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Health Promotion Research Center             July 2016

Community Project Updates

Here are the latest highlights from ongoing research projects conducted with our community partners.

Workplace Wellness Success in the
CEOs Against Cancer Challenge

CEOs Against Cancer Team
WA CEOs Against Cancer team (l-r): Amanda Parrish (UW), Becca McMillan (ACS), Jeff Harris (UW), Aimee Martin (ACS), Michelle Wilkie (ACS)

This year HPRC has continued its engagement with the American Cancer Society (ACS)’s CEOs Against Cancer (CAC) network. CAC organizes executives of large companies into regional chapters to take action on cancer prevention. In recent years, Washington chapter companies have focused on health promotion among employees in their own companies, and have collaborated with ACS and HPRC to implement evidence-based practices to better support employee health and create healthier workplaces. This program has been called “the CEOs Challenge." Becca McMillan, ACS Great West Division’s senior director of partner relationships, serves on HPRC’s Community Advisory Board (CAB), and helps lead the Washington CAC chapter.

Fifteen companies are currently participating, and ten recently completed their second full year of the program. Each year has shown consistent chapter-wide improvement in the areas of tobacco control, cancer screening, healthy eating, and physical activity. HPRC conducted focus groups with low-wage employees, and, as a result, this year added new program categories to: 1) help companies improve employee access to health services and programs, and 2) reduce employee stress.

Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Airlines, says the idea-sharing across industries has been key, and that “[the CEOs Challenge] provides guidance to leadership on changes we can make within our own organizations to improve the culture of health in the workplace and our communities.”

PEARLS (Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives) Scale-Up Training Model to be Piloted in Florida

PEARLS Training in Florida
Participants in a Florida PEARLS program training 

Mark Snowden, HPRC core investigator, and Lesley Steinman, HPRC research scientist, are working on an Administration on Community Living (ACL) grant to Florida Health Networks to disseminate the PEARLS depression management program via aging services networks throughout Florida. This ACL grant also funds the EnhanceWellness team at Sound Generations, whose CEO, Paula Houston, serves on HPRC's Community Advisory Board. The study seeks to learn how agencies can add home-based, one-on-one programs such as PEARLS and EnhanceWellness to enhance evidence-based programming for underserved elders. Mark and Lesley are working with MPH practicum student Clara Hill to develop a master training model to build regional capacity in Florida to help sustain and scale up PEARLS. The PEARLS master training will be piloted this fall.

Bringing Asian American and Pacific Islander Voices to the Table: Developing Media Messages for Adult Children with Concerns About an Aging Parent

(l-r): Lillian Prueher (HBRN scholar), Wesley Lum (NAPCA), Lesley Steinman (HPRC), Minhui Liu (HBRN scholar)

In a partnership with the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA), HPRC researchers and scholars with the Healthy Brain Research Network (HBRN) will be testing cognitive health promotion messages for cultural relevance. This project aligns well with NAPCA’s mission to bring Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) voices to the table for the preservation of the dignity, well-being, and quality of life of the AAPI community as they age.

Four focus groups will be conducted with local Chinese and Japanese adults. Messages are intended to activate adults who have concerns about an aging parent's memory health by encouraging them to accompany the parent to a visit with a physician or memory care specialist. NAPCA is integrally involved, providing trained facilitators and working with local affiliate organizations to identify community host sites and recruit participants. This work builds upon CDC-funded formative research and message development and testing conducted at the University of Pennsylvania’s HBRN Center by Amy Jordan and Jason Karlawish.

Focus group message testing will be conducted concurrently in African American, Latino, and LGBT communities by HBRN member and affiliate centers at Oregon Health & Science University, University of Illinois at Chicago, and University of Houston, respectively. UW HBRN researchers and scholars will coordinate locally and across centers nationally to ensure study fidelity, analyze results, and share best practices and lessons learned.

Community Health Systems Partner with WA DOH in CDC Effort to Increase Screening Rates

FIT test for colorectal cancer screening

The Alliance for Reducing Cancer, Northwest (ARC NW)’s cancer prevention and control activities with the Washington Department of Health (WA DOH) and its partners, Sea Mar and HealthPoint community health centers, are taking shape and moving forward. WA DOH is one of 31 grantees recently awarded CDC funding to participate in its Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP), focused on partnering with community health systems to implement evidence-based strategies to increase colorectal cancer screening rates. ARC NW works closely with Sea Mar and HealthPoint, providing technical assistance and evaluation to strengthen their efforts.

