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COEHD establishes new health research center

by Jo Ann Jones, COEHD    |    November 07, 2017

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The College of Education and Human Development recently established the new Center for Community Based and Applied Health Research (CCBAHR) at The University of Texas at San Antonio.


Under the direction of Drs. Erica Sosa and Meizi He, faculty in the Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition, the CCBAHR will provide access to health education, screenings, and other related services based on collaborative and interdisciplinary applied health research. This research, Sosa said, will help the center address a variety of health related issues, including obesity, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sexual health, and alcohol and tobacco use.


“The CCBAHR is dedicated to identifying sustainable approaches for behavioral medicine application to community health problems,” said Sosa. “The key to our success is that our work is community-based, meaning the community members are active partners in the assessment of health needs, identification of these sustainable approaches for behavior medicine applications, evaluating the approaches, and disseminating the results.”


The center will work with a Community Advisory Board to help them identify and provide the types of services needed in the San Antonio and south Texas community.


“Our previous work has primarily focused on diabetes and obesity prevention,” said He. “With the increased expertise among our faculty and interdisciplinary researchers across UTSA, we are now able to better partner with communities to address an increased number of health related issues.”


Undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition and across the university will be able to complete internships in the center and work under leading scholars in the field of community and public health.


“One exciting aspect of the CCBAHR is that students will have the opportunity to work across projects and learn about different disciplines’ approaches to addressing health issues,” said Sosa. “This is an incredible opportunity for students not only in our department, but in any department that has a vested interest in community-based and applied health research.”


The center plans to open its physical doors in the spring of 2018.


“We are most excited by the potential of the CCBAHR to make lasting impacts in improving the health and wellbeing of communities, and generating new knowledge to the scientific field,” said He. “We have an extraordinary team who have all done great work in their communities, research laboratories, and elsewhere. Being able to have this strong partnership to focus on their efforts towards addressing health issues, especially among the most vulnerable communities, is wonderful. We can do so much more together than we’ve ever done alone or in small teams.”


Learn more about the Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition.


Learn more about Dr. Erica Sosa.


Learn more about Dr. Meizi He.



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