$4.35 Million Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Grant Establishes Penn Prevention Research Center

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Media Contact:Greg Richter | gregory.richter@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-614-1937June 6, 2014

A five-year, $ 4,350,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has established a Prevention Research Center (PRC) at the University of Pennsylvania. The PRC, one of 26 in the nation, will conduct innovative public health and disease management research aimed at preventing chronic disease and reducing health disparities in Southeastern Pennsylvania. This will be the first PRC in Philadelphia.

The PRC is co-directed by Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH, George A. Weiss University Professor and professor of epidemiology and nursing, and Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, professor in the department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy and Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine and professor of health care management at The Wharton School. Glanz is also Director of the Center for Health Behavior and Volpp is also Director of the LDI Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics.  Among other initiatives, the PRC will conduct a workplace weight loss study to evaluate environmental change strategies and incentives for decreasing obesity and preventing cardiovascular disease in employees of the City of Philadelphia, Independence Blue Cross, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).

The PRC will strengthen public and private sector community partnerships; improve understanding of how behavioral economics and public health strategies can reduce health risks and improve health in social-environmental contexts; and extend collaborative training, education, and communication in high-risk and underserved populations in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

“This grant is a unique opportunity to create a hub for interdisciplinary chronic disease prevention research, training, and dissemination here at Penn,” said Glanz. “This Center greatly extends our commitment at reducing disparities and improving the health of those in our communities.”

The PRC team is dedicated to promoting well-being, health equity, research translation, and development, and evaluation of population-based and sustainable community health and clinical interventions.  Faculty members from the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Annenberg School for Communication, The Wharton School and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia are among the leadership of the new Center.

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