Over the past several months, Sea Mar and HealthPoint have mailed nearly 20,000 fecal immunochemical (FIT) kits—a type of CRC screening test—directly to their patients who are due for CRC screening. ARC NW worked with both health system partners to develop a tool to help them monitor and track their FIT kit activities. The tool helps track who has received a FIT kit, whether or not the kit has been returned, who needs reminder calls to return it, what the lab result is (if it’s been returned), and much more. These data can help the health systems understand their target populations, improving reach and screening rates.

ARC NW's close partnership and consultation with Sea Mar and HealthPoint on their evaluation have helped ensure feasible and useful data collection. The collaborative spirit of these community partners has been invaluable to the continued success of this project.

Winona Hollins-Hauge spotlight

Winona Hollins-Hauge has served on HPRC's Community Advisory Board since 2007, and took office as CAB chair in January 2016.

Tell us about your family and early life.

I was born in Seattle, where my parents, the late Vera Hollins, and Earl Hollins, now age 96, purchased their first home in the Madrona neighborhood. Madrona was primarily a Jewish community in the 1950s; it later became known as the CD (Central District) and the heart and soul of the African American community. My sister, educator/attorney Kathy Hollins Frazier, and I were among the first families to enroll in the voluntary busing program­­—part of the civil rights movement‘s attempt to create equity in education across America. I like to say that being a part of the integration movement as a native of Seattle ignited my passion for “building bridges and creating new pathways to friendships.”

My journey into leadership started with being elected vice president of the student council at Eckstein Middle School, which may have contributed to my future leadership roles with the Junior League of Seattle, Links Organization, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and currently as the Washington State Association of Black Professionals in Health Care (WSABPHC)'s regional leader and representative for the Intercultural Cancer Council’s regional network.

How did you get connected with HPRC and the Community Advisory Board?

After receiving my BA and Master in Social Work from the UW, I served as a Lieutenant for the United States Public Health Service. In my local tour of duty as an officer, I had the opportunity to learn more about the Indian Health Service, and the overall historical legacy of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’s impact on the well-being of diverse populations. I did not learn until much later in my career the bittersweet and often marginalized impact that the lack of targeted outreach had on poor, diverse, and underserved communities.

In the late 80s, I worked at Seattle Children’s hospital, as the manager of social work in the Odessa Brown Community Clinic (OBCC), when I was invited to participate as a co-PI on a Fred Hutchinson/OBCC grant. The studies were focused on sickle cell anemia, and were designed by Mark Walters and Keith Sullivan to build a bridge to stem cell transplantation. My work in advocacy later led me to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where I worked for over 10 years, in the last five years as manager of outreach. In that role, I represented the Hutchinson Center on our state’s first Board of Comprehensive Cancer Control, where I worked closely with the board chair, Jeff Harris, former HPRC director, and Peggy Hannon, current HPRC director. It was Jeff Harris who recruited me to the HPRC Community Advisory Board. Once connected to the CAB, I was able to use my many affiliations, including my gubernatorial appointment to the Commission on African American Affairs, and my role as past chair of the Health Committee for the Governor’s Council on Reducing Health Disparities, to build on the important collaborations that continue on our current HPRC CAB.

What would you like to accomplish as Chair of the HPRC CAB?

My vision for making a sustainable impact is to move the conversation about inclusion, diversity, and equity out of the "ivory tower" and into the welcoming arms of our communities by strategically targeting our collectively diverse CAB partner resources. We have an incredible opportunity to be the “change that we would like to see"—we have the bandwidth and incentive to move the needle here as a part of the UW community. My vision is to keep the lines of communication open with the support of UW President Ana Mari Cauce, members of the Board of Regents, WSABPHC, HPRC leadership, and the CDC's Community Committee.  

What keeps you passionate about this work?

I grew up with a very intense appreciation and respect for “the helper role." In my early years and later in team sports, I learned the value of team building. This passion continued during my social justice and political science course work and choice of undergraduate and graduate studies in the UW School of Social Work. My parents brought us up in a Christian environment that helped to shape our views of people and humanity, and I have not traveled far from that structure.

