The NYU-CUNY Prevention Research Center

Populations of Focus: racial and ethnic minority groups, communities experiencing social and health disadvantages

Topic Areas: health disparities, chronic disease, surveillance, health promotion, innovation

Introduction, Mission, and Vision

The New York University & City University of New York Prevention Research Center (NYU-CUNY PRC) is one of 26 Prevention Research Centers (PRCs) supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the 2019–2024 funding cycle. Each PRC is funded to establish and maintain their center and to conduct a core research project. PRCs may receive supplemental funding to conduct additional research projects and activities.

Business women talking to male colleague, informal meeting

NYU-CUNY PRC’s work is guided by principles of community-based participatory research, implementation science, systems science, and innovation methodologies.

NYU-CUNY PRC is a partnership between NYU Langone Health and the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. Its mission is to advance the study of innovative combinations of community-based and clinic-based interventions to improve community-clinical links for preventive care and chronic disease prevention and management.

Its approach follows the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research and a population health equity framework. This approach is guided by principles of community-based participatory research, implementation science, systems science, and innovation methodologies.

The center’s work seeks to achieve four overall goals:

  • Expand and develop a prevention science research infrastructure to advance applied public health research and apply research to practice.
  • Work with partners to put research findings into practice.
  • Communicate research findings and translation products to multiple audiences through traditional and innovative formats.
  • Provide training, technical assistance, and subject matter expertise to local partners and colleagues across the NYU-CUNY PRC network to help translate applied public health research to improve population health.

Core Research

Each PRC uses a community-engaged approach to conduct one primary applied public health prevention research project called a core research project. Project activities include design, development, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination. PRCs use at least 50% of their CDC funding to conduct the project in partnership with communities.

Program Evaluation of the NYC Health Justice Network

NYU-CUNY PRC’s core research project for the 2019–2024 funding cycle is an evaluation project centered around an intervention called the New York City Health Justice Network (NYC HJN). NYC HJN uses trusted sources (like community health workers) and a trauma-informed framework to improve access to care and health outcomes for populations involved with the criminal justice system. This intervention is led by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The evaluation project seeks to:

  • Determine the effectiveness of NYC HJN to improve health care engagement and medication adherence and to reduce the rate of emergency department visits after enrollment in the intervention.
  • Assess barriers and factors associated with adoption and maintenance of the evaluation.
  • Evaluate the sustainability of the intervention.

Additional Research

PRCs may receive supplemental funding to work on additional research projects each funding cycle. These Special Interest Projects (SIPs) focus on a variety of health topics or gaps in scientific evidence. PRCs can also conduct additional research as part of SIP Thematic Research Networks, which are groups of PRCs working together on related health topics.

Disability and Health Data Collaborative: Using Data to Promote the Health and Wellness of People with Disabilities

This SIP will finalize the framework for a Disability and Health Data Collaborative to analyze Medicaid, and other state administrative data, from New York, Massachusetts, Kansas, and South Carolina. The data will be used to describe the health status and medical service use of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other long-term disabilities.

PRC Vaccine Confidence Network (PRC VCN)

Woman with clipboard talking to a man and woman

Training CHWs and community-based organizations helped NYU-CUNY PRC to develop strategies for uptake.

In April 2021, CDC funded a 12-month award to all 26 PRCs to form the PRC VCN in support of the agency’s Vaccinate with Confidence strategy for COVID-19. As part of this network, NYU-CUNY PRC is examining vaccine hesitancy to find ways to promote vaccine confidence, increase vaccine uptake, and reduce disparities in people with recent criminal justice involvement, residents of public housing with lower incomes, and South Asian immigrant communities. The goal is to reduce the incidence of COVID-19 in the United States.

NYU-CUNY PRC’s strategy includes developing digital stories and social marketing campaigns and training community health workers (CHWs) and community-based organizations on vaccine confidence. It will also develop tailored materials that prioritize specific populations.


STRIVE: Systematic Lupus Targets Related to Improving Vital Endpoints

In this SIP study, NYU-CUNY PRC will expand the highly diverse NYU Lupus Registry with new variables related to structural and individual social determinants of health and well-being. The study should provide unique insights that can be used to improve care for patients with lupus. The center will collaborate with the New York University Grossman School of Medicine on the study, which also seeks to reduce disparities and open new avenues for research.


Addressing Disparities in Hypertension and Reducing Racial Inequity through Engagement (ADHERE)

This SIP study will conduct a needs assessment to identify disparities and inequities, racial discrimination, and stress related to hypertension among African American adults. Researchers will use the findings to develop, implement, and evaluate a 6-month, community-engaged intervention that trains CHWs to improve hypertension control among African American patients by addressing racial discrimination and community-level barriers. The center will collaborate with the New York University Grossman School of Medicine on the study.

Managing Epilepsy Well 2.0 (MEW) Network Collaborating Center

The MEW network works to improve the health and well-being of people living with epilepsy by developing self-management programs they can use. NYU-CUNY PRC is conducting a study called Replicating a Depression Self-Management Program for Diverse People with Epilepsy. This study is a replication trial of UPLIFT (Using Practice and Learning to Increase Favorable Thoughts), a telephone-based mindfulness intervention for adults who have both epilepsy and elevated depressive symptoms.


Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) Collaborating Center

As a member of the CPCRN network, NYU-CUNY PRC’s mission is to engage local communities to advance evidence-based solutions to reduce cancer in racial and ethnic minority groups. During the 5-year funding period, the center is conducting two core projects. The first is a mental health preventive intervention that seeks to reduce anxiety, depression, and suicide risk among Asian American persons after a cancer diagnosis. The second is an implementation research evaluation designed to assess key factors that influence reach, uptake, and adoption of evidence-based strategies for preventing infection-related cancers among Asian American people.


Feasibility Testing of Electronic Health Records–Based Cancer Surveillance

This SIP study seeks to demonstrate the usefulness of using electronic health record data to develop a model cancer surveillance report on performance measures of cancer prevention and control programs in New York City.

Contact Information

Location: New York, New York


Co-Principal Investigator: Lorna E. Thorpe, PhD


Co-Principal Investigator: Nadia Islam, PhD


Co-Principal Investigator: Terry Huang, PhD, MPH, MBA


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