Welcome to our new PRC members

Drew Crenshaw (he/him) is a doctoral student working as a Research Assistant with Peg Allen on the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) Accreditation Success Stories project. He grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Public Health and Master of Public Health with a concentration in Environmental Health from the […]

The D4DS Planner has Officially Launched

The PRC’s Maura Kepper, Allison L’Hotta, Thembie Shato, and Ross Brownson, along with other collaborators, officially launched the new D4DS Planner at the 16th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health, held in Arlington Virginia December 10-13, 2023. The planner was a collaboration between researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, […]

Shaping Policy and Practice: Analyzing the Reach of Highly Cited and High Altmetrics Publications for Broader Impact on Physical Activity (Links to an external site)

Abstract Background: A significant gap remains between the availability of physical activity (PA) evidence-based interventions and their application in real-world settings in policy and practice areas. This study aims to describe highly cited and high altmetrics publications in PA research and explore their impact on PA policy and practice. Methods: Mixed-methods sequential explanatory study including the identification […]

Integrating a focus on health equity in implementation science: Case examples from the national cancer institute’s implementation science in cancer control centers (ISC3) network (Links to an external site)

Abstract Background: A Health Equity Task Force (HETF) of members from seven Centers funded by the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Implementation Science in Cancer Control Centers (ISC3) network sought to identify case examples of how Centers were applying a focus on health equity in implementation science to inform future research and capacity-building efforts. Methods: HETF members at […]

Advancing the Science and Application of Implementation Science to Promote Health Equity: Commentary on the Symposium (Links to an external site)

Abstract There has been an increasing focus on making health equity a more explicit and foundational aspect of the research being conducted in public health and implementation science. This commentary provides an overview of five reviews in this Annual Review of Public Health symposium on Implementation Science and Health Equity. These articles reflect on and advance the […]

PRC Faculty, Peg Allen and Maura Kepper receive new grants

Peg Allen recently received a new grant funded through the Public Health Accreditation Board, titled “Small Health Department Accreditation Success Stories.” The purpose of this short-term project (October 2023 through May 2024) is to develop public health department success stories for the Public Health Accreditation Board that describe facilitators of successful preparations for national accreditation […]

Staff Spotlight: Dixie Duncan

Dixie Duncan grew up in the town of Van Buren, MO, population 800, a dot on the map adjacent to the scenic Current River in Southeast Missouri.  Now, she’s promoting public health coalitions in the rural region, where the PRC has been working to eliminate health disparities there and other rural regions.. “I’ve found the […]

WashU & Parents as Teachers community-academic partnership benefits families “where they are” (Links to an external site)

WashU Research Associate Professor, Rachel Tabak PhD, and Senior Vice President and Chief Research Officer of Parents as Teachers National Center (PATNC), Allison Kemner, MPH, work together in a community-academic partnership that benefits families while advancing the field of dissemination and implementation science.

Perspectives From Public Health Practitioners and Advocates on Community Development for Active Living: What are the Lasting Impacts?

Abstract Purpose: Evidence suggests differential impacts of community development, including gentrification and displacement. Public health practitioners and advocates are key stakeholders involved in the community development process related to active living, yet little is known about their perceptions of its impacts. We explored the perspectives of relevant leaders of public health departments and key community and […]

Perspectives From Public Health Practitioners and Advocates on Community Development for Active Living: What are the Lasting Impacts? (Links to an external site)

Abstract Purpose: Evidence suggests differential impacts of community development, including gentrification and displacement. Public health practitioners and advocates are key stakeholders involved in the community development process related to active living, yet little is known about their perceptions of its impacts. We explored the perspectives of relevant leaders of public health departments and key community and […]

More Work Needed to Improve Equity Focus in Public Health Departments

A new study by researchers at the Prevention Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) surveyed public health departments in the U.S. to understand current health equity-related work practices and identify ways to bolster equity-focused work in chronic disease prevention and control efforts. Recently published […]

Staff Spotlight: Sarah Pritchard

Sarah Pritchard’s training is in system dynamics, but her passion is equity and systems change. So her position on the PRC’s leadership team on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is a perfect fit.  “My focus is on using Community Based System Dynamics to help people on the committee understand how the system of structural racism operates […]

