Established in 1998, the Yale-Griffin PRC, a member of the CDC PRC network, is dedicated to the development and use of participatory research methods, a robust agenda of interventional and translational research; community involvement in public health; eradication of disparities in health and health care in the communities served; and dissemination of effective interventions in support of the national objectives of Healthy People 2010/20. Paul Cleary, Dean of YSPH, is PI of the CDC grant supporting this network. Y-G PRC’s priorities are the prevention and control of obesity, diabetes, and related conditions, with an emphasis on lifestyle change and sustainable community interventions. Y-G PRC increasingly serves all of Connecticut, addressing disparities in major cities, particularly New Haven, while preserving close ties with the Lower Naugatuck Valley. The Center houses research, administrative, evaluation, training, community engagement and partnerships, and communication and dissemination cores to support this work and is guided in its priorities by its Community Committee. The goals of the PRC are synchronous with YCCI goals of education/training and translating research to practice.
The Y-G PRC’s primary research effort during the past five years was a diabetes prevention project, Partners Reducing Effects of Diabetes: Initiatives through Collaboration and Teamwork(PREDICT). PREDICT was a 3-phase, community-based participatory researchproject dedicated to sustainable reductions in diabetes, its complications and related health disparities in the African-American communities in New Haven and Bridgeport. At the completion of PREDICT, the CT Health Foundation approached the PRC to partner on a project to address systems approaches to diabetes prevention and management. The goal was to develop and test discrete systems changes that can be integrated into clinical care practice for diabetes. This 3-year project represents a first step in obtaining practice-based evidence for the efficacy of systems change to inform programs and policies at community health centers within the region and at a national level. Nutrition Detectives and ABC for Fitness, innovative nutrition and physical activity programs developed by the PRC for elementary school children, are currently being implemented and evaluated in New Haven schools. These programs aim to promote healthy lifestyles and reverse the trend of obesity among students and their families.
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