February 26, 2015

Student and Alumni News

The UAMS COPH Student Council held its Annual Chili Cook-off on Feb.4 at the College of Public Health. Volunteer cooks Reeshema Britt, Aaron Carroll, Nancy Dockter, Kristy Jones, and Sarah “Alex” Marshall provided pots of chili to suit omnivore, vegetarian and vegan preferences. Ms. Britt was runner-up, and Ms. Jones was the winner for the second year in a row. The event, which drew a steady stream of hungry students, staff and faculty, was also a fundraiser for the Arkansas Food Bank. Donations totaled $100!



C O P H Student Becky Adams D r P H, R D, C D E

Becky Adams

Congratulations to Becky Adams, DrPH, RD, CDE on the successful defense of her doctoral dissertation on Dec. 18 and completion of the Doctorate in Public Health Leadership degree program at the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health. Her specialty track was Health Behavior and Health Education.

The title of her dissertation was “Association between Characteristics and Behaviors of Lay Group Leaders and Weight Loss Outcomes for Senior Adults.” The purpose of her project was to explore characteristics and lifestyle behaviors of lay group leaders (LGLs) that may predict weight loss success of the participants in the evidence-based Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)-based lifestyle intervention. For the study, she used secondary data from the Counseling Older Adults in Cognition and Healthy Eating Strategies (COACHES) study that was conducted several years ago by a COPH research team, of which Dr. Adams was a member, at 15 senior centers in rural, underserved areas in Arkansas. The study showed that LGLs in rural areas can be trained to effectively deliver the DPP-based intervention. Dr. Adams plans to publish the findings of her analysis of LGL characteristics and participant outcomes.

Dr. Adams is the Partnership and Policy Support Director for the Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Branch at the Arkansas Department of Health. She has an MPH degree from the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. She is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. She worked for UNC Chapel Hill in the student and employee wellness programs and then directed a diabetes self-management program at San Angelo Community Hospital in Texas. After moving to Arkansas in 1999, she worked as the Nutrition Consultant in the Diabetes Prevention and Control Program and then directed the Diabetes Prevention and Control program before leading the Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Program and Lifestage Health Branch.

Constance Carroll, MBA, MPH, who graduated from the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health in May 2012, now works at Yale University as a Biostatistician. While working on her MPH, with concentrations in both Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Ms. Carroll worked at the Health Statistics Department at the Arkansas Department of Health, analyzing Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring Survey (PRAMS) data.

In 2011, she took a job at Yale, first working as a Biostatistician at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. While at the Rudd Center, she was first author on a paper titled “Access to SNAP-Authorized Food Stores and Nutrition Outcomes of SNAP-participating Adolescents,” which was published in the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition.

She now works at the Department of Psychiatry in the College of Medicine at the Pain, Research, Informatics, Medical Comorbidities, and Education (PRIME) Center at Yale University / VA Connecticut Healthcare System.

“Over the past couple of years, I have ‘built’ and performed various analyses on a dataset based on a cohort of 5.4 million veterans in the VHA system with musculo-skeletal disorders as well as providing analysis and statistical support for clinical trials and other Department of Psychiatry studies on topics such as road rage, PTSD, etc.,” Ms. Carroll said.

Based on her work at the VA PRIME Center, Ms. Carroll will have two posters at the 2015 meeting of the American Pain Society in Palm Springs, Calif.:

  • “Variation in pain NRS screening scores by patient and facility characteristics in a national system of care”
  • “The Musculoskeletal Diagnosis Cohort: Examining pain and pain care in the VA”