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Research Targets Korean-Americans in US
Korean American women sit with other Asian Americans.

Baltimore, MD — Two unique community-based research initiatives will provide health awareness and interventions to underserved Korean Americans at risk for diabetes and high blood pressure.

Armed with grants totaling nearly $4 million from the National Institutes of Health and working in partnership with the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) and the Korean Resource Center in Howard County, MD, nurse researcher Miyong Kim, RN, PhD, FAAN, will employ community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods to address and surmount the health care barriers facing many ethnic minority populations today.

In a $3.5 million study funded by the National Health, Lung, and Blood Institute, Kim will explore health literacy interventions for Korean Americans with high blood pressure (HBP). The findings not only will contribute to knowledge about the connection between health literacy and HBP control, but also test CBPR approaches such as the use of lay community health workers in delivering health interventions to individuals with limited English proficiency.

A second study, funded as a $500,000 pilot project by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, will focus on improving disease control and quality of life for Korean Americans with type 2 diabetes. Working also within the community, Kim and co-investigators will gather much needed pilot and feasibility data on how effective diabetes self-management procedures can be adapted for a population where diabetes is now a growing health problem and limited English language skills can create barriers to care.

Kim, who is herself an immigrant, is well-known throughout the U.S. and internationally for her culturally sensitive research among ethnic minorities. Her conduct of the first and only systematic assessment of cardiovascular risk among Korean Americans led to the first community-based nursing intervention project implemented within the Korean American population in 100+ years of immigration history. After years of successful CBPR research and intervention, Kim sees the new grants as validation of both the community-based methodology and the continuing needs of an at-risk population. She noted that, "Despite the tremendous progress made in improving overall health in the U.S. during the last decade, too many ethnic populations are still experiencing health care gaps. These studies and more aimed at addressing health literacy may be the keys that truly open the doors to a healthier version of the American dream."

The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing is a global leader in nursing research, education and scholarship and is ranked among the top 10 nursing higher education institutions in the country. The School's community health program is second in the nation and the nursing research program now holds eighth position among the top nursing schools for securing federal research grants. The School continues to maintain its reputation for excellence and educates nurses who set the highest standards for patient care, exemplify scholarship, and become innovative national and international leaders in the evolution of the nursing profession and the health care system. For more information, visit

For media inquiries, contact Lynn Schultz-Writsel at, 410-955-7552

or Ron Supan at, 410-614-4695.






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