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NIH Grant Supports a Healthier Philadelphia

December 21, 2010

Ana Núñez, MD, from the Women's Health Education Program at Drexel University College of Medicine.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health has awarded a $100,000 planning grant to Ana Núñez, MD, and the Women's Health Education Program for the next phase of its community outreach programming and research.

This new gender-based national initiative, "Coalition for a Healthier Community," builds upon previous programs in support of a healthier population. This initiative encourages collaborative efforts to help improve overall community health policies and gender-based health care programs for women.

Núñez, associate professor and director of the Women's Health Education Program (WHEP) at Drexel University College of Medicine, leads the "Philadelphia Ujima: Mind Spirit Body Health Collaborative," a program previously developed as part of the Coalition. The Philadelphia Ujima model uses a community-based participatory approach coupled with systems change to address health issues that adversely affect the health of women and girls.

"In just three years, we were able to develop an innovative model that works. Our successful Collaborative promotes healthier behaviors in local communities as well as within our terrific Coalition," says Núñez. "We are delighted to get recognition with new funding that will allow us to expand, refine and refocus Ujima, and to continue helping community role models who help others in living healthier. Our gender informed approach means addressing the context of girl's and women's lives – including relationships with boys, men, other women, and family members – to take a strength-based approach to their health and wellbeing."

Philadelphia Ujima - Coalition for a Healthier Community

WHEP is one of just 16 awardees selected for funding through the Coalition for a Healthier Community, and the only one in Pennsylvania. The one-year grant will support a gender-informed community health assessment and the establishment of a strategic plan to implement a large evidence-based health intervention, building upon WHEP's cost-effective intervention, Philadelphia Ujima.

Designated National Center of Excellence of Womens' Health, WHEP is one of only five academic health centers funded and only one of three that focuses on prevention of chronic female medical issues.

For more information on the Women's Health Education Program at Drexel University College of Medicine, call 215.991.8450.