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Last modified: Tuesday, April 6, 2004

Faculty Spotlight: Lloyd Kolbe

Lloyd J. Kolbe, professor of Applied Health Science at Indiana University Bloomington, recently received the 2004 Award for Excellence in the Prevention and Control of Chronic Disease from the United States Chronic Disease Directors. This award recognizes distinguished service in reducing the nation's chronic disease burden. Kolbe received the award for his role in forming the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) at the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Kolbe was the founding director of DASH, a position he held for the past 15 years prior to joining the faculty of IUB's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation last fall.

As part of his research involving adolescent health, Kolbe works with the nation's 120,000 schools to find ways to improve student and employee health. Researchers are finding important links, he said, between student health and academic achievement. Data about school breakfast programs, for example, show that they can-- in addition to improving health-- improve standardized test scores and attendance rates and reduce behavioral disruptions.

Kolbe also led the National Initiative to Improve Adolescent Health by 2010. This initiative bought together numerous national not-for-profit, public-, and private-sector organizations to collectively improve adolescent health. The initiative is working to reduce mortality resulting from motor accidents (which is the leading cause of death for the 10- to 24-year-old age group) and deaths from homicide and suicide. The initiative also is working to reduce alcohol and drug use, sexual risk behaviors, and behaviors (such as tobacco use, physical inactivity, and poor eating habits) that eventually result in chronic diseases among adults.

Kolbe was appointed last month by the National Academies to serve for the next three years as Vice Chairman of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Adolescent Health and Development.

Kolbe's work has received the highest awards given by the CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion; by the U. S. Public Health Service; by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services; and by the International Union for Health Promotion and Education.

Before serving as the founding director of DASH, Kolbe served as Associate Director of the University of Texas Center for Health Promotion Research and Development, Associate Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of Texas School of Public Health, Chief of Evaluation for the U. S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Director of School Health Programs at the National Center for Health Education, and Assistant Professor of Health Science at the University of Northern Colorado.

He has published more than 120 scientific articles and book chapters about health behavior, school health programs, and adolescent health. Kolbe has been elected President of the American School Health Association; and Vice President for Scientific and Technical Development of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education. He has been appointed Visiting Professor at Beijing Medical University (People's Republic of China); U.S. Lead for Health Education and Promotion within the U.S.-Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technological Cooperation; and Chairman of the World Health Organization Expert Committee on Comprehensive School Health Education and Promotion. He has served as a Member of the United States Senior Biomedical Research Service; Adjunct Professor at the Emory University School of Public Health and Center for International Health; and Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Health Education and Promotion for School-Aged Children and Youth.