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Friday September 1, 2000

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Regents expected to approve CDC contract

By Richard Clark

Arizona Daily Wildcat

$1.25 million to improve border health

Members of the Arizona Board of Regents today are expected to approve a request from the UA College of Public Health to enter into a contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to improve border health conditions.

The contract plans to partner the College of Public Health with the community to enhance diabetes prevention and treatment programs, said Dr. Kent Campbell, interim dean of the College of Public Health.

"The goal of the contract is to provide support for existing local programs," said Campbell.

Diabetes is one of the most serious health problems along the border region. A report from Campbell indicated the rate of diabetes in the border area is two to three times higher than the rate in the rest of the United States.

The reasons for the higher diabetes rates are obesity, lack of physical activity, poverty and lack of health coverage in the region, Campbell said.

Thirty percent of the population in Arizona's border counties do not have health insurance, Campbell said.

The operation's goal is to enhance diabetes prevention among children and better treatment of the adults in the region, he said.

Children who are born to obese mothers are at a significantly greater risk for developing diabetes throughout life, Campbell said.

Regent Kay McKay said she supports this contract and expects other board members to do the same.

She added that this contract is just one part of the UA's commitment to the community.

"The university stays very involved in the community and tries to be good neighbors," said McKay. "This is a very responsible start to enhance health care issues and establish good relations."

The $1.25 million contract is expected to start today and run for one year.

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