Participate in Research

Participate in Research

Participate in Forge AHEAD-Funded Research Projects

Forge AHEAD Center focuses on research for the prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic diseases. With your help, we can improve health outcomes for diabetes, obesity, and hypertension throughout the South.

There are plenty of opportunities for everyone to get involved! Explore below. 


Stepping Into Lifestyle Change (SILC) is a research study focused on healthy weight loss among African American women, age 30 or older, who are pre-diabetic and/or have high blood pressure and who live, work, or worship in select rural communities throughout Alabama and Mississippi. This project is implementing and evaluating weight loss programs of improved diet and increased physical activity.

The study is enrolling women 30 years or older who self identify as Black and/or African American and live, work, or worship in one of 12 specific intervention communities of rural Alabama counties. These individuals must also have a measured BMI over 25 and at least one other cardiometabolic risk factor (ex. hypertension).

See the link below for more information and additional criteria for eligibility.


PROPEL-IT stands for Promoting Successful Weight Loss in Primary Care in Louisiana using Information Technology. This study is being conducted to determine if a two-year weight loss program that uses virtual health coaching will help Black adults with obesity and diabetes (Type 2) or prediabetes lose more weight and improve their quality of life compared to patients receiving usual medical care.

You may be eligible to participate in this study if you live in Louisiana, have an Ochsner Health primary care provider, identify as Black or African American, are between age 40-70, have a BMI between 30 and 50 and have prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes. Participants must also have an internet-connected device they are willing to use for coaching sessions.


For more information on eligibility and expectations, follow the link below.

In the Food Delivery, Remote Monitoring, and Coaching-Enhanced Education for Optimized Diabetes Management (FREEDOM) study, investigators are working to develop optimized, multilevel interventions that might be used in the future for better control of Type 2 diabetes. With the help of research participants in Alabama and Mississippi, they hope to learn the best combination of digital health coaching, food box delivery, and remote patient monitoring that works for people with diabetes as well as another chronic condition (ex. coronary artery disease, chronic kidney disease).

People with Type 2 diabetes who are at least 18 years old and self-identify as Black or African American may qualify to participate if they also are in ongoing insulin treatment, have a primary care physician. There are additional eligibility requirements and some exclusions, so learn more at the link below. 

Research with Partner Institutions

If you are interested in participating in research studies in your area, visit these institutional websites where you will find even more opportunities to contribute.

Look for Even More Volunteer Opportunities

  • Search and explore past and present research projects at
  • Join and stay connected to current and future opportunities of interest to you.

Latest News from the Forge AHEAD Center

Presley Visits Primary Care Practices in the Black Belt

Presley Visits Primary Care Practices in the Black Belt

Caroline Presley, M.D., along with Macie Craft, recently visited primary care practices in the Black Belt area as part of Presley’s project on remotely-delivered Mindfulness-Based Diabetes Education for rural adults with uncontrolled diabetes and elevated distress.

read more

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