Health Promotion Research Center

The University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center (UW HPRC) collaborates with communities to conduct research on a broad range of health promotion topics, including healthy aging, cancer prevention and control, workplace health, physical activity, depression management, and brain health.

Investigators who lead a research project are known as principal investigators in the research community.

You will find a selection of our current projects organized by these categories:

Older Adult Health Promotion

Enhancing Early Detection of Cognitive Impairment With the KAER Model

Dates: Sept. 30, 2020 – Sept. 29, 2021

Overview: Improve early detection of cognitive impairment — such as dementia — by reviewing, refining, testing, and evaluating components of the KAER model, which are used by primary care providers. The KAER model is a four-step process — developed by the Gerontological Society of America — to detect cognitive impairment and earlier diagnosis of dementia (Kickstart the cognition conversation; Assess for cognitive impairment; Evaluate for dementia; Refer for community resources).
Results from this study will be used to provide recommendations for practical application of the KAER model and initiate steps for integrating tools into a broader reach of primary care practices within the multi-state UW Medicine network.

Funding: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), $500,000

Principal Investigator: Annette Fitzpatrick

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Decision-Making in Alzheimer’s Research (DMAR)

Dates: June 1, 2020 – March 31, 2025

Overview: Conduct research to keep older adults with dementia involved in decision-making by better understanding their decision-making processes and creating a novel tool to identify preferences related to transitions in care.

Funding: National Institute on Aging, $3.3 million

Principal Investigator: Anne Turner

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PEARLS Equity: Expanding Access to Depression Care for Underserved Older Adults

Dates: Sept. 30, 2019 – Sept. 29, 2024

Overview: Expand the Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives (PEARLS) with underserved populations by partnering with organizations that are already serving and doing work with these communities. The ultimate goal is to help provide equitable access to depression care. Priority populations for the study include older adults who are experiencing poverty, are community members of color, have limited-English proficiency, and/or live in rural areas.

Funding: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately $1.5 million

Principal Investigator: Mark Snowden

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PEARLS Connect

Dates: April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2021

Overview: Study the effect of the Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives (PEARLS) on social isolation, along with the economic impacts the program could have on older adults using health services or transitioning to nursing homes. UW HPRC researchers are working with organizations who were already offering PEARLs in Florida, Maryland, New York, Texas, and Washington.

Funding: AARP Foundation, $887,178

Principal Investigator: Lesley Steinman

Enhance®Fitness Dissemination

Dates: Ongoing

Overview: Partner with Sound Generations to disseminate and evaluate Enhance®Fitness, an evidence-based physical activity program for older adults.

Funding: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Principal Investigator: Marlana Kohn

PEARLS Dissemination

Dates: Ongoing

Overview: Collaborate with local, state, and national partners to disseminate the Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives (PEARLS) to improve late-life depression.

Funding: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Principal Investigator: Lesley Steinman

Rapid Assessment of Physical Activity (RAPA) Dissemination

Dates: Ongoing

Overview: Disseminate the Rapid Assessment of Physical Activity (RAPA), an instrument to measure physical activity among older adults.

Funding: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Principal Investigator: Kristen Hammerback

Cancer Prevention & Control

Validity & Reliability of the Redesigned National Health Interview Survey

Dates: Sept. 30, 2020 – Sept. 29, 2023

Overview: Support cancer screening efforts by testing the validity and reliability of cancer screening questions that allow the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to measure the nation’s progress toward screening goals for breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung cancers. During this study, researchers will evaluate current cancer screening history questions in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Interview Survey.
Because there is a high level of evidence that timely and appropriate cancer screening reduces morbidity and mortality from some cancers, knowing whether national screening goals are being met could help save lives by helping the government redirect resources that would increase screening in promising populations.

Funding: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), $1.8 million

Principal Investigator: Larry Kessler

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Improving Genetic Counseling Referrals for Early Onset Colorectal Cancer

Dates: Sept. 30, 2020 – Sept. 29, 2022

Overview: Use patient navigation to increase access to guideline-recommended services in diverse health care settings by improving referral and attendance rates for genetic counseling and testing.
Further, researchers will study how to implement patient navigation interventions within multi-institution health systems, as well as in rural and under-resourced environments.
Project findings have the potential to improve population health by increasing early detection and timely treatment of colorectal cancer and other hereditary cancers, reducing morbidity and mortality.

