Staff Spotlight: Maggie Padek

As an undergraduate, Maggie Padek majored in history and considered going to law school. But she wound up as a grad student at the Brown School, first in social work and then in public health. Her change of heart wound up being a good thing for the PRC, where she is now a center manager. […]

The Relationships Between State Health Department Practitioners’ Perceptions of Organizational Supports and Evidence-Based Decision-Making Skills (Links to an external site)

Evidence-based decision making (EBDM) allows public health practitioners to implement effective programs and policies fitting the preferences of their communities. To engage in EBDM, practitioners must have skills themselves, their agencies must engage in administrative evidence-based practices (A-EBPs), and leaders must encourage the use of EBDM. This longitudinal study to quantifies perceptions of individual EBDM skills and A-EBPs, as well as the longitudinal associations between the two.

Six-Minute Walking Test Performance Relates to Neurocognitive Abilities in Preschoolers (Links to an external site)

This study investigated the relationship between six-minute walking test (6MWT) distance walked and preschool-aged children’s academic abilities, and behavioral and event-related potentials (ERP) indices of cognitive control. The findings indicate that the positive influence of cardio-respiratory fitness on cognitive function is evident in 4-6-year-olds.

PRC awarded grant to help St. Louisans, Missourians at high risk for COVID-19. (Links to an external site)

Diana Parra Perez has been awarded a grant to develop programs to address high-risk populations for COVID-19 in St. Louis. The Center in St. Louis will work with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services in the Building Resilient Inclusive Communities (BRIC) program to boost existing efforts of partners and communities with a focus on health equity in nutrition security, access to safe physical activity and social connectedness.

Patterns and correlates of mis-implementation in state chronic disease public health practice in the United States (Links to an external site)

State-level public health practitioners are in ideal positions to affect programs and policies related to chronic disease, but the extent to which mis-implementation occurring with these programs is largely unknown. Mis-implementation refers to ending effective programs and policies prematurely or continuing ineffective ones. This study found that greater attention to mis-implementation should lead to greater use of effective interventions and more efficient expenditure of resources, ultimately to improve health outcomes.

Student Spotlight: Fatemeh Naghiloo

Hometown: Hidaj, Iran Undergraduate Major/Minor: Architecture Program at Brown: MPH Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2021 Three things you have with you at all times: Phone, credit card, a mug filled with hot tea Hobbies/Activities: Walking, cooking, hanging out with friends, video chatting with family, and traveling What first made you interested in studying Public Health? […]

McDonnell Academy Supports COVID-19-Related Research (Links to an external site)

To help address the international social, economic and public health ramifications of the outbreak, the McDonnell International Scholars Academy recently awarded $250,000 in seed grants to kick-start research projects led by Washington University faculty members and their international collaborators.

Three Brown School faculty members were among the awardees: Professor Rodrigo Reis, Assistant Professor Deborah Salvo, and Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Shanti K. Khinduka Distinguished Professor.

Building the Next Generation of Researchers: Mentored Training in Dissemination and Implementation Science (Links to an external site)

Dissemination and implementation (D&I) science provides the tools needed to close the gap between known intervention strategies and their effective application. The authors report on the Mentored Training for Dissemination and Implementation Research in Cancer (MT-DIRC) program-a D&I training program for postdoctoral or early-career cancer prevention and control scholars.

Barriers to Aging in Place for Rural, Institutionalized Older Adults: A Qualitative Exploration (Links to an external site)

The purpose of this study was to develop an understanding of the experiences of rural older adults who live in Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) and thus have not aged in place. By retrospectively analyzing their pre-institution care situation, we aim to generate foundational knowledge on the barriers to aging in place in rural settings.

Walking School Bus Programs: Implementation Factors, Implementation Outcomes, and Student Outcomes, 2017-2018 (Links to an external site)

Walking school bus programs increase children’s physical activity through active travel to school; however, research to inform large-scale implementation of such programs is limited. An investigation of contextual factors, implementation outcomes, and student outcomes in existing walking school bus programs in the United States and internationally was conducted.

Strategies for effective dissemination of research to United States policymakers: a systematic review (Links to an external site)

Research has the potential to influence US social policy; however, existing research in this area lacks a coherent message. The Model for Dissemination of Research provides a framework through which to synthesize lessons learned from research to date on the process of translating research to US policymakers.

Evaluating the implementation of the SWITCH® school wellness intervention and capacity-building process through multiple methods (Links to an external site)

School wellness programming is important for promoting healthy lifestyles and academic achievement in youth; however, research is needed on methods that can help schools implement and sustain such programs on their own. The purpose of this study was to investigate factors within and outside the school environment that influenced school capacity for implementation and potential sustainability of wellness programming.

MT-DIRC featured in The Source (Links to an external site)

A team of researchers at Washington University in St. Louis has been an international leader in developing the science of D&I research. A recent mentored training program is helping to expand that knowledge base well beyond the university.

