PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania Prevention Research Center (PRC) has received $1.4 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for three new Special Interest Projects (SIPs).

In addition to its core funding to start the Center, the UPenn PRC has received a total of seven supplements in funding during its first two years, totaling $5.4 million.

“We are thrilled to be expanding the breadth of projects that have been funded through the UPenn PRC, and delighted to bring additional investigators into the PRC family,” said Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH, the  George A. Weiss University professor of Epidemiology and Nursing and PIK professor, who directs the UPenn PRC with Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, who is also director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics.

One of the projects funded by the CDC (SIP #15-006) is a two-year initiative that aims to build local community health leadership to prevent chronic disease.

“The Philadelphia Health Leadership Institute (PHLI) will create a network of colleagues in a West Philadelphia Promise Zone who can design, implement and evaluate programs for health promotion and disease prevention that are grounded in local needs, interests and resources,” said Principal Investigator Frances Barg, PhD, a medical anthropologist and an associate professor in the department of Family Medicine and Community Health.

The other investigators are Heather Klusaritz, PhD, MSW, Peter Cronholm, MD, MSCE, Chyke Doubeni, MD, MPH, and Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH.

Another is a three-year funded project (SIP #15-001) led by Christine Hill-Kayser, MD, an assistant professor of Radiation Oncology, and Lisa Schwartz, PhD, an assistant professor of clinical psychology in Pediatrics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, that tests the impact of a technology-based intervention that will provide customized care plans and a tailored mobile health application to help adolescents and young adults who are childhood cancer survivors take a greater role in managing their health.

The project’s co-investigators are Lamia Barakat, PhD, Lauren Daniel, PhD, MS, Linda Fleisher, PhD, MPH, Jill Ginsberg, MD, Wendy Hobby, MSN, PNP, Linda Jacobs, PhD, MS, Yimei Li, PhD, MS, and Dava Szalda, MD.

The third is a two-year effort (SIP #15-002) that will compare the economic impact and health-related quality of life outcomes among children with cancer who were treated in phase III clinical trials to those who received non-trial standard treatment. Understanding the costs of treatment associated with clinical trial participation is critical in determining if the effects of treatment justify the costs from a societal perspective, including costs borne by the patient and family.

Marilyn Schapira, MD, MPH, is principal investigator of this work and is an associate professor of medicine at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veteran’s Administration Medical Center and co-leader of the Cancer Control Research Program at the Abramson Cancer Center. Co-investigators are Lamia Barakat, PhD, Charles Bailey, MD, PhD, and Jeffrey Silber, MD, PhD.

The UPenn PRC, the first PRC in Philadelphia and one of 26 nationwide, brings together Penn researchers and colleagues from collaborative institutions from a variety of disciplines to conduct innovative public health and disease management research aimed at preventing chronic disease and reducing health disparities in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $8.6 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $494 million awarded in the 2019 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center—which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report—Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; and Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.

Penn Medicine is powered by a talented and dedicated workforce of more than 43,900 people. The organization also has alliances with top community health systems across both Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, creating more options for patients no matter where they live.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2019, Penn Medicine provided more than $583 million to benefit our community.

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