N.C. A&T's COAACH Researcher Presents Findings at International Conference


N.C. A&T's COAACH Researcher Presents Findings at International Conference

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (July 19, 2019) – A researcher in the Center for Outreach in Alzheimer’s Aging and Community Health (COAACH) at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University will present a research poster at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Los Angeles.


The poster presentation highlights outcomes of the center’s first COAACH Caregiver College (C3) launched in June 2018. The C3 is an intervention-based education program focused on raising awareness of prevention, treatment and caregiving strategies for families who are affected by Alzheimer’s and other related conditions prevalent in the African American community.

“African Americans are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease compared with their Caucasian counterparts,” said Kristen Naney, Ph.D., research professor at COAACH. “Our center is committed to offering culturally-relevant and engaging activities and programs that effectively reach vulnerable populations across the state.”

After reviewing C3 participants’ pre- and post-test responses, Naney and her team observed a significant improvement in understanding Alzheimer’s disease as well as the importance of nutrition and exercise.

naney-coaach-aaic-2019-presentation-1.jpgPart of that success can be attributed to program structure, presenter impact, the Lay Health Advisor (LHA) model of care, and community partnerships that have been partially supported by the Minority Men’s Health Initiative and the Merck Foundation.

“Faith-based groups in particular have already established such an impactful presence and trust in communities,” said Naney. “The C3 program serves as an opportunity to broaden the center’s reach and collaborate with churches to achieve the shared goal of empowering residents to live healthy and informed lives.”

The 2018 cohort consisted of 24 participants across six North Carolina counties, who serve in various leadership capacities at their respective churches. The program modules incorporate activities including music therapy that helps stimulate memory, and healthy cooking demonstrations.

After completing the C3 training, participants are expected to plan and host three events incorporating information they learned that will promote healthy living in their communities.

Naney believes these findings will improve how the research and care communities at large can effectively reach underserved communities through faith-based partnerships and culturally relevant programming.