03WD – Harvest for Health

Status: Filled – Lauren King
Intern: Lauren King
Faculty Name: wendy-demark-wahnefried-3
Primary Faculty Appointment: UAB
UAB/HA Department: UAB Department of Nutrition
Campus Address: 1675 University Boulevard, Webb Nutrition Sciences Bldg, Room 650
Telephone Number: (205) 446-9736
Email: demark@uab.edu or Click to Send E-Mail
For how many summers have you served as a preceptor: 3 or more
CCC Research Area: Cancer Control & Population Science
Number of hours per week that the preceptor will personally supervise or work with the intern: 20
Other faculty, staff, or graduate students who may help to supervise the intern:
1. Teri Hoenemeyer
2. Daniel Edwards
Title of Project: 03WD – Harvest for Health
Project Description:

Harvest for Health is an NIH-funded trial that will recruit up to 426 older (≥60 years), early stage cancer survivors across Alabama. Participants will undergo a baseline virtual visit whereupon they will be assessed for physical functioning, blood biomarkers, and body weight status and will then be randomized to 1-of-2 study arms: 1) one that receives a 1-year mentored vegetable gardening intervention that pairs a cancer survivor with a certified Master Gardener; or 2) a wait-list control arm that receives the intervention after a 1-year delay. All participants will be followed for 2 years. This randomized controlled trial aims to: 1) determine the efficacy of the vegetable gardening intervention on fruit and vegetable intake, physical activity AND physical function (assessed by self-report and backed by objective measures: plasma carotene, accelerometry, and performance testing); 2) assess effects of the intervention on secondary endpoints, e.g., quality of life, biomarkers of successful aging (interleukin-6 and telomerase); 3) evaluate the durability and repeatability of the intervention; 4) explore participant factors related with program efficacy (e.g., gender, co-morbidity, age); and 5) perform an economic analysis to assess the value of health improvements relative to intervention costs. The proposed home-based, vegetable gardening intervention (using raised beds or Earthboxes® – depending on survivors’ living arrangements) is a novel and feasible strategy to improve dietary intake, physical activity, and physical functioning in cancer survivors at high risk for cancer-related morbidity – one that has great clinical and public health significance given the increasing number of cancer survivors and the high economic and societal costs associated with comorbid disease. This study is currently being conducted remotely using virtual assessment methods via Zoom. Project opportunities include conducting remote virtual assessment of participants, debriefing participants, and assuring outcomes data quality. These opportunities are available for remote participation.

Project Status: Already up and running
Location of Project: Birmingham, AL (UAB)
Proposed Start Date: May 3, 2021
Proposed End Date: August 27, 2021
Expected work schedule for intern: Flexible, intern can largely set his or her own schedule (as for students who are instructed how to proceed and are permitted to work independently with weekly guidance) and should contribute full-time effort.
Number of days that the student will be expected to come physically to UAB:
0 – project will be fully virtual except for the required in-person checkpoint visits
Category of Project: Community-Based or Field Research
Cancer topic: Diet and Nutrition, Survivorship, Multiple Cancer Sites
Does this project involve human subjects: Yes
Does this project involve animal subjects: No

Assist with virtual assessments for anthropomorphic and physical function measure.


Assist with data quality checks.


Assist with patient communication strategies and materials development.

Preceptor will provide intern with access to the following: Supplies needed to complete project, Equipment needed to complete project
Likelihood that intern will be included as an author on one or more publications related to this summer research project: Possible
Areas in which the ideal candidates will have experience: NONE OF THE ABOVE (just the willingness to learn)