Grant will help residents prevent and manage diabetes and cardiovascular diseases

Kesha Williams
January 24, 2011


Dr. Anthony Emekalam, assistant professor of clinical pharmacy in the Department of Pharmacy and Health Professions, announces the arrival of a $59,600 grant from the North Carolina Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation.

The grant was awarded to implement the Elizabeth City State University Community Health Ambassadors Project (ECSUCHAP). This is a community diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases and social isolation prevention project targeting low income residents in the Albemarle Region.  The participants in this program will be referred to ECSU by local doctors and community care clinics.  Emekalam said the program is very relevant for area citizens.

"Northeastern North Carolina has a high prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases when compared with other regions in the state. Many residents in this area don't have access to non-traditional interventions. We want to target the individuals who don't have the resources to take care of themselves," Emekalam said.

"Knowledge is a huge part of preventing these diseases, so we want to help educate them to prevent and manage these diseases. This is a role that we can play to provide educational programs for the community that will help them manage their health," Emekalam said.

ECSU pharmacists and health care professionals from the Department of Pharmacy and Health Professions will oversee this project. ECSU students will gain practical experience by serving as community fitness ambassadors. In that role, they will provide supervised mentoring, motivation and support for the participants.  This program will run for the next 12 months. Fifteen students - qualified juniors and seniors from the Department of Health and Physical Education, the pre-allied health concentrations (pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, nursing) and the UNC-Chapel Hill/ECSU Doctor of Pharmacy Partnership Program - will serve as the fitness ambassadors. They will earn $1,000 for their service.

Students who would like to apply for the community fitness ambassadors positions should contact Dr. Emekalam: Pharmacy Complex, room 326; (252) 335-8521; or contact Ms. Kathryn Thomas (Klthomas; (252) 619-2737. The application deadline is Friday, February 4, 2011.