HPRC to Coordinate New Healthy Brain Research Network
HPRC has been named the Coordinating Center of the new
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthy Brain Research Network (HBRN). The network comprises five leading
academic institutions around the U.S.:
- University of Washington
Health Promotion Research Center (Coordinating Center)
- Oregon Health and
Science University Center for Healthy Communities
- University of Arizona
Prevention Research Center
- University of
Pennsylvania Prevention Research Center
- University of South
Carolina Prevention Research Center
The CDC is
initiating this thematic network to address a pair of growing public health challenges for our society: promoting cognitive health and
addressing the needs of increasing numbers of older Americans living with cognitive
As the coordinating center, HPRC will provide leadership and
infrastructure, coordinate assessment activities for the multidisciplinary
HBRN, and participate in the collaborative activities of the network. “The UW HPRC is thrilled to serve as the Coordinating Center for the HBRN, and we look forward to working with the HBRN member centers over the next five years,” said Basia Belza, core investigator at HPRC and professor in the UW School of Nursing. “We believe our collective impact will be much greater than what individual centers could achieve on their own.”
Dr. Belza will work closely with a team of colleagues at UW, including Dr.
Rebecca Logsdon, research professor, School of Nursing Psychosocial and
Community Health; Lesley Steinman, research scientist, HPRC; Dr. Mark Snowden, associate professor, School of Medicine
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Dr. Christina Miyawaki, T32 postdoctoral fellow, Group Health Research Institute; and Gwen Moni, research coordinator, HPRC.
UW HBRN team (l-r): Christina Miyawaki, Basia Belza, Gwen Moni, Rebecca Logsdon, Mark Snowden. Not pictured: Lesley Steinman
The HBRN will further the goals of the CDC Healthy Aging
Program’s Healthy Brain Initiative; its work will be guided by the Healthy
Brain Initiative Public Health Road Map for State and National Partnerships.
The network’s goals through 2019 are:
1) Establish and advance a public health research,
translation, and dissemination agenda that promotes cognitive health and
healthy aging, addresses cognitive impairment, and helps meet the needs of care
2) Build a strong evidence base for policy, communication,
and programmatic interventions;
3) Collaborate with public health agencies and their
partners to accelerate effective practices in states and communities;
4) Build the capacity of public health professionals through
activities will be guided by a social ecological approach and aimed toward
increasing the capacity of public health agencies and their partners to
implement actions within the Road Map. Working together, the network will
support fellowships within its collaborating universities and centers, and create
unique national networking opportunities across its campus-community
Older Americans Who Inspire Us
May is Older Americans Month -- we asked HPRC staff to reflect upon older Americans who have inspired them. Read about them here, and through May on our Facebook page.
grandmother is an incredible woman. Joyce has lived a life caring for elders. She
and my grandfather Vernon (who passed in 1994) started a small nursing home in
Cashmere, Washington, 60 years ago. The nursing home expanded to four wings, an
assisted living facility, and a retirement home. Joyce raised three boys, was a
nurse, a teacher, and a major part of her grandchildren and children’s lives.
Her home has become a central hub for her grandchildren, great
grandchildren, and their friends. She’s known as the Rice Krispies
Queen and is constantly delivering treats around the community. Although
retired, she continually serves elders and can run a mean table of dominos.
When you imagine the sweetest, kindest, most caring person, that is my
grandmother Joyce. She has inspired me to ensure all elders’ dignity and joy.
- Anna Dronen, HPRC research assistant
Mary Anne Harris, age 85
I am inspired
by my very active 85-year-old mother, Mary Anne Harris. She and my father live
independently in a townhome in Arlington, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. She
cycles or walks almost every day, leading a group of women from her
neighborhood. As she walks, she carries a small bag and picks up trash, in an effort to keep her neighborhood clean. She has had a couple of
falls and broken both arms. Her recoveries have not been painless, but they
have been pretty quick because she is very adherent to the rehabilitation
recommendations she gets from her physicians and physical therapists.
She and my
father continue to travel a lot, all over the world. Cruises are their favorite
means of travel. They are also a continuing positive force in the lives of
their five young-adult grandchildren.
- Jeff Harris, HPRC director
When I was a student at Fairhaven College, Western
Washington University, there was a program called “The Bridge Project.”
“Bridgers” were a remarkable group of retired people who attended college
classes and lived in adult housing on campus. They gave first-hand accounts in
history class and danced with us at rock and roll shows. They loved being
there, and their presence contributed immeasurably to my college experience.
They were profound role models, and I became very close to several. They taught
me that learning is a joyful, life-long activity, and there’s no reason to ever
stop having fun.
- Yael Yanich, HPRC administrative coordinator
Dolores Huerta, age 84
Dolores Huerta, born in 1930 in New Mexico, is a lifelong leader
and advocate for workers’, immigrants’, and women’s rights. She is an inspiring example of living in service to social justice and positive change.
Her remarkable bravery and determination, in the face of sometimes violent opposition, has earned her numerous humanitarian awards, including the Presidential Medal
of Freedom in 2012. At 84, Huerta continues to work tirelessly advocating for the working poor, women, and children. I was fortunate to see
her speak at a Human Rights Campaign youth conference in February 2015.
- Sheri Simonsen, HPRC communications specialist
Older Americans continued >>
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Save the Dates
Research to Reality Cyber-Seminar: Moving to a Model of Wellness: Workplace Cancer Prevention and Health Promotion Programs
Date: Tuesday, April 21
11:00 am to 12:00 pm PST
Presenters: Joanne Pike and Peggy Hannon
Community Advisory Board (CAB) meeting
Date: Friday, April 24
8:45 am to 12:00 pm
At: Tukwila Community Center Directions
Seminar: Time Management
Date: Thursday, May 14
10:00 am to 10:50 am
At: HPRC Directions
Presenter: Jeff Harris, HPRC Director
Visit our website for notices of other upcoming seminars.
HPRC is pleased to welcome two new staff members:
- Riki Mafune, who joins the HealthLinks team as a wellness consultant
- Caitlin Mayotte, who will support several projects as a program coordinator
We also welcome two new CAB members:
- Margaret Boddie, program manager of the African American Elders Program, Catholic Community Services
- Marcia Ridley, director of dental strategy and market solutions, Premera Blue Cross
We bid a fond farewell and thank you to departing CAB member Teresa Mosqueda.
Subjects of our latest publications include:
- Public perceptions about cognitive health risk and protective factors;
- Determinants of ongoing participation in EnhanceFitness;
- Evaluation of chronic disease reduction through policy and systems changes;
- And more!
See our recently published articles here
Changing the Course of American Health through Mentoring
Photos from the February 3 lecture