Nov. 24, 2008
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
SRU graduate becomes Johns Hopkins University researcher
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Meghan Oefinger, a 2008 Slippery Rock University graduate, has landed a prestigious position as lifestyle interventionist at Johns Hopkins University. She will create exercise programs aimed at helping the severely mentally ill in Maryland lose weight.
Oefinger, an exercise and rehabilitative sciences graduate, will join a five-year National Institute of Mental Health funded study examining the effectiveness of long-term weight loss programs, including an evaluation of nutritional and fitness counseling.
"My role will be to create and implement the exercise portion of the study, train others and conduct baseline fitness testing on all our participants," Oefinger said. "This population has an even higher prevalence of obesity and weight-related diseases than the general population, and they do not respond well to typical weight loss programs for a variety of reasons."
An August gradate, Oefinger said her SRU experience was critical in landing this position. "I now understand what it means to have an excellent program in a field of study and student leadership. For every demand of any job that I have interviewed for, I have not only been familiar with the procedures, theory, etc, but soundly competent and comfortable," she said.
Gail Daumit, a Johns Hopkins physician, will head the Achieving Healthy Lifestyles in Psych Rehabilitation study. Researchers will work with patients who are enrolled in 10 psychiatric rehabilitation programs. The finding could be used to implement a national program for weight loss among the mentally ill.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.