By Jennifer Frehn
Nov. 28, 2011

LOMA LINDA, Calif. – Adventist Health Studies of Loma Linda University School of Public Health has been recognized for its contributions in building a healthy community by the San Bernardino Branch of the NAACP.

The “Outstanding Health Institution” award was presented Oct. 27 at the San Bernardino Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s annual Freedom Fund Dinner. The theme for the event was “Health Education and Prevention: A Passport to Healthy Lifestyles.”

“We were delighted to receive this award in recognition of our contribution to minority health research, and I felt honored when asked to accept this award on behalf of the School of Public Health and the study,” said Patti Herring, PhD, MA, RN, who is the director of Black recruitment for Adventist Health Study-2 and an associate professor at Loma Linda University School of Public Health.

Adventist Health Studies also received certificates of recognition of the award from the California State Senate, the California Legislature 62nd Assembly District, and San Bernardino County Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales.

Adventist Health Studies are long-term studies that explore the links between diet, lifestyle and disease in Seventh-day Adventists. Adventist Health Study-2 is the latest study, which has 96,000 participants, including 26,000 Black participants. As one of the largest health studies of Blacks, it aims to determine ways to prevent lifestyle-related disease in the Black community. Already Adventist Health Study-2’s research has shown that following a vegetarian diet significantly reduced the risk of diabetes in Blacks, who are twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes when compared to non-Hispanic Whites.

In addition, order to increase access to healthy foods, Herring and her graduate students have this year started several community gardens in the San Bernardino area.