UA College of Public Health Receives $3.75 Million CDC Grant: Helps Continue Efforts of the Southwest Center for Community Health Promotion
The Southwest Center for Community Health Promotion (SWCCHP) at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman Arizona College of Public Health has received a five-year, approximately $3.75 million continuation grant from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).
The grant will help fund continuing activities of the Center, a federally designated Prevention Research Center (PRC) that is the only one nationwide working primarily along the U.S.-Mexico border. It focuses its efforts on underserved, multi-ethnic communities.
For six years, the SWCCHP has been collaborating with residents and agencies in Douglas, Nogales and Somerton/San Luis to identify ways to address and reduce health disparities, primarily diabetes, by looking at related factors, such as obesity, depression, nutrition and physical activity. Activities include researching physical activity and diet in patients, their families and their communities, along with researching environmental and policy changes targeting these behaviors. This research is always linked to active, community-based interventions whose goal is to reduce and prevent the burden of diabetes and create a healthier community environment. Many of these activities were identified and prioritized by community members and all are supported by the community action boards.
Accomplishments include increased planning and development of parks and walking paths for these communities; actions from school districts to improve nutrition and physical activity; and successful use of community health workers (known as promotores de salud) in health interventions, such as screening programs, programs for people with diabetes on prevention and self-management, walking groups, nutrition classes and more.
The continuation grant will evaluate the effects of community collaborations, as well as enhance the scope and impact of community health workers in providing chronic disease prevention and control activities and advocacy. The center also plans to train and provide health education to additional community health workers and community members.
Key people on the grant include Michael Lebowitz, PhD, director/principal investigator; Lisa Staten, PhD, co-director/co-investigator; and co-investigators: Jenny Chong, PhD; Kathryn Coe, PhD; Jill Guernsey de Zapien; Jennifer Hunter, MA, MPH; Maia Ingram, MPH; Joel Meister, PhD; Keith Provan, PhD; Kerstin M. Reinschmidt, PhD, MPH; and Nicolette Teufel-Shone, PhD.
Established by the Arizona Board of Regents in January 2000, the Mel and Enid Zuckerman Arizona College of Public Health is the first public health college in the four corner states. The Arizona College of Public Health's mission is to promote the health of individuals and communities with a special emphasis on diverse populations and the Southwest. Programs concentrate on the reduction of health disparities, the development and maintenance of healthy communities, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.