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Fact Sheet

October 7, 2004 CDC Media Relations

CDC Awards Health Protection Research Initiative Grants

CDC has awarded $21.7 million in grants focused on research to 1) develop effective health promotion and prevention programs at the workplace, 2) support projects that foster researcher and institutional training in public health research; and 3) fund two “Centers of Excellence” that will explore economic solutions to developing, evaluating and implementing health promotion programs and policies and assessing their cost effectiveness.

Twenty-one of the total 57 grants were awarded to projects in 22 states. These funds will be used to develop strategies to increase physical activity, improve diets and nutrition, and reduce obesity—particularly in workplace settings.

CDC received more than 200 applications for the new funding. Panels of scientific experts outside of the federal government reviewed and ranked the grants.

The grants follow CDC’s launch last spring of the “Health Protection Research Initiative,” a new grant program designed to promote and protect the health of Americans by funding research that could produce science-based recommendations that could be adopted by health departments, health care providers, employers and policy makers.

More information on the initiative and the recent grants can be found at

CDC 2004 Health Protection Research Initiative

Health Protection Research Initiative: Investigator Initiated Research
The 31 new grants are described below:

  • Quantifying the Value of Value Based Purchasing, Ronald C. Kessler PhD, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. This study will generate unique data on the cost-effectiveness of expanded services for commonly occurring health problems that affect work performance.
  • Worksite Opportunities for Wellness, Susan B. Racette PhD, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. This project will conduct a worksite intervention, “Worksite Opportunities for Wellness”, designed to promote healthier dietary and physical activity behaviors among staff at two university worksites.
  • Policy/Environmental Changes: Effects on Employee Health, Dee W. Edington PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. This study will assess the impact of workplace environmental and policy interventions on employee health over a two year period among employees of the California Department of Health Services.
  • Cost Effective Health Promotion for Older Workers, Susan L. Hughes DSW, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL. This project will compare the cost effectiveness of two health promotion and behavioral change interventions among employees 50-59 years of age.
  • Email-Based Diet and Activity Promotion in Worksites, Barbara Sternfeld PhD, Kaiser Foundation Research Institute, Oakland, CA. This study will evaluate the efficacy of a cost-effective, 4-month computerized diet and physical activity intervention program, delivered by e-mail, within the worksite environment.
  • Worksite Health Promotion: Private-Public Partnerships, Ron Z. Goetzel PhD, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. This project will evaluate a comprehensive set of worksite health promotion interventions and determine the most effective methods that can support New York City employers in their health promotion efforts.
  • Smoking Cessation Intervention with Building Trade Unions, Elizabeth M. Barbeau ScD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA. This study addresses the high smoking prevalence among blue-collar workers and will evaluate an innovative smoking cessation program among members of building trade unions.
  • Worksite Phone Counseling for Smoking Cessation, Edwin B. Fisher PhD, Washington University, St Louis, MO. This project will examine the implementation, reach, efficacy and likelihood of adoption of two approaches to telephone counseling for smoking cessation in the workplace.
  • Health Promotion for Mobile Workers, Glorian C. Sorensen PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA. The proposed study will adapt a telephone-delivered health promotion intervention to promote tobacco use cessation and weight management in motor freight workers, including truck drivers, dock workers and mechanics.
  • Financial Incentives for Smoking Cessation, Kevin G. Volpp MD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. This project will evaluate a smoking cessation program based on cost-effective financial incentives among employees at General Electric worksites throughout the United States.
  • Promoting Mental Health in the Workplace, Debra J. Lerner PhD, New England Medical Center Hospitals Inc., Boston, MA. This project will use a multi-modal, workfocused intervention program delivered by employee assistance program (EAP) counselors to reduce depression among employees.
  • Interventions to Control Obesity in Community Colleges, Laura A. Linnan ScD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. This project is a three year weight loss intervention study that will involve overweight/obese employees of community colleges and assess three promising state-of-the-art intervention programs.
  • Computerized Risk Assessment in an Employee Population, Deborah Helitzer ScD, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. This study of members of a university health center employee-based practice will test the effectiveness of an interactive behavioral and health risk assessment system to improve the mental and physical health outcomes in a multi-cultural population.
