Congratulations to Professor Denise Charron-Prochownik for successfully pursuing R01 funding from the National Institute of Nursing Research. Dr. Charron-Prochownik was awarded $3,182,365 for her project on “Supporting American Indian and Alaska Native Mothers and Daughters in Reducing Gestational Diabetes Risk.” The five-year grant will permit Dr. Charron-Prochownik to extend her much-lauded preconception (PC) counseling intervention (the READY-Girls program) to American Indian/Alaska Native adolescent females at risk for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). The project aims to enhance healthy lifestyle behaviors and family planning vigilance prior to a first pregnancy.
The READY-Girls program has been adopted by the America Diabetes Association as the model PC program for teens with diabetes. Using a sequential mixed-method design with a multi-tribal AI/AN community-based participatory research approach (e.g., members of the Navajo and Cherokee tribes in Oklahoma), the project will raise awareness on the parts of both teens and their mothers about the risks of GDM and the potential for a healthy lifestyle to reduce these risks. By also providing mothers with PC knowledge and skills, they can naturally weave cultural/social influences into their communications with their daughters. The intervention will be directed at the individual, familial and institutional levels simultaneously.
Dr. Charron-Prochownik has been a pediatric nurse practitioner and pediatric diabetes clinical nurse specialist. She has been involved in national diabetes activities, such as serving as associate editor of Diabetes Care and Diabetes Spectrum, editorial board member of Pediatric Diabetes, and as a member of the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Medical & Scientific Program Oversight Committee. She currently is on the National Advising Board for the Alliance to Reduce Disparities in Diabetes Program and for the CDC/NIH National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP).