Christiana C. Osuagwu

I was born in Nigeria where I received my Diplomas in Nursing and Midwifery in 1976 and 1978 respectively. Married with one daughter and two sons, my husband and I arrived in the United States in 1981. I obtained my BSN and MS (Public Planning and Administration) degrees from the University of Texas at Tyler, in 1984 and 1986 respectively. In 2002 I received my MSN degree from Texas Technical University, Lubbock, Texas, and was certified in 2003 as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. I am currently enrolled in the doctoral program in Public Health (Health Education and Promotion) at Walden University.

I joined the services of UTHCT as a Staff Nurse in 1981, and have remained there ever since. I am currently the Director of Community Outreach and Health Disparities at UTHCT, a position that allows me part-time clinical practice in one of the hospital clinics. At various times over the years, some of my other positions at the Health Center in Administrator for Emergency Services & Outreach Clinics, Director of Acute Care Services, and Director of the Emergency Care Center.

Over the years, I have served on numerous committees, a few of which include the Texas State Committee on Strategic Plan for the Prevention of Obesity in Texas; Tyler Independent School District Health Advisory Committee; Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) of Smith County; UTHCT Pharmacotherapeutics Committee; UT System Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the Advancement of Women and Minorities; UTHCT Patient Education and Discharge Planning Committees.

My publications include Reducing Childhood Obesity: An Action Plan for Communities; Combating Health Disparities through Student Mentoring (2006); Obesity: The New Enemy (2005); Answers to Aging: East Texas Center for Rural Geriatric Studies (2004); Cholesterol and Your Health (1997); Financial Aspects of Managing an Emergency Department (1993); and ED Codes: Keep the family out (1991). I recently co-authored a handbook titled "From Staff Nurse to Manager: A Guide to Successful Role Transition" (2005).

I have participated in the following research endeavors as a:

  • Co-Investigator on "The East Texas ExPORT" (Excellence in Partnerships for Outreach, Research and Training) Project: Diabetes self-management in East Texas; funded by the National Institutes of Health—National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, September 30, 2003- September 29, 2006.
  • Principal Investigator: "Nutrition and Physical Activity," a pilot program for select churches in East Texas. This led to the publication of "A Faith-based Guide to Wellthy Living" for use in churches across Texas (2006). The program was funded by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • Health Consultant in a 6-week Summer (2006) pilot program titled "Healthy Beginnings" for a select group of obese college and high school students and their participants, and increased knowledge about nutrition, food labels, body mass index, and the dangers of overweight/obesity.
  • Primary Investigator, "Body and Soul: A Celebration of Healthy Eating and Living, emphasizing 5-9 daily servings of fruits and vegetables to combat obesity (2005)". This was funded by the Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin, Texas.
  • Principal Investigator: "Shop Smart Eat Right"—a nutrition education program in which participants were taken on a grocery shopping tour designed to teach them how to shop, read food labels, and be alert to the dangers of obesity. This project was funded by the East Texas Council of Governments Area Agency on Aging (2003-2006).

I have a passion for public health education, having seen first-hand the ravaging effects of obesity in all age and population groups, and especially its adverse collateral impact with related co-morbid conditions. I have, through my advocacy and involvement in several public health and public policy initiatives, increased awareness on this national epidemic. I believe that focused public health education through structured health promotion campaigns, patient empowerment, research and training will lead to a healthier population. This is why I chose to pursue my doctoral degree in public health. I am interested in global health and hope that the benefits of the knowledge I acquire will transcend continents to benefit the world's most impoverished and needy populations.