Informatics Research Seminar: Overcoming Health Disparities Among African American Men: the FITShop

September 10 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Speaker: David Jolly, DPH, MSPH; Carrissa Dixon, MS; Salima Taylor
Presented from NCCU

Broadcast Link: Seminar



When compared to men of other racial ethnic groups, African American men have the lowest life expectancy and bear a disproportionate burden of chronic diseases. Also, key health behaviors linked to chronic disease (e.g. physical inactivity, smoking, obesity) are higher among African American men. Innovative strategies for reaching African American men, promoting health and reducing unhealthy behaviors are needed. One strategy for addressing disparities in health is to conduct barbershop-based interventions. FITShop (FITness in the Shop) is a two-phase, community-based participatory research (CBPR) study designed to develop and test the effectiveness of a multi-level physical activity intervention for African American men who visit barbershops. This seminar presents data on men who enrolled in the FITShop Study and methods used to engage barbershop owners/barbers and recruit participants.


Carrissa Dixon, MS specializes in public-health outreach initiatives that successfully engage underrepresented populations in research-study participation. For more than a decade, Ms. Dixon has successfully bridged gaps between grassroots and institutional communities to address public-health issues. Since 2012, Ms. Dixon has served as a Project Manager at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she leads all aspects of FITShop, a public-health research study at UNC/NCCU that aims to increase physical activity among 600+ African American men and reduce cancer disparities through collaborations with community barbershops.

David Jolly, DPH, MSPH, MED is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health Education at NC Central University, where he has taught courses on healthful living, public health, aging, school health, epidemiology, and health policy. He has 30 years of public-health work in North Carolina and experience in community-based research with African Americans in the areas of HIV/AIDS, men’s health, and tobacco prevention and control. He is Co-Pl on Fitness in the Shop (FITShop), the NCI-funded, community-based participatory research study that has developed and evaluated a barbershop-based intervention to increase physical activity among African American men. Dr. Jolly received his doctorate in health behavior and health education from the UNC School of Public Health.

Salima Taylor is an undergraduate student in the Department of Public Health Education at NC Central University. She has done research with the FITShop effort to improve the health of African American males in NC and presented a summary of her work at the NCCU Research Symposium in April 2014. Additionally, she will present her work at the NC chapter of the Society of Public Health Educators (SOPHE) in September 2014.