Delores James

Delores James
Location: Gainesville, Florida Cohort Start Year: 2017 Project Topics: Built Environment/Housing/Planning, Food Systems and Nutrition, Obesity Populations Served: African-American/Black, Children and Families, Low-Income Communities, Urban Communities
Associate Professor
Department of Health Education and Behavior, University of Florida, Gainesville

African-Americans have one of the highest rates of smartphone ownership in the country. They also experience high levels of health disparities for many chronic and acute diseases and conditions. Thus, a unique opportunity exists to use mobile devices and social media to engage them in health-promoting and disease-preventing activities. I aim to create a digital library of short health education videos to improve health outcomes in low-resource communities.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Online Health Community for African American Women                      The focal point of my strategic initiative is to create and sustain a thriving online health community (OHC) primarily targeted to African American women (AAW). AAW are targeted because they tend to be the primary caretakers for the families (i.e., children and elderly parents), the primary source of knowledge for family healing traditions, and a significant gatekeeper to the family and community. My OHC will focus on disease prevention, health promotion and wellness, self-care, navigating the healthcare system, and health advocacy. I envision that this OHC will create a sense of community; create and curate accurate and reliable content that is culturally relevant and gender-specific; increase the ability of women to access, understand, use, and apply the information to address or manage a health issue; and engage women to share their experiences and offer mutual support.

I am a professor, researcher, clinician, public health professional, and social entrepreneur. I have a passion for helping families create and pass on a legacy of health to the next generation.

Click here to watch Delores’ Legacy Project video.