CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Feb. 18, 2002
Janz to work with state group to foster healthier lifestyles among women
University of Iowa professor has been named to a statewide taskforce that
is working to improve the health of low-income and uninsured women. Kathleen
Janz, associate professor of health, leisure, and sport studies in the UI
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will work with the Iowa Department of
Public Health's WISEWOMAN Cardiovascular Study as the physical activity and
The Iowa WISEWOMAN study is one of 12 demonstration projects funded through
2005 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal of WISEWOMAN,
which stands for "Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for Women
Across the Nation," is to help women establish healthier lifestyles by
offering screenings and interventions for behavioral risk factors for chronic
diseases, especially physical inactivity and unhealthy diets.
Janz will be assisting the team in designing appropriate and effective physical
activity interventions, including exercise programs and educational programs
to teach women how to integrate healthier choices into their lifestyles.
"I'm really excited about this project because it signals a shift in
how we think about providing services to women who have traditionally been
underserved," Janz said. "In the past their health care needs have
been addressed mostly in crisis mode -- when they came to an emergency room.
This project is saying everybody deserves not just health care but tools to
maintain health and prevent disease."
Janz and the team will screen women to evaluate such risk factors for cardiovascular
disease as obesity, sedentary behavior, poor dietary habits, high blood pressure,
and high cholesterol. Then women will receive assistance in modifying their
lifestyles to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading
cause of death among women. The program Janz and the rest of the Iowa team
develops will serve as a model for community health organizations throughout
Janz became involved in the program through a colleague at the CDC, who
recommended her to the project coordinator at the Iowa Department of Public
"This appointment shows recognition at the federal as well as the state
level of Kathy's research and teaching in cardiovascular health and physical
activity and exercise for underserved populations," said Susan Birrell,
the health, leisure, and sport studies department chair. "It's great
that she's able to lend her expertise to this project and provide service
and assistance to the state."