UNC Research Week: Shawn Kneipp takes aim at heath disparities with NC Works4Health

To celebrate UNC Research Week, we are highlighting just a few of the incredible nursing scientists here at SON.

Project
NC Works4Health: Reducing Chronic Disease Risks in Socioeconomically Disadvantaged, Unemployed Populations

Principal Investigator
Shawn Kneipp, PhD, RN, ANP, APHN-BC, FAANP

Health disparities faced by those living in poverty can be exacerbated by the realities of unemployment — a period of stress and worry that can trigger a host of unhealthy coping mechanisms. These behaviors can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure and psychological distress, which are all common risk factors for the development of chronic diseases.

Shawn Kneipp is revising existing prevention programs that can be paired with employment assistance programs and job placement services and developing ways employers can make a positive impact on the health of vulnerable employees. In partnership with key stakeholders across health, social service, employment, and economic development sectors, findings from this study will not only advance the science of chronic disease prevention for this vulnerable target population, but also inform public health and community efforts to address social determinants of health and reduce the burden of chronic disease.