Student Spotlight: Angie Hoffman

Hometown: Weston, MissouriUndergraduate school and major/minor: Bachelor of Fine Arts-Painting, Minor in Philosophy and ReligionProgram at Brown: MPHAnticipated graduation date: May 2023Three things you have with you at all times: Chapstick, water bottle, nice pens What are your hobbies or activities when you aren’t studying or working?Gardening (fruits, veggies, and flowers), quilting, hanging out with […]

Celebrating PRC Graduating Students

The Prevention Research Center (PRC) at WashU has always been a hub of great talent and academic excellence. As we approach the graduation season, we celebrate the achievements of some of our wonderful graduates from the center. This article features the stories of seven graduates and their experiences at the PRC. Leah Nason is a […]

Implementation of Flexibilities to the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs and Their Impact on Schools in Missouri (Links to an external site)

Abstract Background: While technology advances have increased the popularity of remote interventions in underserved and rural cancer communities, less is understood about technology access and preferences for home-based physical activity programs in this cancer survivor population. Purpose: To determine access, preferences, and needs, for a home-based physical activity program in rural cancer survivors. Methods: A Qualtrics Research Panel […]

Student Spotlight: Maddison Geller

Hometown: Henderson, NVUndergraduate school and major/minor: University of Nevada, Las VegasProgram at Brown: MPHAnticipated graduation date: May 2023Three things you have with you at all times: Water, my watch, and lip balm What are your hobbies or activities when you aren’t studying or working?Knitting, biking, and rewatching The OC or Mad Men. I used to […]

Renee Parks and Peg Allen’s work on the AIM-LH study was featured on JPHMP Direct (Links to an external site)

With health departments scrutinized now more than ever, now is the time to fully integrate evidence-based decision making (EBDM) into public health practices. EBDM applies the best available research and evaluation evidence to select, adapt, implement, and evaluate policies and programs that work. While training helps individuals build skills, our earlier work found skill attainment is necessary but not enough to move EBDM forward and sustain EBDM use. Organizational supports within health departments are important as well.

How Health Departments Can Offer More Programs That Work

As public health departments across the U.S. face increased scrutiny, the Brown School’s Prevention Research Center has partnered with the Brookings Institution in a groundbreaking investigation to identify ways to improve decision making and more effectively use health department resources. The study’s latest findings, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, used information from […]

Exploring University and Healthcare Workers’ Physical Activity, Diet, and Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Links to an external site)

Abstract Background: The COVID-19 pandemic affected well-being and health behaviors, especially among healthcare workers and employees in other fields. This is of public health concern because health behaviors and well-being influence long-term negative health outcomes. The purpose of this study was to explore health behaviors and well-being among university and medical center staff during COVID-19. Methods: EMPOWER […]

PRC Study examines the adoption of social determinants of health documentation in clinical settings (Links to an external site)

Abstract Objective: To understand the frequency of social determinants of health (SDOH) diagnosis codes (Z-codes) within the electronic health record (EHR) for patients with prediabetes and diabetes and examine factors influencing the adoption of SDOH documentation in clinical care. Data sources: EHR data and qualitative interviews with health care providers and stakeholders. Study design: An explanatory sequential mixed […]

Study Explores the Perspectives of Adults Aging With Long-Term Physical Disabilities on Physical Activity

Abstract Background: Adults aging with long-term physical disabilities (AAwPD) face personal and environmental barriers to living independently, but little is known about their perspectives on and experiences with physical activity (PA). Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the perspectives of AAwPD on PA. Research design: Qualitative semi-structured interviews with AAwPD were conducted virtually via phone […]

Prevalence of Meeting Aerobic, Muscle-Strengthening, and Combined Physical Activity Guidelines During Leisure Time Among Adults (Links to an external site)

Abstract The healthful effects of physical activity on a multitude of physical and mental health outcomes are well documented. Despite promising increases in the percentage of U.S. adults meeting aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity guidelines (guidelines) during leisure time in nearly all demographic and regional subgroups 1998-2018, differences by rurality and U.S. Census Bureau region […]

Visiting Scholar Spotlight: Ana Luiza Favarão Leão

Ana Luiza Favarão Leão hasn’t been in St. Louis long, but she’ll well remember the city when she returns to Brazil later in the year, thanks to the PRC. A research student at the PRC under a Fulbright Doctoral Dissertation Research Award, she’s in the U.S. for the first time. “It’s been a great cultural […]

