneka Minter Seay, Jacquie Kick, Freneka Minter, and Jill Thomas

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Community Diabetes Control Program - This program was developed by the Primary Care and Hope Clinic (PCHC) in Murfreesboro, and focused on reaching the Hispanic community in Rutherford County. The Center, in partnership with the PCHC, the Rutherford County Wellness Council, the faith-based community, and the Kleervu Lunchroom restaurant, continued the program in 2002-2003. The Center developed a diabetes educational program for the African American community at high risk for diabetes. The Tennessee Department of Health funded this project. Completed June 2003.

Principal Investigator: Dianne A.R. Bartley, Ph.D, Health and Human Performance

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South Africa Squatter Settlement Research - This project was administered through the MTSU Geography Department and included faculty from Geography, the Center for Health and Human Services, Health and Human Performance, Nursing, and Industrial Studies. Conducted by MTSU; the University of Durban-Westville, South Africa; and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, this 3-year initiative developed a sustainable environmental management program of informal settlements, and a health outreach program in HIV/AIDS prevention, both in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This research was funded by the Liaison Office for University Cooperation and Development, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the White House Education for Development and Democracy Initiative. Completed August 2002.

Principal Investigators: Hari P. Garbharran, Ph.D., Geography and Geology, M.Jo Edwards, Peggy O'Hara Murdock, Kathy Mathis, Maria Smith

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Tobacco Use Prevention Among Minority Youth - This project focused on preventing the initiation of tobacco use among minority youth by promoting youth advocacy, empowerment, and public awareness campaigns. The Center partnered with the MTSU School of Mass Communication and with the faith-based community in Rutherford County, through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Health. Completed May 2003.

Principal Investigator: Teresa Mastin, Ph.D., Journalism

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