  • Surveillance and Health Promotion Informatics at Work, Kenneth D. Mandl MD, Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston, MA. This project will adapt informatics technology to develop a system for delivering tailored, targeted health messages to the workforce through a personally controlled health record, using influenza vaccination rate as a measure of impact.
  • Health Impact Interventions for Employee Health Promotion, Susan W. Butterworth PhD, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR. This study will assess three health promotion program interventions and three recruitment strategies in employees of a major medical center and measure changes in health behavior risks and practices.
  • Standard Worksite Health Program vs. Activated Consumer, Paul E. Terry PhD, Park Nicollet Institute, Minneapolis, MN. This project compares the cost effectiveness of a standard health promotion program with an innovative health care consumer intervention to reduce health risks and decrease inappropriate health care costs and absenteeism.
  • Optimizing the Health of Pre-Diabetic Healthcare Workers, Robert K. McLellan MD, Dartmouth College, Lebanon, NH. This project will evaluate the effectiveness of a program to prevent/reduce the onset of Type 2 diabetes and improve productivity among healthcare workers.
  • PRISE: Worksite Fitness for African American Women, Carol J. Rowland Hogue PhD, Emory University, Atlanta, GA. The study will develop and test worksite interventions designed to increase physical activity among employed African American women of a major medical hospital and reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.
  • Physical Activity, Learning Styles and Health Literacy, Julie A. Gazmararian PhD, Emory University, Atlanta, GA. This project will determine the effectiveness of a tailored innovative worksite health promotion program, including employee’s choice of intervention strategies, to increase physical activity.
  • Worksite Overweight/Obesity control/Prevention Trial, Robert H. Ross PhD, Education Development Center, Inc., Newton, MA. The study will evaluate effectiveness of three health promotion worksite interventions focused on the individual, environment and an integrated approach on employee overweight/obesity control and prevention.
  • Economic Evaluation of Workplace Health Promotion, Curtis S. Florence PhD, Emory University, Atlanta, GA. This project will examine the prevalence, health benefits and health care cost impact of health promotion and disease prevention programs offered by employers to their workers.
  • A Mobile Team Approach to Health Promotion in Small Businesses, Peter Messeri PhD, Columbia University, New York, NY. This study will evaluate the impact of a mobile team approach to worksite health promotion and health risk factor reduction for small businesses in urban areas.
  • WAGES: Workplace Activity for Employee Goal Setting, Rodney K. Dishman PhD, University of Georgia, Athens, GA. This study will determine the effects of a multi-level intervention aimed at personal goal setting and ecologically based organizational action among 1,600 employees of a large retail chain.
  • Partnering to Reduce Obesity with Environmental Changes, Donna M. Gates EdD, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH. This project will use a randomized, controlled trial to test the effectiveness of an institutional-level intervention to prevent or reduce obesity at small manufacturing companies in Kentucky.
  • A New Method of Valuing Investments in Workers’ Health, Sean Nicholson PhD, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. This study will demonstrate the effectiveness of a new method for measuring the financial benefit to an employer of investing in the health and productivity of its workforce.
  • Impact of Health Promotion Programs on MCO Family Health, Edmund R. Becker PhD, Emory University, Atlanta, GA. This project will evaluate three different strategies for workplace health promotions by a managed care operation, assessing them for their individual effect as well as their combined impact on the health of workers and their families.
  • Obesity in School Staff: Participatory Environmental Model, Judith M. Siegel PhD, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA. This study will develop and evaluate an intervention that reduces obesity by promoting healthy dietary and exercise behaviors among elementary school personnel in Los Angeles.
  • Automated Assessment of Mental Health in the Work Place, Robert H. Friedman MD, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA. This project will implement a workplace program that uses computer telephony to communicate with workers, evaluate whether they have a mental health disorder and provides referrals to untreated and inadequately treated workers.
  • Preventing Tobacco Use in Young Latino Workers in Texas, Amelie G. Ramirez DrPH, Baylor University College of Medicine, Houston, TX. This project focuses on reducing tobacco use among at risk Latino young workers, aged 18 to 25, by using mass media, peer networking, and Web based health communications.
  • Sleep Disorders Management, Health and Safety in Police, Charles A. Czeisler PhD, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. This project will develop a model program to improve the safety, health, and performance of police officers, by establishing a sleep disorder detection and treatment program and vigorously testing its effects.
  • Bottom-UP Modeling of Evacuation Methodologies, Judith Markham Holt PhD, Utah State University, Logan, UT. This study will evaluate the effectiveness of emergency evacuation methods on the dynamics of mass pedestrian flows during health-safety events as well as the effects of evacuating individuals with disabilities.

