Our Projects


W.E.I.G.H.T STUDY 

Working to Engage Insulin-Resistant Group Health Using Technology Study

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Gail NUNLEE-Bland, MD 


It is widely accepted that improvements in the provision of health care in the United States, and reductions in its cost, will require greater emphasis upon prevention, coordination of care, and personal and family self-management of health. Nowhere is this need more evident than for obesity that contributes significantly to the health care costs in the United States, and has devastating health consequences, especially type 2 diabetes.  However, many studies have demonstrated that obesity related morbidity and mortality, including type 2 diabetes, can be significantly reduced through lifestyle modification. Risk reduction programs for individuals who are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes or have pre-diabetes must focus on behavioral lifestyle changes.  African Americans are disproportionately affected by obesity and diabetes. With the multiple barriers to weight reduction and diabetes prevention programs, African American pre-diabetic patients are not able achieve control of weight on their own or through visits to their providers.  Thus, for this high risk population new approaches to enhance patient self-management behavior and patient/ healthcare provider communication are needed.  Rapidly emerging experiences suggest that technology to facilitate communications and personal health management may overcome these barriers.  Cell phone text messaging, smart phones coupled with the Personal Health Record (PHR) and web based educational portals are acceptable to African Americans for enhanced self-care management and poised to change the health care paradigm. 

The overall objective of the proposed study is to implement and rigorously evaluate the preventive benefits in African American adolescents of an innovative program successfully applied in adult patient management that includes state-of-the-art communications and networking technologies. The aims are:

  • To compare the effectiveness of a lifestyle change intervention delivered either using state-of-the-art communications and networking technologies or using Lifestyle Group Visits        
  • To increase a Patient Activation Measure from baseline to follow up
  • To decrease body mass index from baseline to follow up
  • To decrease hemoglobin A1C levels from baseline to follow up

Eligible participants:  African American young adults between 18-24 years of age with a diagnosis of pre diabetes are currently being recruited. The study is being conducted at the Howard University Hospital, Diabetes Treatment Center, 2041 Georgia Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20060. 

Learn more by downloading the program flyer.  For more information contact:

Gail Nunlee-Bland, MD                                                              Gwen Jones               


Gail Nunlee-Bland, M.D.                                            Gwen Jones

Principal Investigator                                                Project Manager

Tel:      (202)-865-4758                                           Tel: (202)-865-4758

Email:  gnunlee-bland@howard.edu                          Email:  gwjones@howard.edu