Buys selected for national project

David Buys

A Mississippi State University Extension Service health specialist’s expertise in the battle against chronic disease has put him in the national spotlight.

David Buys, an assistant professor in the MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, will serve as the chair of the chronic disease prevention and management action team for a larger, nationwide effort by the Extension Service and its partners to improve health factors in the U.S.

Over a three-year period, Buys will lead a team tasked with identifying research-based programs and curricula, identifying gaps in the materials available, developing at least one new program, training Extension agents to use the programs, and launching the program nationally.

Before Buys came to MSU, he was on the faculty of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine and a postdoctoral fellow at the UAB School of Public Health. He has a background in medical sociology and epidemiology, or the study of patterns, causes and effects of diseases in specific populations.

Gary Jackson, director of the MSU Extension Service, said Buys’ role as the Extension state health specialist gives him important insights to share with national leaders eager to address America’s growing health crisis.

“With the many challenges facing Mississippians, it’s vitally important for our citizens to be represented at the national level so policies and programs can be put in place that will make a positive difference,” Jackson said. “Many Extension leaders believe the Extension Service is ideally positioned to partner with health care professionals to deliver trustworthy, research-based information about living healthy lives. Extension could be to health in the 21st century what it was to agriculture in the 20th century.”

Other action teams include health literacy, positive youth development for health, health insurance literacy and health-policy issue education.

The national framework for health and wellness is an effort of the Extension Committee on Policy, the representative leadership and governing body of the Cooperative Extension Service nationwide. To read about the national framework, go to For more information on the Extension Committee on Policy, visit

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Keri Collins Lewis | MSU Ag Communications

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