Health Protection Research Initiative: Mentored Research Scientist Development Award
The 21 new grants are described below:

  • Informatics-based Call Centers to Investigate Outbreaks, Aneel Advani MD, MPH, Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston, MA. This research project seeks to identify communication and analysis needs in public health departments, and to develop an automated system to facilitate the outbreak investigation, provide decision support, and analyze results.
  • Environmental Determinants of Physical Activity in Parks, Ariane L. Bedimo-Rung PhD, Louisiana State University, New Orleans, LA. The proposed research will evaluate the environmental influences of playgrounds on physical activity.
  • Addressing Racial Disparities in Influenza Prevention, Kenzie A. Cameron PhD, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. This project investigates how to present health risk information to the lay public, by developing an influenza prevention program for senior African Americans and assess the effects of using a positive or negative introductory appeal for influenza vaccination on message acceptance, and intention to be vaccinated.
  • Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer Prevention in Asian Americans, John Choe MD, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. This research uses a survey on hepatitis B and liver cancer testing and vaccination, to investigate sociodemographic and other factors among Korean Americans in Washington State and compare the results with those collected previously from the Chinese-American community.
  • Public Health Model to Promote Safe Elderly Driving, Sherrilene Classen PhD, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. This application seeks to develop a unifying public health model for safe elder driving using the Precede-Proceed (PP) theoretical framework to develop an intervention plan for safe elderly driving.
  • Behavioral Health Effects of September 11, 2001, Charles J. DiMaggio PhD, Columbia University, New York, NY. This application seeks to identify opportunities for terrorist- and disaster-related behavioral health disturbance prevention by assessing the effects of the terrorist attacks of 2001 on the health of New York City's communities.
  • Promoting Disaster and Terroism Preparedness in Latinos, David P. Eisenman MD, MSHS, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA. This research will comprise a needs assessment of low-income Latinos to evaluate their beliefs about preparedness activities.
  • Why Some Generations Are More Violent Than Others, Anthony Fabio PhD, University of Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh, Pittsburg, PA. This research seeks to determine the role of social influence on violence in adolescents over time and will draw primary data from the Pittsburgh Youth Study.
  • Health Communications and Risk Processing Among Smokers, Jennifer Irvin PhD, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. This research will compare the real-time changes in risk perception in smokers who quit and those who relapse during the course of a minimal-contact, smoking-cessation intervention, and to examine the potential influence of affective state, craving, and smoking behavior on perceptions of risk.
  • Computer Assisted Rx Education for HIV-Positives: Care+, Ann E. Kurth PhD, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. The goal of this application is to use an interactive computer-based tool to help HIV-positive patients adhere to treatment and thus reduce the transmission of HIV.
  • Cardiovascular Disease Trends in the Elderly, Judith H. Lichtman PhD, Yale University, New Haven, CT. The project links the complementary disciplines of clinical medicine, epidemiology, public health, biostatistics, and health economics to examine the burden of CVD in the elderly.
  • Community Design and Public Health, Jill Litt PhD, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO. The study will evaluate community recreational activity and community gardening, for its potential to promote public health through increased physical activity, nutrition, and cognitive stimulation.
  • Birth Weight and Other Risk Factors of Childhood Asthma, Hsien-Hen Lu PhD, Columbia University Health Sciences, New York, NY. The goal of this application is to investigate relationships between birth weight and childhood asthma, and how environment and experiences during childhood can moderate that relationship.
  • Genetic and Environmental Factors in PCV7 Vaccine Effect, Barbara E. Mahon MD, Boston University Medical Campus, Boston, MA. The three studies investigate the role of candidate genes and vaccine response using cases of childhood IPD detected through enhanced laboratory-based public health surveillance.
  • Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Drug-Resistant GNR (gram negative rods), Lisa L. Maragakis MD, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. This research will apply molecular techniques to determining the incidence of antimicrobial-resistant infections in healthcare facilities, and evaluate a strategy to reduce transmission.
  • School-based Emergency Preparedness, Marizen Ramirez PhD, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA. This project is focused on emergency preparedness theories and methods for analyzing and evaluating qualitative and quantitative data on emergency preparedness within a specific school district.
  • Health Values and Treatment of Pediatric Type 2 Diabetes, Erinn T. Rhodes MD, Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston, MA. The candidate will evaluate the role of health preferences in the treatment of children with Type 2 diabetes mellitus. This research will be an ancillary study to an ongoing, multi-center trial.
  • Effectiveness of a Free Nicotine Patch Program Among Chinese Americans, Donna Shelley MD, Columbia University Health Sciences, New York, NY. The research seeks to evaluate various uses of nicotine patch programs in Chinese Americans, estimate costeffectiveness, determinants of medication usage, and cessation among Chinese Americans participating in nicotine replacement therapy.
  • Acculturation and Health Protection in Latino Youth, Paul R. Smokowski PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC. This project will study acculturation, health protection, and health risk behavior in Latino teens residing in North Carolina and Arizona to examine modifiable risk factors.
  • Cultural Influences on Health Beliefs and Practices, Cayla Teal PhD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. The project seeks to develop an understanding of the influences of Asian-American, African-American, and Latino cultures on health beliefs, decisions, and practices, and to develop and test multidimensional measures of cultural influences.
  • Improving Health Literacy to Reduce Asthma Disparities, Michael S. Wolf PhD, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. The candidate plans to develop multimedia print materials that deliver culturally appropriate, low literacy-accessible information designed to improve outcomes and asthma coping skills, targeting adults with asthma and adult caregivers of asthmatic children.

