Ninfa Pena-Purcell

Ninfa Pena-Purcell




Assistant Professor
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Professional Bio

Ninfa Pena-Purcell, PhD, CHES is in her third year as assistant professor/health specialist with Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Developing and implementing health education programs is the focus of her work responsibilities. Her current projects are Working Well, a state-wide Extension worksite wellness initiative, and a culturally-adapted Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes for Spanish-speaking Latinos. Prior to her employment at Extension Dr. Pena-Purcell held academic positions at Texas Woman’s University (TWU) in Denton, Texas and the University of Texas at El Paso, Texas (UTEP). As a 2006-2007 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJW) New Connections Fellow, Dr. Pena-Purcell was awarded a $41,887 one-year grant to investigate Hispanics’ Use of Health Information on the Internet: Implications for Healthcare Professions. Dr. Pena-Purcell community service activities include the following positions: Executive Board member with the Texas Society of Public Health Education (TSOPHE), member of Bryan Independent School District’s School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) and member of Bryan/College Station Health Education Network. In 2007, Dr. Pena-Purcell was a pro bono external evaluator for the American Lung Association, Western Region Not on Tobacco (NOT) adolescent cessation program.

The purpose of the project was to conduct a secondary analysis investigating Hispanics’ use of internet health information. RJWF’s Impact of the Internet and Advertising on Patients and Physicians, 2001-2000 Survey of Public and Physicians datasets were utilized for the study.

My New Connections Experience

I applied to New Connections seeking post-doctoral experience in scholarship. As a New Connections fellow, I gained credibility as a researcher and it improved my marketability when I was seeking employment two years. The one-year project provided me with invaluable experience managing a grant, publishing my findings, and disseminating my results through several podium presentations. An opportunity to network is an ancillary benefit that has helped me develop new contacts, especially among professionals who share my research interests.

Research Interests

Type 2 diabetes self-management among Latinos
Chronic disease prevention and management
Worksite health promotion
Health information technology

The Details
  • New Connections Status: Junior Investigator
  • Award Year: 2006
  • RWJF Team/Portfolio: Pioneer
  • Project Name: Hispanics’ Use of Health Information on the Internet: Implications for Healthcare Professionals.

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