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Faculty Recognition

Major Grant Awarded to Study Cardiovascular Health

This is the largest grant ever received by Cal Poly's Center for Health Research.

The largest research grant received by Cal Poly’s Center for Health Research —$5.6 million in National Institute of Health (NIH) funding— will promote and study cardiovascular health among pregnant women and infants.

The grant is part of a multi-phase, seven-year research project involving more than 500 participants in California and Rhode Island enrolled in programs with home health visitation services, such as the nonprofit Healthy Families for America that annually conducts over 1 million home visits from its nearly 600 program sites in 38 states, the District of Columbia, five U.S. territories and Israel.

The grant is part of the NIH Early Intervention to Promote Cardiovascular Health of Mothers and Children (ENRICH) program, to promote heart health and address health disparities in low-income mothers and their infants living in low-resource communities through the babies’ first six months.

About 60% of the participants in the Cal Poly grant study will be Hispanic women in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Fresno counties. Cal Poly student researchers will track the effects on participants.

“It’s really trying to promote long-term heart health in families who have been historically minoritized, underrepresented and low-resourced in our region,” said Suzanne Phelan, director of the Center for Health Research and a Cal Poly professor of kinesiology and public health. Phelan is the principal investigator leading the research effort.