Funding: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), $650,000

Principal Investigator: Sarah Knerr

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Colorectal Cancer Screening Engagement Evaluation

Dates: Aug. 1, 2020 – July 31, 2021

Overview: Evaluate National Association of Chronic Disease Directors and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s efforts to:
1) Improve participating state health department’s capacity (skills, knowledge, and ability) to engage with health systems and payers to increase evidence-based colorectal cancer screening efforts;
2) Engage state health departments, health systems, and payers to reduce or eliminate barriers and gaps that impede evidence-based colorectal cancer screening efforts;
3) Help determine the effectiveness and added value of the Colorectal Cancer Screening Engagement Project approach on collaborative colorectal cancer screening efforts.

Funding: National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD), $60,000

Principal Investigator: Jeff Harris

Evaluation & Technical Assistance for Washington State’s Cancer Programs

Dates: June 30, 2020 – June 29, 2021 (previously 2019 – 2020)

Overview: Provide evaluation and implementation technical assistance to Washington State Department of Health in support of the Breast, Cervical, and Colon Health Program, along with the Washington Comprehensive Cancer Control Program’s HPV, colorectal cancer, tobacco cessation, and community health worker activities. Support health system partners’ implementation of evidence-based interventions to increase breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening.

Funding: Washington State Department of Health (DOH), $128,904/first year for current funding cycle (final year amount pending)

Principal Investigator: Peggy Hannon

Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP) Grantee Survey

Dates: Aug. 1 2018 – July, 31 2021

Overview: Collaborate on evaluation activities in support of CDC’s cancer screening programs — Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP) and the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Support activities such as instrument development, analyzing data, and sharing results with CDC and program grantees to identify program implementation progress, potential barriers, and opportunities for training and technical assistance.

Funding: National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD), $195,000/year for the current funding cycle

Principal Investigator: Peggy Hannon

Workplace Wellness

Connect to Wellness at Low-Wage Worksites

Dates: May 11, 2018 – April 30, 2023

Overview: Scale up Connect to Wellness to underserved worksites nationwide via partnerships with the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors and local health departments.

Funding: National Cancer Institute, $2.5 million

Principal Investigator: Peggy Hannon

Healthy Worksite Summit

Dates: Ongoing

Overview: Provide training and networking opportunities to promote worksite health in Washington state.

Funding: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Principal Investigator: Kristen Hammerback

Additional Projects

Partnership for Vaccine Confidence (PaVC)

Dates: May 11, 2021 – May 10, 2022

Overview: Increase vaccination rates for underserved communities within King County, Washington, specifically focusing on Latino, Black, and immigrant multigenerational households with elders and adults working in essential industries.

Funding: CDC, $500,000

Principal Investigators: Barbara Baquero

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Re-Opening Schools Safely and Educate Youth (ROSSEY)

Dates: April 15 2021 – March 31, 2022

Overview: Evaluate how effective COVID testing, safety measures, and communications around COVID can be at safely increasing in-person attendance for elementary schools, especially those serving Latino community members. This study may also contribute to vaccination efforts when a COVID vaccine for youth and children is available.

Funding: National Institutes of Health (NIH), $4 million

Principal Investigators: Linda Ko and Helen Chu

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Participatory Active Transportation for Health in South Seattle (PATHSS)

Dates: March 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021

Overview: Understand and address mobility challenges and opportunities in Beacon Hill, a South Seattle neighborhood that has historically been home for working-class community members of color. The PATHSS project is centered around the perspectives and needs of people of color. The research team will use participatory research methods guided by the principles of mobility justice, which includes youth photography-enhanced storytelling (photovoice), interviews with Beacon Hill partners and community members, and mobility audits.

Funding: UW Population Health Institute, $50,000

Principal Investigators: Barbara Baquero and Katherine Hoerster

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Technical Assistance for Washington State’s Hypertension Programs

Dates: Jan. 1, 2019 – June 30, 2023

Overview: Washington Department of Health Services, $199,000/year

Funding: Provide technical assistance to Washington State Department of Health to disseminate and support the implementation of innovative practices for hypertension and high blood cholesterol management.

Principal Investigator: Barbara Baquero

Technical Assistance for Washington State’s Arthritis Program

Dates: Jan. 1, 2019 – June 30, 2023

Overview: Provide technical assistance to Washington State Department of Health to disseminate and support the implementation of innovative practices for arthritis management.

Funding: Washington Department of Health Services, $36,100/year

Principal Investigator: Anne Turner

Can’t find something? Check out projects we have completed.

LEARN MORE: Previous Projects