Selected Contributions to Public Health
Workplace and Clinical Interventions
Examples of achievements are summarized here and regularly updated. Achievements associated with CDC’s Winnable Battles are noted. This term describes public health priorities having large-scale impact on health and for which effective strategies are known.
Researchers from the University of Kentucky PRC developed and tested a DVD titled “1-2-3 Pap” that encourages Appalachian women to complete the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine series. The 3-dose HPV vaccine series is a primary strategy to prevent cervical cancer and should be completed within 6 months. Women viewed the 13-minute video on individual laptops using headphones. The women who watched the DVD were 2.44 times more likely to complete the series than the women who received standard care. This model has the potential to be adapted and repeated in other underserved areas with high rates of cervical cancer.
CDC Winnable Battles: Global Immunizations
Read an article about the work, published in the January 2013 issue of the Journal of Communication.
In partnership with CDC, state health departments, and worksite experts, researchers with the Emory University PRC, developed, tested, and refined the CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard to help employers assess and improve their workplace wellness programs. Emory PRC researchers also conducted a study of the ScoreCard to ensure its reliability and validity. Released for employers’ use in August 2012, the ScoreCard is a series of yes/no questions that assess the provision of evidence-based health promotion strategies at the worksite to prevent heart disease, stroke, and related conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. Strategies include health-promoting counseling services, health plan benefits, and environmental supports such as availability of healthy food items and exercise facilities. The tool can help employers prioritize future plans for health promotion strategies not currently in place, and help them monitor and track improvements in worksite health promotion programs over time.
CDC Winnable Battles: Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity; Tobacco
Using a community health worker model, the University of South Florida PRC improved the use of protective eyewear among citrus harvesters. Researchers trained full-time citrus workers to disseminate eye safety information and encourage the wearing of safety glasses among other workers in the citrus groves. Workers who had 1 to 2 years of experience and who received help from a peer worker were significantly more likely to use safety glasses than were other citrus workers. This model may be applicable to injury prevention in similar agricultural settings.
Access an abstract of an article about the research results (through PubMed).
In the Harvard University PRC’s Maine Youth Overweight Collaborative, medical providers were trained to monitor overweight and counsel children and families. Data suggest the training improved clinical practice. Providers appeared to increase knowledge, change attitudes, and gain confidence in addressing overweight in children. A set of simple, low-cost tools were developed for the clinicians. The program has been recognized by the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality for outstanding achievements in preventing and treating childhood obesity.
CDC Winnable Battle: Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
Read the case study about the collaborative.
In its research, the Oregon Health and Science University PRC found that diabetic retinopathy is common among American Indians or Alaska Natives in Pacific Northwest communities. In part because of poor access to eye care providers, less than half of people with diabetes in the population obtained annual eye exams. A telemedicine infrastructure developed in the communities increased the number of people with diabetes who completed annual eye exams. This infrastructure is now the foundation for comparing the effectiveness of annual eye exams using a camera in tribal health clinics from which data are transferred digitally to an eye clinic (telemedicine) and traditional methods (in an eye care provider’s office) for detecting diabetic retinopathy.
The American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Workplace Solutions is a joint project with the University of Washington PRC. The program helps employers improve the following five categories of health promotion practices: health insurance benefits, health policy, workplace programs, health-promoting communication, and changes in employee health behaviors. In a pilot study at large employers in the Pacific Northwest, the Washington PRC found that the program improved employers’ practices, such as coverage for tobacco cessation treatment and cancer screening. Based on these findings, the partners streamlined the program to increase participation from small and medium-sized employers. The program includes a Web-based questionnaire that generates tailored reports for the employers that give recommendations to improve practices. By 2008, 471 employers had implemented the program and more than 2 million employees had been reached. As a large, private voluntary organization with activities in all 50 states, the ACS is poised to disseminate the program nationwide.
CDC Winnable Battles: Tobacco; Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity