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NICHD and Spelman College Partner on Wellness Initiative Share a Spelman College Press Release


Media Contact:
Terrilyn Simmons
Spelman College
Twitter: @SpelmanMedia

ATLANTA (Nov. 7, 2013) -- As National Diabetes Month launches, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and Spelman College have partnered to focus on three key projects to promote the health of Spelman students and the communities they will influence. The two organizations have signed an official memorandum of understanding to develop health projects devoted to nutrition, fitness education and physical activity.

"The National Institutes of Health seeks to improve the public’s health and wellness, through research and by communicating health information,” said Yvonne T. Maddox, Ph.D., Deputy Director, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. “Our partnership with Spelman is an important part of that process, and we look forward to working with its officials and students to improve the lives of young women, their families, and members of their communities through education and research engagement around nutrition and physical activity."

The partnership between NICHD and the college arose from Spelman’s Wellness Revolution, announced in November 2012. The goal of the Wellness Revolution is to improve the health and wellness of members of the community at this historically Black college for women. The Wellness Revolution is a response to the disproportionately high rates of obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes among African-Americans, particularly among women and the ever-alarming obesity statistics associated with youth.

“The health status and predictions of shortened life spans for today’s youth are alarming," said Spelman College President Beverly Daniel Tatum. “We have an opportunity and responsibility to intervene, and colleges and universities are in an excellent position to do so. We welcome our partnership with NICHD because they share our commitment to the health of the next generation.”

Together, NICHD and Spelman College will:

-- Co-sponsor a summit at Spelman on nutrition, physical activity and wellness on February 6, 2014. NICHD will provide experts on nutrition in women to speak at the event.

-- Connect students to health researchers through internships and other educational opportunities to foster interest in scientific careers.

-- Educate potential national partners about the Wellness Revolution as a program to model for college women on other campuses.

About the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth; maternal, child and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Institute’s website at  

About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, Ga., the college’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman; Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer; JPMorgan Chase Foundation President Kimberly Davis; former acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley; Harvard College Dean Evelyn Hammonds; author Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit


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