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New Research Center in Albany to Address Disease Prevention

Press Release

November 26, 2002—The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded approximately $700,000 to the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany to expand research capacity for preventing chronic diseases in underserved populations.

"This award will support creative research that can untangle the factors influencing the health of disadvantaged and underserved residents of New York," said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. "Many Americans are at risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes."

The SUNY at Albany now joins the CDC's Prevention Research Centers Program, a network of 28 academic research centers that work with communities to develop strategies for preventing disease and disability.

"While the researchers will address local health needs," said CDC Director Julie L. Gerberding, MD, "experience shows us that promising research results achieved through this program are eventually shared with and adapted to other communities, ensuring a lasting legacy."

The SUNY at Albany will draw on community resources—such as those of schools, work sites and faith-based organizations—to improve residents' health. The center's core research will involve people with diabetes in the greater Capital District of New York, a five-county area in upstate New York, encompassing both inner-city and rural communities.

"The region is in great economic and demographic transition," said David Strogatz, PhD, the center's principal investigator. "One inner-city neighborhood lacks a supermarket with a produce department, which limits residents' access to healthy foods. Some of the rural areas are losing health services. We are looking for simple steps at the community level to help people prevent or control diabetes."

The Prevention Research Centers Program, an activity authorized by Congress, is notable for engaging communities as participants in research. Academic researchers build relationships with communities that help define research questions and conduct research and interventions—such as performing community surveys and educating fellow residents. As a result, many communities develop programs for ongoing services while contributing to new knowledge.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protects people's health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and international organizations.


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