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The Northwest Native American Research Centers for Health Awards Fellowship to Dornsife Doctoral Candidate

January 14, 2016


Beatriz Reyes, MPH, DrPH '16 has been awarded a one-year dissertation fellowship by the Northwest Native American Research Centers for Health (NW NARCH). The organization’s overall goal is to train American Indian and American Native biomedical and health researchers that can minimize health disparities through knowledge of the culture and needs of Northwest Indian communities. The fellowship program aims to increase the number of American Indian or Alaska Native health professionals in conducting projects in the fields of biomedical and social service research.

Her dissertation, "Fidelity of Implementation: Facilitator Experience and Behaviors in the Getting People in Sync (GPS) Prediabetes Prevention Program", assesses implementation of the GPS program in two Philadelphia churches. The GPS program was created by Reyes’s dissertation chair, Nicole A. Vaughn, PhD, associate professor of Health Management and Policy.

Reyes' work focuses on how closely GPS lay program facilitators adhere to the protocols of the program and whether this affects health outcomes, such as participant weight loss. Reyes conducts qualitative analyses of both program session recordings and interviews--over 40 hours worth of material. Results will provide important insight into how lay facilitators function and deliver content in these settings to inform the development of best practices and staff training for community-based programs. Reyes also presented this work at the APHA Annual Meeting in Chicago last October.

Reyes hopes to apply the same research model for other populations, such as an American Indian or Alaskan Native populations. The fellowship award provides Reyes with financial assistance, mentorship and trainings.