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Rural Matters

Feb 1, 2022

Michelle chats about the incredibly important topic of heart health in Rural America with Dr. Jessica Barnes, co-founder and CEO of 20Lighter, LLC, an award-winning cardiometabolic health program targeting inflammation and visceral fat, the holy grail of cardiovascular and metabolic disease; and Irion “Chip” Pursell, M.P.H., R.N., B.S.N., the director of cardiology research at UAMS in Little Rock, Arkansas, and the Principal Investigator of the UAMS Lincoln Project. Pursell describes how the workings of this unique initiative, which is based on a strategy for community engagement and an ultimate goal of improving cardiovascular health in highly underserved areas of the Arkansas Delta. Local engagement is crucial to increase wellness measures and target obesity in a region where economic and health disparities have life-altering consequences for residents, explains Pursell. Dr. Barnes discusses the role 20Lighter plays in the UAMS Lincoln Project, including focusing on proactive engagement of at-risk patients. Her program addresses a medical condition associated with a variety of ailments, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and COVID-19. The UAMS Lincoln Project is in progress, with results expected later this year.  Want to learn more about 20Lighter and the UAMS Lincoln Project? Visit and UAMS Lincoln Project.