February 26, 2020

Reflecting on Our Success & Looking Forward

Rachel Seymour

2020 in the sky at sunrise

The University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center (UW HPRC) continues to be a proud member of the CDC Prevention Research Centers (PRCs) Program. Since the PRC program began in 1986, UW HPRC has partnered with communities for prevention research that promotes healthy aging, impacts practice, and supports underserved community members.

Thank you to our staff, faculty, students, and community partners! Your input and expertise make UW HPRC a successful center and vital organization.

Highlights From the 2014-2019 Funding Cycle

  • Engaged 20 YMCAs across the country in a five-year core research project known as PT-REFER, which brought Y-USA, Sound Generations, and UW HPRC together to continue scaling up Enhance®Fitness by linking community YMCAs and physical therapists.
  • Expanded the Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives (PEARLS) through our 29 master trainers who prepared 121 new PEARLS coaches to provide the program to their communities. PEARLS is offered by more than 70 organizations – predominantly local social service agencies — in 15 states. More than 6,000 older adults have participated in the program since it began.
  • Broadened our partnership with the Washington State Department of Health to address hypertension and arthritis management in addition to our work with cancer control and workplace health promotion.
  • Grew our local cancer prevention and control projects to include a unique UW HPRC cancer team partnership with federally qualified health centers across Washington state, which provide primary care for people regardless of their ability to pay.
  • Completed two Special Interest Projects that focused on patient navigation for cancer screening. One project gathered surveys from more than 400 patient navigators across the country.
  • Tested a workplace wellness program for small to midsize employers that is now known as Connect to Wellness, and spread the program to reach more than 200 worksites across Washington state.
  • Created award winning, practical tools for providers and community partners to improve community health:
  • Launched a mobile-friendly and responsive website in late 2016. Since then, the number of our mobile users has nearly doubled.
  • Collaborated with the American Cancer Society to retool and rebrand an evidence-based cancer prevention and control program that is now known as the ACS Health Index for Employers. The updated program launched in the summer of 2019 to more than 55,000 employees at 14 worksites in 8 states.
  • Expanded the Community Advisory Board to include older adult advocates who advise UW HPRC on PEARLS, as program graduates, among other important topics.

By the Numbers

During the last five-year funding cycle, UW HPRC has produced or been a part of:

  • 175+ media stories
  • 216 articles in scientific journals
  • 214 scientific presentations
  • 107 community presentations
  • working with 100 students

Looking Forward

  • Moving forward with our next core research project that focuses on providing equitable depression care for older adults using the Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives.
  • Partnering with researchers for a new center — Optimizing Implementation in Cancer Control Center (OPICC) — thanks to funding from the National Institutes of Health’s Cancer Moonshot initiative. OPICC earned a five-year, $4.78 million grant beginning in late 2019. UW HPRC Director Peggy Hannon is a co-principal investigator alongside Bryan Weiner from the Department of Global Health and Department of Health Services*, and Cara Lewis from Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute.
  • Promoting continued work and research with two CDC Networks — the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) and Managing Epilepsy Well (MEW) Network. UW HPRC contributes to CPCRN through the Alliance for Reducing Cancer, Northwest (ARC NW).
  • Launching the rebranded workplace wellness program now known as Connect to Wellness.

* The Department of Health Services is now the Department of Health Systems and Population Health. This name change took place July 1, 2021.

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