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Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health

SWCOEH’s Dr. William Perkison serving as Co-Investigator for SCAN Program

Houston (March 16, 2022) – Dr. William "Brett" Perkison, MD, MPH, of the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (SWCOEH) at UTHealth School of Public Health, is a Co-Investigator on a new study that will determine the efficacy of the Sustainable Culturally Adapted Nutritious Diet Program (SCAN).
SCAN is a program developed by a team at the UTHealth Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research (CHPPR) that works by incorporating a food incentive model into the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). Though the DPP is a proven method of reducing diabetes incidence rates in underserved populations through intensive, individualized nutrition and exercise management, retention rates among participants remains low, leading to poorer long-term outcomes.
“We started our first SCAN session in October and will be completing our last of four sessions at the end of March,” Dr. Perkison said. “Thus far, the project has been a great success. We have had increased participation in our program. Our counselors who have been trained to conduct the SCAN sessions have been excellent and the feedback from our participants has been very positive. They appreciate the additional effort being promoted with the cooking program. They have been able to get to know each other better and talk about how they prepared foods. Finally, it has given them an incentive to improve their skills and most importantly their confidence in healthy eating.”
Read more: New Study Aims to Reduce Diabetes Rates
SCAN improves participant adherence to the DPP by targeting diverse, urban populations of patients diagnosed with pre-diabetes, then applying established theories of behavior change and culinary medicine.
“Our goal is to demonstrate innovations to the DPP curriculum which can help to improve participant attendance,” Dr. Perkison said. “This will increase confidence that they can make the changes in diet to decrease their risk for developing diabetes in the future. We would like to help integrate this curriculum into other DPP programs that could benefit from it.” 
SCAN was developed as a part of the Improving the Health of Americans through Prevention and Management of Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke Project funded by the Texas Department of State Health Services DSHS.
The SWCOEH provides a variety of graduate-level training opportunities for occupational and environmental health professionals through our industrial hygiene, occupational and environmental medicine, occupational epidemiology, and Total Worker Health®.