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Dr. Chaka Brittain earns national scholarship dedicated to reducing health disparities

Headshot of Dr. Chaka Brittain Dr. Chaka Brittain, a University of North Florida assistant professor of nursing in the Brooks College of Health, is a recipient of the Health Equity Achieved Through Lifestyle Medicine (HEAL) scholarships awarded by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM). HEAL scholarships are presented to support lifestyle medicine leaders who are working to reduce health disparities in historically underserved communities.

Dr. Brittain is an adult-geriatric primary care nurse practitioner and working to become board certified in lifestyle medicine. Her goal is to start a small local primary care practice that is dedicated to focusing on utilizing lifestyle medicine to reverse and prevent chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and obesity. She will then bring this practice knowledge back to share with students in her lifestyle medicine courses at UNF.  

“I aim to change the trajectory of healthcare as we know it by raising awareness about the role of nutrition and lifestyle as it relates to disease prevention and reversal,” said Brittain. “There is a critical problem because medical doctors and nurse practitioners spend less than five hours on average learning about the role of nutrition and lifestyle as it relates to disease prevention and reversal, while 80% of preventable deaths are due to just three factors: poor diet, lack of physical activity and tobacco.”

HEAL scholarships support diversification of the lifestyle medicine clinician workforce and provide financial support for recipients to attain education and certification and help them build relationships in the field that lead to an exchange of ideas and innovations to create health equity solutions.

The ACLM medical professional society founded the HEAL initiative to promote heath equity through lifestyle medicine. Scholarship recipients receive one-year membership in ACLM, registration and travel stipend for the organization’s annual conference and American Board of Lifestyle Medicine exam registration.