Passion is what sets your soul on fire, and in this case my early training, combined with the untimely loss of my mother in 2005 to colorectal cancer, shaped my advocacy path. After leaving the Hutchinson Center that same year, I turned my grief into positive vigilance. It took me to the White House for a private briefing with HHS leadership, to the opening of an outpatient clinic in North Carolina supported by Maya Angelou, and to the halls of Congress with the Colorectal Cancer Coalition. I have been invited to the Bioethics Center at Tuskegee to present information on effective outreach. My work led me to get politically active, championing the Affordable Care Act as a national delegate. 

Today, as I am at the sunset of my personal career, I get motivated when my children and grandchildren see what one or two committed people can really do to make a difference in this world. Additionally, I live a life of privilege that honors the words of Marian Wright Edelman: "Service is the rent you pay." My life has been governed by the song, "What have you done for me lately?" I want to be able to answer that question by giving my best, and when it's over, I can rest knowing that I tried.

What do you like to do in your "spare" time?

I enjoy combining my love of communicating with my training in broadcasting at Bellevue College. After 11 years in the field as a program host and local DJ, I actually have a dedicated audience of listeners who enjoy spiritual music and the eclectic blends of the blues genre. When I am not on the air, I enjoy co-chairing the Diversity Committee of Grandmothers Against Gun Violence, because I see gun violence as an urgent public health problem. 

My family-first commitment keeps me busy making sure that my dedicated, incredibly large family gets the TLC they need to be happy and loving. This includes spending time with John, my wonderful husband of 38 years and father of the children in our blended family, and, most importantly, making sure my 96-year-old father enjoys his blessing of good health and remains independent and living with dignity for as long as he is able. 

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Save the Dates

Community Advisory Board meeting

Date: Friday, July 22
8:45 am to 12:00 pm

At: Tukwila Community Center Directions

Seminar: HPRC Workplace Health Promotion Projects Update

Date: Thursday, Aug. 11
10:00 am to 11:00 am

Presenter: Peggy Hannon

Attend in person: HPRC conference room.
Get directions.

Guests are welcome to stay for an HPRC staff meeting immediately following the seminar.

Attend via webinarJoin here
Audio: 206-616-2663 or 1-866-495-7016 (Passcode: 288912)

Visit our website for notices of other upcoming seminars.


Congratulations to all graduating students, including HPRC's Daron Ryan, MPH, and Ernesto Sosa, MPH, MSW. We are excited to have both Daron and Ernesto continuing work with HPRC this summer.


Meagan Brown is a PhD student in Health Services who will be working at HPRC on workplace health projects.

Working with the Healthy Brain Research Network at HPRC this summer: Minhui Liu, a PhD student in the UW School of Nursing, Lillian Prueher, a PhD in Anthropology/MPH in Global Health student, and Mia Vogel, an MSW/MPH student.

Recent Publications

An innovative application of social network analysis to characterize interagency connections for immigrant worker health interventions:

Tsai JH, Petrescu-Prahova M. "Community Interagency Connections for Immigrant Worker Health Interventions, King County, Washington State, 2012-2013." Prev Chronic Dis. 2016;13:E73.

An exploration of the roles of champions in adopting, implementing, and maintaining Enhance®Fitness programs:

Miyawaki CE, Belza B, Kohn MJ, Petrescu-Prahova M. "Champions of an Older Adult Exercise Program: Believers, Promoters, and Recruiters." J Appl Gerontol. 2016.

An intervention designed to encourage past tobacco quitline participants to re-engage in services:

Carlini B, Miles L, Doyle S, Celestino P, Koutsky J. "Using Diverse Communication Strategies to Re-Engage Relapsed Tobacco Quitline Users in Treatment, New York State, 2014." Prev Chronic Dis. 2015;12:E179.

See all of our published articles here

Mall Walking APEX awardMall Walking: A Program Resource Guide has received a 2016 APEX Award for publication excellence. More


Prevention Research Centers 30 years logo

HPRC is a CDC Prevention Research Center - celebrating 30 years of building healthier communities together.






Health Promotion Research Center is a research center at the University of Washington School of Public Health funded by the Prevention Research Centers Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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