Health Protection Research Initiatives: Institutional Research Training Grant
The three new grants are described below:

  • Adolescent Health Protection Research Training, Linda Bearinger BSN, MS, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, School of Nursing, Minneapolis, MN. This project will establish an Adolescent Health Protection Research Training Program to prepare scientists with the capacity to conduct public health research, and advance programs, practices, and policies for addressing health disparities in adolescent populations.
  • The Illinois Public Health Research Fellowship Program, Rosemary Sokas MD, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL. This project will foster health protection research by developing a cohort of public health researchers who will receive multidisciplinary mentorship programs that target real issues faced by partnering public health departments.
  • Research Training in Health Protection and Preparedness, Marc Gourevitch MD, New York School of Medicine, New York, NY. This project will create sustainable research linkages between academic institutions and frontline public health agencies by developing programs that train postdoctoral, physician fellows in health protection and preparedness research.

Health Protection Research Initiatives: Centers of Excellence in Health Promotion Economics (P30)
The two new grants are described below:

  • Center of Excellence in Health Promotion Economics, Thomas J. Hoerger PhD, Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, NC. The Center’s Economics Core will develop and refine economic methods and applications for health promotion economics with an emphasis on chronic diseases, while the Translation Core will test economic theory in the context of health promotion, integrate economic tools and methods to ongoing health promotion interventions, and promote health economics in public health.
  • Chicago Center of Excellence in Health Promotion Economics, David O. Meltzer, MD, PhD, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. The Center will develop and apply economic methods to advance knowledge about the role of economic factors in health behaviors, the value of health promotion initiatives, and health disparities.

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