Health and Wellness Collaborative Formed with Akron General
The college has forged a new partnership with Akron General Health System to jointly study and promote wellness programs and disease prevention. The Akron General – Kent State University Health and Wellness Collaborative will bring together faculty and students with professionals within Akron General to improve health and reduce the impact of chronic, lifestyle-related diseases on the U.S. population.
“We’re elated to be joining with Akron General to promote the study of physical activity and healthy lifestyles,” says Dean Sonia Alemagno. “Wellness and lifestyle choices have incredible impact on short- and long-term health, chronic disease risk, quality of life and health care outcomes,” she says. “This collaboration will significantly enhance the research capabilities of the college toward the goal of developing wellness practice models based upon solid evidence,” she says.
Examples of research areas that could be pursued include reduction in risk for coronary heart disease, avoidance of falls in older adults, prevention of sports injuries and adoption of health behavior changes.
“Not only will we promote the study of wellness programs, we will provide opportunities for inter-professional education in both institutions in the fields of public health, nursing, podiatric medicine, exercise physiology, clinical psychology and health education,” says Alemagno. “We also anticipate involving neighboring educational institutions in the fields of medicine and pharmacy,” she adds.
The parties envision that future joint initiatives will integrate public health, basic science and clinical and behavioral research to develop evidence-based wellness programs. Leading researchers throughout the university and Akron General will be recruited to become members of investigational teams. Resources of the three Akron General Health & Wellness Centers will be utilized. “This collaboration will also strengthen opportunities for external funding, as we foresee innovative pilot research and incubation of emerging technologies that support wellness and healthy lifestyles,” observes Alemagno.
“Our new partnership will allow our students and researchers tremendous access to health and wellness data and create opportunities for significant prevention breakthroughs,” predicts Todd Diacon, Ph.D., senior vice president for Academic Affairs and provost. “It reflects Kent State’s ongoing commitment to health research and to improving the overall well-being of the community,” he says.