Stephanie Bell Jilcott Pitts

Professor
Organization
East Carolina University

Dr. Stephanie Jilcott Pitts was born, raised, and currently lives in rural eastern North Carolina. She thus has a vested interest in studying health promotion programs and policies to reduce diet-related diseases in the rural United States. She earned her PhD in Nutrition with a minor in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Upon degree completion, she worked for Serge (formerly World Harvest Mission) in Bundibugyo, rural western Uganda, designing and evaluating nutrition programs for malnourished and at-risk children. She came to the ECU Department of Public Health in July 2008. Dr. Pitts’ research is focused on examining and addressing policy and environmental factors related to reduction of obesity and diet-related disease risk and risk disparities in rural and underserved populations.

Projects

In 2015, the North Carolina legislature passed “The Healthy Food Small Retailer Program” (HFSRP), allocating $750,000 over three years to small food retailers located in USDA-defined food deserts. These funds could be used to purchase and install refrigeration equipment, display shelving, and other equipment necessary for stocking nutrient-dense foods, including fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean meats, and seafood.