UA Zuckerman College of Public Health Receives $3.9 M Grant for Disease Prevention Program Serving Border Communities

Tucson, Ariz.—The Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention and Health Promotion (Prevention Research Center) at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health has received a $3.9 million grant for five more years of funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Since 1998 the Prevention Research Center has been working closely with communities to address chronic disease prevention and control in underserved populations along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are the top three preventable chronic diseases affecting Hispanic and American Indian populations living in border communities,” says Associate Professor Lisa Staten, PhD, and director of the Prevention Research Center. “Our programs focus on three areas of behavior changes: chronic disease prevention through physical activity, nutrition and social support.”

Dr. Staten adds, “This grant is critical for continuity and to build on the activities, programs and research we’ve been doing over the past 10 years. Now we can move forward with plans to partner with agencies in Yuma, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties. Our plan is to develop methods to enhance skills and abilities of residents to advocate for healthier communities.”

Asked to describe the key components of a prevention research center, Dr. Staten cites collaboration and partnership, training, evaluation and research as the main parts.

The Center team consists of multidisciplinary faculty and staff from all three divisions of the College: Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Community, Environment and Policy and Health Promotion Sciences. A community action board made up of members from four Arizona border counties, two tribal nations and representatives from several state level agencies completes the team.