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Partnering with our community to promote health

Welcome to the Health Promotion Research Center

The Health Promotion Research Center (HPRC) is one of 26 Prevention Research Centers funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We conduct community-based research that promotes the health and well-being of middle-aged and older adults, particularly those with lower incomes and in ethnic/cultural minority populations most at risk of health disparities. We are housed in the University of Washington Department of Health Services, in the School of Public Health.

Learn about HPRC's ongoing and latest research projects here.

APEX awardMall Walking: A Program Resource Guide has received the 2016 APEX Award for Publication Excellence in the Education and Training category.

Read about the Guide here.

HPRC Receives $900,000 for Special Interest Projects

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded $900,000 to the University of Washington’s Health Promotion Research Center to fund two special interest projects:

Evaluating the Adoption and Implementation of an Evidence-Based Patient Navigation Intervention for Colonoscopy Screening

The New Hampshire Colorectal Cancer Screening Control Program Patient Navigation intervention has been shown to be effective in increasing colonoscopy completion and reducing appointment cancellations and no-shows among low income, un/underinsured patients. This 2-year project will determine whether replication of this intervention by other Colorectal Cancer Control Program grantees can achieve similar results. If so, further dissemination and scale-up of the intervention could improve colonoscopy screening rates in other states/settings.

Principle investigators: Allison Cole, UW Family Medicine, and Peggy Hannon, UW Health Promotion Research Center

Promoting Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccination in Washington’s East African Communities

The purpose of this 2-year special interest project is to develop and test multi-level health communication strategies to promote HPV vaccination in underserved or high-risk populations. The project will develop and test HPV communication messages that are sensitive to cultural, literacy/health literacy, and language differences, access issues, and/or lack of trust in health care systems among the target population due to experienced bias, discrimination, or other factors. There is potential to increase HPV vaccine uptake in communities where vaccination rates lag behind national goals.

Principle investigator: Rachel Winer, UW Department of Epidemiology

PRCs 30th The CDC Prevention Research Centers (PRC) Program and HPRC celebrate their 30th anniversary this year!

This network of 26 academic centers became a reality in 1986 after Congress authorized funding for academic health centers to conduct community-based public health research. The UW Health Promotion Research Center was part of the initial group of PRCs funded in 1986. We are proud to have partnered with excellent community organizations to conduct research with results that have been translated into policy and public health practice.

During this anniversary year, we will share articles highlighting our 30 years of building healthier communities together. Here is the first:

C O M M U N I T Y   H I G H L I G H T

EnhanceFitness: Research to Practice on a Large Scale

EnhanceFitness images

Older adults in the USA face a number of health issues that could be improved by physical activity. Twenty years ago, there were very few activity programs that were evidence-based, low-cost, and tailored for older adults at all levels of fitness. In 1994, the University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center (one of the original PRCs initiated in 1986) collaborated with Group Health Cooperative and Sound Generations (then known as Senior Services) to develop and test a physical activity program for older adults, called Lifetime Fitness.

In 1999, Lifetime Fitness received the Archstone Award for best practices in health and aging. Sound Generations became the licensor of the program, which in 2003 was named one of ten Exemplary Physical Activity Programs for Seniors in the USA by the National Council on Aging.

The program, renamed EnhanceFitness (EF) in 2005, has been shown to significantly improve participants’ physical functioning, EnhanceFitness imagesand to improve depression and social functioning as well. In a 2013 report to Congress, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services described promising evidence that EnhanceFitness had driven down total healthcare costs, decreased unplanned hospitalizations, and decreased mortality rates for participating Medicare beneficiaries. In 2012, Sound Generations partnered with YMCA of the USA to offer low-cost EnhanceFitness classes at YMCAs nationwide. To date, the program, now listed in SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices, has had over 60,000 participants at 750 sites in 39 states.

The Health Promotion Research Center’s current core research project will take EnhanceFitness to the next level. The five-year PT-REFER study will investigate community-clinical linkages, with the aim to design and evaluate a new system to increase recommendations by physical therapists to EnhanceFitness programs offered in community-based settings. The goal: help increased numbers of older adults gain the proven benefits of EnhanceFitness, to improve their health and maintain their ability to sustain independent lives.

Watch a video about EnhanceFitness, produced by the UW School of Public Health.

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PT-REFER core research project


HPRC is partnering with the national YMCA on a five-year core research project.

Learn more here.

Sara Teague In Memoriam: HPRC colleague
Sara Teague.
Read more.

Healthy Brain Research Network

HPRC is the coordinating center of the CDC's Healthy Brain Research Network, created to address a pair of growing public health challenges: promoting cognitive health and addressing the needs of increasing numbers of older Americans living with cognitive impairment. More >

Now available: summaries of all HPRC workplace-related research. Review 10 years of research in 10 minutes. See bibliography here.

Upcoming HPRC Research Seminars

Attend in person: HPRC conference room. Get directions.

Attend via webinar: Join here Audio: 206-616-2663 or 1-866-495-7016 (Passcode: 288912)

Guests are welcome to stay for an HPRC staff meeting immediately following the seminar.


"A New VA Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) to Study Strategies to De-implement Ineffective and Harmful Clinical Practices"

Date: Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, 10:00-11:00 am

Presenter: Christian Helfrich

HPRC Community Advisory Board Meeting

Date: Friday, October 21, 2016
8:45 am-12:00 pm

Location: Tukwila Community Center. Get directions.

HPRC Quarterly Core Research Meeting

Date: Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016
8:30-10:30 am

Location: HPRC conference room. Get directions.