Jackson Heart Study and Community Engagement Center


This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

The Jackson Heart Study (JHS) is a major, long-term study of heart health in African American adults living in the Jackson, Mississippi metropolitan area. The data being gathered from this study helps determine the factors that contribute to heart disease, and helps indicate better ways to treat and avoid cardiovascular and related diseases.

As the largest study of its kind, the JHS is able to gather detailed data on inherited and lifestyle risk factors for heart disease. This will in turn guide new treatments and preventive measures to reduce heart disease for African Americans. As an ongoing study, it regularly releases publications on its research so far. Education and community outreach is also part of the JHS as part of its preventive mission. More than 5,000 residents in the Jackson area are now involved in the JHS.

Evidence-Based Recommendations

Results from the Jackson Heart Study provide as basis for evidence-driven recommendations across many categories. Read the latest recommendations and tips here.

Why African Americans?

Heart disease kills about 20 percent more African Americans in Mississippi compared to whites. Results of the Jackson Heart Study should help reduce this health disparity as well as lead to better heart health for all Mississippians.

Community Engagement

Education and awareness is also a goal of the Jackson Heart Study. By promoting healthier lifestyles and understanding the factors that contribute to heart disease, communities will be better able to reduce health disparities and improve heart health and overall health. The Mississippi State Department of Health is a major part of the JHS Community Engagement Center, whose activities promote cardiovascular health in the Jackson community and beyond. Some of the Center's activities will include:

  • Healthy Housing Initiative: To provide blood pressure screenings and health education for residents in housing projects.
  • B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S. Blood Pressure Monitoring (Barbers Reaching Out to Help Educate on Routine Screenings): Bringing blood pressure testing into the community by training selected barbers in the Jackson area to conduct blood pressure monitoring for their customers, and provide heart health education and awareness. B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S. is based on a successful program operating in the Delta.
  • Congregational Health Initiative: To coordinate health education efforts within churches. MSDH provides training and support so that churches can become a community resource for health promotion, chronic disease prevention, and disease self-management education.
  • Community Health Ambassadors: Provides education and support for committed community members to engage families, friends, neighbors, and leading community members who are at risk of chronic health conditions.
  • Mayoral Health Council: A partnership with mayors to advance access to healthy foods, physical activity and smoke-free air in their communities.
  • Community Research Fellows Training Program: To foster health research within communities, and train community members to make the best use of research results.

How you can participate

Community members who would like to be involved in any of these community engagement activities can become part of the Community Health Advisors Network (CHAN). CHAN members can become a certified Community Health Workers, Congregational Health Nurse or Advocate, Leader or Coach in Chronic Disease Self-Management, or participate in the Community Research Fellow Training Program. Contact our community engagement staff to find out more.

Jacquilyn R. German, MPH
Community Partnership Manager
Community Engagement Center, Jackson Heart Study
Mississippi State Department of Health
Email: Jacquilyn.German@msdh.ms.gov

Marty Fortenberry, MSW
Community Outreach Specialist
Community Engagement Center, Jackson Heart Study
Mississippi State Department of Health
Email: Marty.Fortenberry@msdh.ms.gov

Last reviewed on Feb 22, 2019
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Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866-HLTHY4U Contact and information

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