Research Feature

Neighbors Helping Neighbors: New Prevention Research Center


As part of a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) network of Prevention Research Centers (PRCs), the Case Western Reserve University Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods (PRCHN) will partner with urban neighborhoods to reduce the burden of chronic health conditions-including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and cancer-which the CDC estimates account for 70 percent of U.S. deaths. There are 37 CDC-funded PRCs spanning 27 states, all working to find innovative ways to promote health and prevent disease.

The PRCHN, whose faculty come from five Case Western Reserve schools and colleges, was launched in 2009 with an initial CDC grant of $790,000 to start the center and support its "Increasing Access to Healthy Foods in Urban Neighborhoods" core research project. The center has the potential to be funded up to $1 million for each of the next five years.

The core research project, "Increasing Access to Healthy Foods in Urban Neighborhoods," falls under the PRCHN priority area "Improve Healthy Lifestyles in the Neighborhood—one of five primary areas of focus for the center, along with Environmentally Healthy Homes and Communities, Tobacco Prevention and Control, Reducing the Burden of Chronic Disease, and Urban Planning Poverty and Health Promotion.

Says CDC's Eduardo Simoes, MD, director of the PRC Program, "The PRCHN is wisely partnering with residents and community organizations that serve urban neighborhoods in Cleveland to address environmental and lifestyle issues associated with chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cancer. In particular, the funding of the PRCHN was approved on the strength of its application to systematically address the lack of healthy foods in a large urban area as its first project under this mission."