Newswise — MAYWOOD, Il. – Loyola University Chicago health sciences researchers have received a $500,000 grant from the George M. Eisenberg Foundation for Charities, based in Arlington Heights, Ill., for a 10-year study to improve the health of low-income minority residents in communities surrounding Loyola’s Health Sciences Campus in Maywood. The grant is an affirmation of Loyola’s commitment to public health and community service.

Researchers will develop and test a Family-based Lifestyle Intervention Program (FLIP) for low-income African American and Hispanic/Latino families. The program will promote the adoption of healthy lifestyles and help families navigate the healthcare system. Activities include meeting monthly with families, quarterly health assessments (including measuring weight, blood pressure, fitness levels, etc.) and monthly cooking and fitness workshops. Researchers will examine the long-term effects (over 10 years) of such intervention in families. Most previous public-health interventions have had limited durations.

A lifestyle team comprised of a medical student, dietetic intern, exercise science student, public health student and healthcare navigator will administer FLIP. The navigator will receive extensive training in Affordable Care Act coverage options for low-income families, and how to refer these families to Affordable Care Act navigators employed by the state.

Loyola’s Health Sciences Division seeks to reduce health disparities through research that emphasizes improvement in healthcare access and effective disease prevention strategies for underserved populations.