New Health Equity Training Grant Funded Through NCI

The PRC and the Washington University Implementation Science Center for Cancer Control (WU-ISC3) are excited to announce the official start of a new grant funded by the National Cancer Institute titled, “Advancing Health Equity through the Development of a Scholars Program in Implementation Science.” WU-ISC3 is collaborating with researchers at Harvard University, University of Colorado- […]

Vianca Cuevas-Soulette named ISC3 Center Manager

We are excited to welcome Vianca Cuevas Soulette as the new Implementation Science in Cancer Control (ISC3) Center Manager. Vianca Cuevas Soulette is passionate about reducing health disparities and improving disadvantaged communities’ general well-being. She has a Master of Public Health from WashU with a concentration on Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She is also a part-time […]

<br><strong>An Examination of Factors Affecting State Legislators’ Support for Parity Laws for Different Mental Illnesses</strong> (Links to an external site)

Mental health parity legislation can improve mental health outcomes. U.S. state legislators determine whether state parity laws are adopted, making it critical to assess factors affecting policy support. This study examines the prevalence and demographic correlates of legislators’ support for state parity laws for four mental illnesses- major depression disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, […]

This study investigates the implementation of school health policies through a health equity lens (Links to an external site)

Abstract Background: School-based policies that ensure provision of nutrition, physical activity, and other health-promoting resources and opportunities are essential in mitigating health disparities among underserved populations. Measuring the implementation of such policies is imperative to bridge the gap between policy and practice. Unfortunately, limited practical, psychometrically strong measures of school policy implementation exist. Few available explicitly […]

New PRC study shows that shifting leadership priorities to emphasize effectiveness results in the largest reduction of misimplementation in U.S. state health departments. (Links to an external site)

Abstract Introduction: The research goal of this study is to explore why misimplementation occurs in public health agencies and how it can be reduced. Misimplementation is ending effective activities prematurely or continuing ineffective ones, which contributes to wasted resources and suboptimal health outcomes. Methods: The study team created an agent-based model that represents how information flow, filtered […]

Student Spotlight: Leah Nason

Hometown: Williamsport, PennsylvaniaUndergraduate school and major/minor: University of Rochester – B.S. Brain and Cognitive Sciences and B.A. Health, Behavior, and SocietyProgram at Brown: MPH/MSWAnticipated graduation date: May 2023Three things you have with you at all times: In an ideal world, a cat, a camera, and a giant mug of Earl Grey tea. What are your […]

Findings in PRC Study highlight the need for multilevel interventions to address physical across multiple domains in rural communities, especially among females and older adults (Links to an external site)

Abstract Background: Increasing physical activity (PA) in rural communities is a vital prevention tactic in multiple chronic diseases; however, little is known on the multilevel correlates of PA rural areas. A better understanding of domain-specific PA adds context for promoting PA in rural communities. The current study sought to determine factors associated with domain-specific and overall […]

Impacts of a Workplace-Based Weight-Control Intervention on Objective and Perceived Physical Activity among a Subgroup of Workers (Links to an external site)

Abstract Physical activity (PA) has many benefits; however, groups facing barriers to health-promoting behaviors are less likely to be physically active. This may be addressed through workplace interventions. The current study employs objective (accelerometry) and perceived (International Physical Activity Questionnaire [IPAQ]) measures of PA among a subset of participants from the “Working for You” study, […]

Maura Kepper co-chaired the recent Rural Health Symposium that helps build “stronger collaborations in broader communities” (Links to an external site)

“One of the best parts of this event was the diversity in the attendees,” said co-Chair, Maura Kepper, PhD, a research assistant professor at WashU’s Brown School. “Bringing together academics and practitioners from diverse communities across Missouri allowed for difficult yet necessary discussions to improve rural health using digital approaches.” Maura Kepper

Speeding Implementation in Cancer: The National Cancer Institute’s Implementation Science in Cancer Control Centers

Abstract The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Implementation Science in Cancer Control Centers (ISC3) Network represents a large-scale initiative to create an infrastructure to support and enable the efficient, effective, and equitable translation of approaches and evidence-based treatments to reduce cancer risk and improve outcomes. This Cancer Moonshot funded ISC3 Network consists of seven P50 Centers […]