Staff Spotlight: Cheryl Valko

Cheryl Valko wears a lot of hats at the PRC. As the center’s associate director, she helps guide the administration of a variety of activities, from communications to strategic planning and the reviewing of grants. And like most everyone, she’s facing the challenges of balancing home-based work with household responsibilities, including caring for her 2-year-old […]

New Text by Eyler Focuses on Public Health Research Skills

“After teaching our Research Methods course for ten years without an adequate public health-focused textbook, I decided to write one,” said Amy Eyler, associate professor at the Brown School and co-director of the Prevention Research Center.
The textbook, Research Methods for Public Health (Springer, 2020), fills a gap in methods texts to focus on skills that are particularly needed for graduate students in public health in areas such as epidemiology and biostatistics.
Learn more about all our Brown School authors:

Looking beyond the lamppost: population-level primary prevention of breast cancer (Links to an external site)

Insufficient attention has been paid to the primary prevention of breast cancer in state and national cancer plans, limiting the impact of evidence-based interventions on population health. This commentary highlights the state of primary prevention of breast cancer and gaps in the current literature.

Californians Linking Action with Science for Prevention of Breast Cancer (CLASP-BC)-Phase 2 (Links to an external site)

Californians Linking Action with Science for Prevention of Breast Cancer (CLASP-BC) is part of California Breast Cancer Research Program’s (CBCRP) Initiative strategic priority to disseminate and implement high-impact, population-based primary prevention interventions. In its second phase, CLASP-BC will fund multi-sector, multi-jurisdictional initiatives that integrate the lessons learned from science with the lessons learned from practice and policy to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

Student Spotlight: Valerie Madas

Hometown: St. Louis, MO Undergraduate degree: Nursing Brown School program: MPH Anticipated graduation: May 2021 Three things you have with you at all times: Mask, phone, existential dread What are your hobbies or activities when you aren’t studying or working? Most things outside–hiking, biking, running, and even taking my cat on a “walk”. What made […]

The PRC has a big presence at this year’s IPH Conference!

The PRC’s faculty, staff, students and alumni are featured authors on 10 of the 18 posters at this year’s Institute for Public Health 13th Annual Conference Poster Session! Check out all of the posters and a short video about each poster on the IPH conference page. Be sure to tune in on Wednesday, October 28 […]

PRC Director Ross Brownson describes path forward for public health on AJPH podcast

For their November 2020 podcast, the American Journal of Public Health asks the questions, “Why is there a need to reinvent public health,” and “What should be the essential traits of the reinvented public health system?” Authors of the November issue of AJPH, including PRC Director Ross Brownson, discuss what an improved public health system […]

Food insecurity and schools during the pandemic (Links to an external site)

The coronavirus pandemic has brought a number of challenges to schools, which were forced to close in the spring to help slow the spread of infection. One major challenge for schools was ensuring that students’ nutritional supplementation needs were met when they were not attending school in person. As schools across the country begin to […]

Brown School launches pandemic initiative (Links to an external site)

The Brown School is pleased to present our Foundations of Pandemic Preparedness & Response program. This five-part, 20-hour program provides a self-paced, online tool kit to help public health and social service professionals respond, mitigate, and prevent infectious disease outbreaks, focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic. The course is a foundational experience designed to build basic understanding and skills in: Epidemiology Surveillance […]

Significant proportion of mothers are unaware of their children’s height and weight

A significant proportion of mothers are unaware of their children’s height and weight—which has implications for early detection of childhood obesity. Researchers utilized data from 230 mothers in the St. Louis area of containing baseline self-reported and measured heights and weights of mothers and children who were enrolled in ‘Healthy Eating and Active Living Taught […]

Student Spotlight: Romario Smith

Hometown: Soweto, Namibia Undergraduate school and degree: St. Olaf College, Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Brown School program: MPH/MSW Anticipated graduation: December 2020 Three things you have with you at all times: Nailclipper, floss, and driver’s license What are your hobbies or activities when you aren’t studying or working? Taking long walks and running in […]

Researchers find unique complexities between geographic food access and food insecurity across urbanicity levels

Food insecurity is a public health issue that affects 12% of Americans. Individuals living in food insecure households are more likely to suffer from conditions such as undernutrition, obesity and chronic diseases. Food insecurity has been linked to limited geographic access to food; however, past studies have used limited measures of access which do not […]

Pilot test of a workplace obesity intervention shows potential for dissemination and sustainability

Healthy eating and activity are important to prevent obesity and chronic diseases, yet those who are most likely to bear a disproportionate burden have limited access to resources that promote healthy eating and activity, especially in the workplace. Thus, there is a need for workplace programs that promote healthy eating and activity that reach low-wage […]