Featured Profile: Jane McElroy
University of Missouri researcher Dr. Jane McElroy is helping aging lesbian and bisexual women achieve their fitness goals.
Jane McElroy has done extensive research on causes of endometrial cancer; smoking rates among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Missourians; and has even worked with geographical information systems.
Now, she’s got her eye on something new: health and fitness for lesbian and bisexual women in Missouri. McElroy and her peers have created Project LOLA (Living Out and Living Actively), a research project to help lesbian and bisexual women gain a better understanding of what health is, provide more access to resources and create more opportunities for healthy behaviors.
The project is for self-identified lesbian or bisexual women ages 40 or older who are not already at their peak health. Participants are assigned to one of three groups and complete a 16-week program. In addition to members engaging in a variety of health-related activities, Project LOLA members connect with other women in their community—all while getting healthy.
“Lesbian and bisexual women are at a higher risk for cervical cancer, breast cancer, heart disease, depression, anxiety and, among adolescents, suicidal behavior,” McElroy says. “They are also more likely to be overweight or obese, to make poor nutritional choices and to smoke. Project LOLA women are taking charge of their health to reduce these risk factors.”
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One Health/One Medicine