Zoellner, Jamie, R.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Jamie Zoellner is an Associate Professor and Registered Dietitian in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Virginia where she provides leadership for community-based health equity and obesity reduction initiatives.  She also serves as the Associate Director of UVA Cancer Center without Walls and is working to expand the Cancer Center’s community-based research program and outreach efforts in southwest and southside Virginia. Her research includes engaging medically underserved areas in community-based participatory research (CBPR) and discovering solutions to the causes and consequences of limited health literacy.  She focuses on lifestyle risk factors (i.e., diet and physical activity) that have direct relevance to obesity and cancer prevention efforts.  She is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and serves on the journal’s Board of Editors, the Research Committee, and STATS Committee.

Dr. Zoellner has several funded research projects including those targeting sugar-sweetened beverage behaviors among rural Appalachian residents, childhood obesity treatment, colorectal cancer screening, and building capacity for rural cancer control in southwest Virginia.  Collectively, her research involves developing the capacity of health and community systems in rural regions to adopt and sustain evidence-based programs.

Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences

  • Ph.D., Colorado State University, Food Science & Human Nutrition;
  • M.S., The Chicago Medical School, Nutrition;
  • B.S., University of Missouri, Columbia, Food Science & Human Nutrition/Medical Dietetics

Department of Public Health Sciences
P.O. Box 800717
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0717

Cancer Center without Walls at the UVA Cancer Center
16 East Main Street
Christiansburg, VA 24073

Tel: 434-962-4488
Email: jz9q@virginia.edu

  Obesity and related behaviors; Community-based participatory research; Health literacy; Health equity and disparities

Research Interests: Lifestyle interventions targeting obesity-related behaviors; Effectiveness trials targeting medically under severed areas; Dissemination and implementation research; Translational research; Rural health

Current Funding:

P30 National Institutes of Health/ National Cancer Institute. “Building research capacity to improve colorectal cancer screening in rural Southwest Virginia Clinics,” 10/01/18-09/30/19.

  • Overall Goal: To build capacity within Stone Mountain Health Services (SMHS)[an 11-clinic Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves rural patients in the UVA’s Cancer Center rural catchment area] to better understand barriers and plan research aimed at implementing evidence-based strategies to increase colorectal screening.

Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington Engagement Contract. “Cancer Center without Walls: Advancing Patient-Centered Research for Cancer Control in Rural VA,” 09/01/18-08/31/20.

  • Overall Goal: To (1) build and strengthen the research capacity among members of two Community Action Teams, focused on Cancer Prevention and Early Detection, through relevant PCOR skill-based trainings, (2) Identify actionable, cancer PCOR priorities based on existing local data and stakeholder/patient input, and (3) Advance the community capacity of Community Action Teams to conceptualize, plan, mobilize resources, and execute cancer control patient-centered outcomes research projects in their communities.

R01 National Institutes of Health/National Institutes of Minority Health and Health Disparities. “Kids SipSmartER: A multi-level behavioral and health literacy intervention to reduce sugar-sweetened beverages among Appalachian middle-school students,”  5/02/2018 – 12/31/2022.

  • Overall Goal: To determine the effectiveness of Kids SIPsmartER in improving sugar-sweetened beverages behaviors among 7th grade students.  Secondary aims are to determine (1) changes in secondary student outcomes (e.g. quality of life, BMI z-score, theory-related variables, health and media literacy), (2) changes in caregiver SSB behaviors and home environment, (3) maintenance of outcomes at 19-months post-baseline, (4) assess the reach and representativeness of Kids SIPsmartER, among students and caregivers, and (5) implementation, adoption, and maintenance among teachers and schools.

Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). “A randomized-controlled trial to compare the reach, effectiveness and maintenance of two family-based childhood obesity treatment programs in a medically underserved region,”  06/01/2017-05/31/20.

  • Overall Goal: To determine the relative effectiveness in child BMI z-scores at 3, 6, and 12-months post baseline of iChoose+ versus Family Connections. Secondary aims are to determine (1) ongoing reach, fidelity, and implementation costs, (2) community capacity for implementation and sustainability, (3) relative impact on family eating/physical activity and parental weight, and (4) relative adherence and potential dose response relationships.

Selected recent publications:

  • Brock D, Estabrooks P, Hill J, Barlow M, Alexander R, Brito F, Price B, Jones C, Marshall R, Zoellner J.  Building and Sustaining Community Capacity for addressing Childhood Obesity: A 3-Year Mixed-Methods Case Study of a Community-Academic Advisory Board. Family and Community Health, 42(1):62-79, 2019.
  • Zoellner J, You W, Estabrooks P, Chen Y, Davy B, Porter K, Hedrick V, Bailey A, Kružliaková N. Supporting maintenance of sugar-sweetened beverage reduction using automated versus live telephone support: findings from a randomized control trial.  International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 15:97, 2018.
  • Zoellner J, Hill J, You W, Brock D, Frisard M, Alexander R, Silva F, Price B, Marshall R, Estabrooks P. The influence of parental health literacy status on reach, retention, attendance and outcomes in a family-based childhood obesity program, Virginia, 2013-2015. Preventing Chronic Disease, 15(160421), 2017.
  • Lane H*, Porter K, Hecht E, Harris P, Zoellner J. Kids SIPsmartER: a feasibility study to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among middle school youth in Central Appalachia. American Journal of Health Promotion, 32(6):1386-1401, 2017.
  • Zoellner J, Porter K. “Translational Research: Concepts and Methods in Dissemination and Implementation Research,” book chapter in Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Disease, Coultson AM, Boushey CJ editors. 4th edition. 2017.
  • Zoellner J, Harris J. Mixed Methods Research in Nutrition and Dietetics. Journal of Academy of Nutrition in Dietetics, 117(5):683-697, 2017.
  • Zoellner J, Porter K*, Chen Y, Hedrick V, You W, Tyhurst M*, Estabrooks P. Predicting Sugar-Sweetened Behaviors with Theory of Planned Behavior Constructs: Outcome and Process Results from the SIPsmartER Behavioral Intervention. Psychology and Health, 6:1-20, 2017.
  • Estabrooks PA, You W, Hedrick VE*, Reinhold M*, Krzeski E*, Zoellner J. A pragmatic examination of active and passive recruitment methods in improving reach in community lifestyle programs: The Talking Health Trial. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14:7, 2017.
  • Zoellner J, Hedrick V, You W, Chen Y, Porter K, Davy B, Bailey A, Lane H, Alexander R, Estabrooks P. Effects of a behavioral and health literacy intervention to reduce sugar-sweetened beverages: a randomized trial. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 13(38), 2016.
  • Zoellner J, You W, Almeida F, Allen KCA*, Harden S, Glasgow RE, Linnan L, Hill J, Estabrooks P. The influence of health literacy on reach, retention, and success in a worksite weight loss program.  American Journal of Health Promotion, 30(4):279-82, 2016. (Featured as a webinar in “Worksite Weight Loss, Outcomes-Based Incentives and Physical Activity Based Programs” in Sept 2016); Awarded the 2016 American Journal of Health Promotion, Michael P. O’Donnell Paper of the Year.
  • Lane H*, Porter K*, Estabrooks P, Zoellner J. A systematic review to assess sugar-sweetened beverage interventions across the socioecological model. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 116(8): 1295-1307, 2016. (Featured as a continuing education article).
  • Zoellner J, VanHorn L, Gleason P, Boushey CJ. What is translational research? Concepts and application in nutrition and dietetics. Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115(7):1057-71, 2015.