Community Engagement Center of the Jackson Heart Study

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The Jackson Heart Study (JHS) is a major, long-term study of heart health in African American adults living in the Jackson, Mississippi metropolitan area. The data being gathered from this study helps determine the factors that contribute to heart disease, and helps indicate better ways to treat and avoid cardiovascular and related diseases.

Community activities: The JHS) Community Engagement Center (CEC) supports the Jackson Heart Study's efforts to promote heart health within targeted communities in and around the greater Jackson metropolitan area. While administering a Community Health Workers (CHWs)/Community Health Advocates (CHAs) program, CEC works thoughtfully and innovatively towards promoting heart disease prevention through evidenced-based programs and activities. Our CHWs/CHAs include CEC staff and systems-level community partners from public housing, faith-based organizations, municipalities and businesses who conduct screenings and education, and promote health awareness and healthy lifestyles in the community.

Strategic planning: Working closely with JHS leadership and participating institutions, the CEC team has defined an effective strategy, built dynamic infrastructure, and defined innovative ways to meaningfully put the landmark JHS research into action for the population it can impact the most — the Jackson, Mississippi metropolitan area. CEC’s Community Engagement Strategy and Communications Plan details how CEC and its partners will rise to that challenge, plus track and evaluate progress as a resource for other communities on the journey to better health.

Heart Smart Tips

Heart disease kills about 20 percent more African Americans in Mississippi compared to whites. Results of the Jackson Heart Study should help reduce this health disparity as well as lead to better heart health for all Mississippians.

Results from the Jackson Heart Study provide as basis for evidence-driven recommendations across many categories. Read the latest recommendations and tips here.

Community Engagement

Education and awareness is also a goal of the Jackson Heart Study. By promoting healthier lifestyles and understanding the factors that contribute to heart disease, communities will be better able to reduce health disparities and improve heart health and overall health. The Mississippi State Department of Health is a major part of the JHS Community Engagement Center, whose activities promote cardiovascular health in the Jackson community and beyond. Some of the Center's activities include:

Healthy Housing Initiative

To provide blood pressure screenings and health education for residents in housing projects.

Mayoral Health Council

A partnership with mayors to advance access to healthy foods, physical activity and smoke-free air in their communities.

Blood Pressure Monitoring

(Barbers Reaching Out to Help Educate on Routine Screenings): Bringing blood pressure testing into the community by training selected barbers in the Jackson area to conduct blood pressure monitoring for their customers, and provide heart health education and awareness. B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S. is based on a successful program operating in the Delta.

Congregational Health Initiative

To coordinate health education efforts within churches. MSDH provides training and support so that churches can become a community resource for health promotion, chronic disease prevention, and disease self-management education.

Community Health Ambassadors

Provide education and support for committed community members to engage families, friends, neighbors, and leading community members who are at risk of chronic health conditions.

Community Research Fellows Training Program

To foster health research within communities, and train community members to make the best use of research results.

Community Advisory Board (CAB)

The CEC Community Advisory Board meets quarterly and includes representatives from CEC’s programs, CHANs, as well as cohort participants from the JHS. Regular agenda items include current and emerging public health news; information from the CEC’s Principal Investigator, Dr. Victor Sutton; CEC program activity updates; CEC partner/stakeholder activities and announcements; and JHS Cohort activities.

The Board’s primary charges include:

  • Helping to drive and conduct community-level outreach efforts to increase awareness of heart disease and risk factors.
  • Guiding the JHS on its community presence, understanding, and outreach.
  • Providing input and feedback on CEC community program design, implementation and direction.
  • Distributing and disseminating Jackson Heart Study findings and results.

Community Health Advisor Network (CHAN)

The mission of CHANs is to support, promote and link local natural helpers to improve individual, family and community health.

CHAN Meeting Schedule

2 nd Mondays
6:00 - 7:00 pm

Asbury United Methodist Church
205 Raymond/Bolton Rd.
Bolton, MS 39401

Edwards Community Center
108 Mt. Moriah Rd.
Edwards, MS 39066

3 rd Mondays
12 Noon - 1:00 pm

Canton Public Library
102 Priestley Street
Canton, MS 39046

3 rd Mondays
6:00 -7:00 pm


2 nd Tuesdays

Sweet Rest Church
215 Old Whitfield Street
Pearl, MS 39208

1 st Thursdays
1:30 -2:30 pm

Raymond Public Library
126 Court Street
Raymond, MS 39154

2 nd Thursdays
4:00 - 5:00 pm

Ella Bess Austin Library
420 West Cunningham Street
Terry, MS 39170

1 st Thursdays
11:00 am - 12 Noon

Evelyn Taylor Majure Library
217 West Main Street
Utica, MS 39175

How you can participate

Community members who would like to be involved in any of these community engagement activities can become part of the Community Health Advisors Network (CHAN). CHAN members can become a certified Community Health Workers, Congregational Health Nurse or Advocate, Leader or Coach in Chronic Disease Self-Management, or participate in the Community Research Fellow Training Program. Contact our community engagement staff to find out more.

Contact us about getting involved, or to learn more about our activities: 601‑206‑1720.

More Information


JHS Community Engagement Center: 601‑206‑1720

Last reviewed on Oct 3, 2023 request edits

Related resources

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Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866‑HLTHY4U Contact and information

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