October 22, 2019
Program explores keto eating, other interventions and impact on cardiovascular risk for African American women

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation has awarded a one-year, $50,000 Hillman Emergent Innovation Program grant to two research faculty from The Ohio State University College of Nursing for their program, “Keto Prescribed: Translating Ketogenic Research into Clinical Practice.” Sigma Theta Tau International has also awarded the project a $20,000 American Nurses Credentialing Center Evidence-Based Practice Implementation Grant to fund the initial round of participants.

The project’s proposal states that “this nurse practitioner-led health coaching program incorporates ketogenic eating and culturally competent mental/physical health interventions to reduce cardiovascular disease risk and increase quality of life for adult African American women.” Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women (one out of every three women). Research shows not only a growing prevalence of obesity and diet-related diseases such as diabetes in African American women, but also that there are opportunities for changes in lifestyle behaviors to help improve well-being for African American women, who are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

“We are grateful for the Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation’s and Sigma Theta Tau International's support of a program that we believe will be life-changing for this population of women,” said Barbara Jones Warren, PhD, RN, APRN-CNS, FNAP, FAAN, professor of clinical nursing at the College of Nursing and the principal investigator for this project. “We are taking a holistic approach of combining nutrition under keto principles with other appropriate interventions to transform the health of these women and impact their lives in meaningful ways.”

According to the project proposal, “Keto Prescribed” will create a nurse practitioner-led, interdisciplinary team-based model of care in a community setting. The activities planned through the program include community and online group interactions; physical checks to measure outcomes of areas such as weight, body mass index and blood pressure; and evaluations using surveys to measure progress in participants’ quality of life and the feasibility and acceptability of the dietary intervention.

“I’m so inspired by the potential of this program,” said Audra Hanners, MSN, RN, APRN-CNP. Hanners, an instructor of clinical practice at the College of Nursing, is assisting with this program. “We are working to clear barriers to better health for African American women, and the commitment from the Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation and Sigma Theta Tau International is crucial to this mission.”

According to its website, the Hillman Emergent Innovation Program supports forward-thinking nurses who create “bold, early-stage (pre-evidence or untested) interventions that target health and health care needs for vulnerable populations, including groups that are economically disadvantaged, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ people, the homeless, rural populations and others.”

The mission of Sigma Theta Tau International, which was founded in 1922 at what is now the Indiana University School of Nursing, is "advancing world health and celebrating nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership and service."

People interested in participating in the program can find more information here.

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