CHD Leadership

CHD Director

tracys broccoTracy Sbrocco, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Director of Research of Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Center for Health Disparities (USUCHD), conducts research designed to promote long-term behavior change in the treatment of obesity. She develops and examines the efficacy of community-based weight management programs for African American women in the Washington DC, metropolitan area. Dr. Sbrocco's goal is to develop ways to empower communities to support behavior change that prevents weight-related diseases including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancers. She also is involved in research examining ethnic differences in biological (e.g., HPA axis) and psychological (e.g., body image, anxiety) responses to stress, especially among people who are overweight or obese.

One of her most recent studies involves health disparities: "Obesity Treatment and Prevention among African Americans: Utilizing Networks outside Traditional Settings to Eliminate Health Disparities." Funded by NIH/NIDDK, this is a research project that focuses upon health behaviors in general, and upon diet and weight management in particular. A core element of the project is the delivery of evidence-based weight loss instruction (Behavior Choice Therapy or BCT) to African American women from the National Capital Area. The goals of this research are to promote long-term behavior change in treating overweight status and obesity, and to prevent health problems and disease.

Another recent study under Dr. Sbrocco's direction is G.O.S.P.E.L. (Glorifying our Spiritual and Physical Experience for Life): Health Assessment/Survey for Church Groups. G.O.S.P.E.L. is a community-based health education program, which serves a collection of 11 African American churches in Montgomery County, Maryland. The G.O.S.P.E.L. program is funded by the African American Health Program (AAHP) of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Preliminary results of the survey suggest that G.O.S.P.E.L. is a well-utilized, accessible program and an important opportunity for providing community-based health education to African Americans.