Corrine Voils, PhD, professor and Morgridge Distinguished Chair in Health Services Research in the Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery and Director of the Wisconsin Surgical Outcomes Research Program, was recently awarded a one-year, $92,000 diversity supplement from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. These supplements provide additional funding to current NIH research grants in order to enhance the diversity of the research workforce by recruiting and supporting trainees who are from diverse backgrounds, including those that have been underrepresented in health-related research. Dr. Voils will be using these funds to support work that Katya Garza, MPH, will be doing on the Log2Lose weight loss study.
Katya’s work will explore how to best engage men in weight loss studies. “Although obesity rates are equivalent among men and women in the United States, women are more likely to seek treatment, including participating in weight loss studies,” noted Voils. “Understanding men’s experiences in our study will inform us how to change the program and/or our recruitment and retention strategies to help men experience treatment benefits.” To gather this information, Katya will start by reviewing the existing research literature to learn how other weight loss studies have engaged men. She will then use this information to design and implement strategies that can be used to recruit men to participate in the Log2Lose study. Finally, she will interview 30 men who complete participation in Log2Lose about their experience in the study. In addition to providing helpful information on increasing the participation of men in weight loss programs, the study will also give Katya hands-on research experience and mentorship as she applies for entrance to medical school.