Researchers at RTI International as well as their partners recently received a Health Equity Award from the Centers for Disease Control in recognition of their efforts to promote health improvement among minorities.

The RTI team is part of Project DIRECT (Diabetes Interventions Reaching and Educating Communities Together, which has been based in Raleigh since 1994. The project includes research and surveillance efforts as well as health promotion, outreach and diabetes care.

"The goal of Project DIRECT is to use existing knowledge of diabetes risk factors and complications to implement community-based interventions to reduce the prevalence and severity of diabetes in a community with a large African-American population," said Kristina Peterson, RTI’s project director.

"Project DIRECT appears to have had a significant impact on the people who participated in the program’s activities," Peterson added. "The program is helping to raise awareness of diabetes risk factors and is teaching people how to manage the disease."