Kent State and Akron General team up to collaborate on research

Chase Bonhotel

Kent State is partnering with Akron General Health System to create a new research collaborative fixated on health and wellness.

Akron General, the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs at Kent State and the university’s College of Public Health funded the partnership.

Dr. Sonia A. Alemagno, dean of the College of Public Health, said the university donated $50,000 — primarily consisting graduate assistant salaries — to cornerstone the project. Kent State and Akron General will work together to create “lifestyle medicine changes.”

Dr. Tim Stover, president and CEO of Akron General Health System said in a press conference Tuesday, “Today, we join an outstanding academic partner to take the vision of wellness and well care to a new level.”

The Health and Wellness Research Collaborative will promote the study of wellness programs. The objective is to improve health and reduce the impact of chronic lifestyle-related diseases.

“Together we will promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles by integrating public health, basic science and clinical and behavioral research and by developing and promoting evidence-based wellness practices,” Stover said.

Dr. Todd A. Diacon, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at Kent State, said the partnership would allow researchers and students access to health and wellness data and establish opportunities for prevention.

“We are here to add value to our students, to teach them the things they need to know to help them succeed in life,” Diacon said.

The collaboration will also facilitate student leadership skills throughout the public health sector.

Alemagno said, “I can’t think of a better place, truly, to train those leaders and to give them access to the leaders in the nation, in wellness, then to have them engage in this collaborative.”

Doug Ribley, senior vice president of health and wellness services, at Akron General Health System, said if one can learn and get an education, one can manage his or her health.

“We can choose to exercise, or not; we can choose to make smart nutritional choices, or not; we can choose to smoke, or not; we can choose to wear our seatbelts, or not,” said Ribley.

This is what the backbone of the partnership is all about, he said — prevention.

“Our partnership with Akron General highlights our commitment to healthcare research in the College of Public Health and across the university, research that is focused specifically on improved health outcomes in our region, and across the nation.” Grant McGimpsey, vice president of research and sponsored programs at Kent State, said in a press release.

Contact Chase Bonhotel at [email protected]