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

Delivery of Enhance®Fitness Trial (DEFT)

Dates: Sept. 30, 2021 – Sept. 29, 2024

Overview: Reduce the barriers to the physical exercise people with arthritis need by evaluating the effectiveness of online delivery for Enhance®Fitness — a community-based, group exercise program for older adults. With all the information gathered throughout the project, the research team will work with their partners to create a toolkit for organizations to provide Enhance®Fitness online.

Funding: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), $1.2 million

Principal Investigator: Kushang Patel


Enhancing Early Detection of Cognitive Impairment With the KAER Model

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

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


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


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


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

Implementation Studio

Dates: March 1, 2023 – Feburary 29, 2025

Overview: Examine methods to increase cancer screening among limited English-proficient populations by building the capacity of community health workers in community-based organizations to select, adapt, and implement evidence-based interventions for cancer prevention and control.

Funding: Andy Hill CARE Fund, $250,000

Principal Investigator: Linda Ko

Validity & Reliability of the Redesigned National Health Interview Survey

Dates: Sept. 30, 2020 – Sept. 29, 2024

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

Pathways to Genetic Counseling: Referrals for Early Onset Colorectal Cancer

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

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


Evaluation & Technical Assistance for Washington State’s Cancer Programs

Dates: June 30, 2019 – June 29, 2023

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, 2023

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), $200,000/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, 2024

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

Partnering with Latino-Owned Businesses to Advance Health Equity through Cancer Prevention and Control

Dates: April 1, 2023 – March 31, 2024

Overview: Identify small Latino businesses’ key barriers and facilitators to adopting and implementing cancer prevention and screening interventions using mixed methods, and adapt, and pilot-test Connect to Wellness toolkits with Latino-owned businesses in collaboration with community partners including Latino business owners and employees.

Funding: Fred Hutchinson, University of Washington, and Seattle Children’s Cancer Consortium, $152,331

Principal Investigator: Barbara Baquero

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 Health Promotion Projects

MouthMatters Evaluation

Dates: May 1, 2022 – Jan. 31, 2024

Overview: Evaluate MouthMatters, a training program of Delta Dental for medical professionals to provide oral health education and fluoride varnish to children during routine visits, as well as refer them to dental care. To complete this evaluation, the research team will review medical insurance claims, interview medical professionals, and partner with health administrators to improve access to the program. Although tooth decay is preventable, it is the most common chronic disease for children and can have serious, lifelong health effects. The ultimate goal of this project is to improve awareness about oral health for babies and children, which can improve their overall and long-term health.

Funding: Arcora Foundation, $60,775

Principal Investigators: Amanda Parrish and Marlana Kohn

QUIT Project

Dates: December 1, 2021 – July 3, 2024

Overview: Refine and beta-test a nicotine metabolite ratio-informed pharmacologic intervention to optimize design and participation within a tobacco cessation program, 2) Conduct a single-arm pilot trial assessing the acceptability and feasibility of the refined intervention, and 3) Examine factors which impede or facilitate implementation of the intervention within the Alaska Native tribal health system.

Funding: Native American Research Centers for Health Program, National Institutes of Health, $1,399,742

Principal investigator: Jeff Harris

Evaluation of Pierce County Local Impact Network (LIN) Programs

Dates: Jan. 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023

Overview: Evaluate the strength of the community Piece County Local Impact Network and oral health intervention projects. The goal is to measure the effect of the interventions and improvements in oral health and oral health equity in Pierce County, Washington. The Pierce County Local Impact Network is a collaborative community effort supported by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Centers for Excellence and the Arcora Foundation.

Funding: Arcora Foundation, $24,900

Principal Investigators: Marlana Kohn

Technical Support for Older Adult Health Promotion Programs in King County, Washington

Dates: July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2023

Overview: Support evaluation of evidence-based programs provided by various local organizations in King County, Washington. This project is supported by the King County Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy (VSHSL).

Funding: Sound Generations, $125,700

Principal Investigators: Marlana Kohn

ReOpening Schools Safely and Educating Youth (ROSSEY)

Dates: April 15, 2021 – March. 31, 2024

Overview: Evaluate how effective COVID-19 testing, safety measures, and communications around COVID-19 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-19 vaccine for youth and children is available.

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

Principal Investigators: Linda Ko (previously included Helen Chu)

Technical Assistance for Washington State’s Hypertension Programs

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 hypertension and high blood cholesterol management.

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

Principal Investigator: Barbara Baquero

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

LEARN MORE: Previous Projects