Study will try to find lessons from Appalachian communities that have overcome challenges to have better-than-expected health

PDA Inc. of Raleigh, N.C., has been named the lead investigator for “Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia: Disparities and Bright Spots,” a research project to look at the disparities in health outcomes across Appalachian communities; and the University of North Carolina’s Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and Thomas Arcury of the Wake Forest School of Medicine will provide additional research expertise, according to the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which will administer the project

“We are pleased that PDA and the University of North Carolina are leading this effort to understand Appalachia’s community health landscape,” said Earl F. Gohl, Appalachian Regional Commission federal co-chair. “Their expertise, interdisciplinary methodology, and commitment to the Region will help us learn more about how we can keep Appalachia strong and healthy.” The project is funded jointly by ARC and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“As part of the project, researchers will develop an interdisciplinary research protocol engaging public health experts, community leaders, and social scientists to determine if any Appalachian communities are experiencing better than expected health outcomes despite persistent socioeconomic challenges. Preliminary results are expected in 2017,” says the release.

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