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Student Spotlight: Long Island University Brooklyn Campus

Alanna Dawkins is currently a Biology major at Long Island University Brooklyn Campus and is a part of the Honors and Project QUEST Programs. Born in Brooklyn, NY, and raised on the island of Jamaica, Ms. Dawkins intends to pursue a MD/PhD in Pediatrics, specializing in Neonatology.  Dawkins,_A
In the summer 2009, Ms. Dawkins assisted in the Counseling African-Americans to Control Hypertension (CAATCH) study at Clinical Directors Network (CDN), the only practice-based research network in the USA devoted to providing primary care and research opportunities to medically underserved populations. Previous hypertension studies have usually focused on the patient, physicians, or health systems level of intervention. This study tested the effectiveness of all three levels of intervention designed for a long-term maintenance to improve blood pressure control. The aim of the study was to develop and refine an intervention that would maximize the intervention’s translation into practice, and therefore, would become self-sustaining.
A randomized controlled trial in 1058 low-income African-American patients with poorly treated hypertension was conducted at 30 healthcare sites. Visits and follow-up visits were randomized to either intervention or usual care. A sub-study component was also conducted which tested if spirituality influenced how hypertensive patients took their medication. Ms. Dawkins provided recruitment and retention support, administered questionnaires, and reviewed medical records for blood pressure readings, hypertension medications and laboratory measures.

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