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The HPRC Link Newsletter
Newsletter of the UW Health Promotion Research Center  January 2013

Looking back at 2012!

2012 was an exciting year for HPRC, and none of it would have been possible without the support and collaboration of our many community partners. We look forward to working with our partners in 2013. Below are some highlights from the year.

  • Senior Services partnered with YMCA of the USA to license EnhanceFitness, potentially expanding the program to the Y's 2600 local sites. During 2012, HPRC's EnhanceFitness research team doubled in size to conduct research related to these exciting developments.
  • EnhanceFitness launched a new online data-entry system to track class and individual progress. This system will allow more accurate and timely program evaluation analyses.
  • HPRC delivered the American Cancer Society's HealthLinks program to 50 worksites in King County, doubling the reach of HealthLinks in King County. This work was part of the CDC Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant to Public Health - Seattle & King County.
  • HPRC began delivering the HealthLinks program to worksites in rural Washington counties in partnership with the American Cancer Society and the Washington State Department of Health.
  • HPRC partnered with 11 Seattle-area restaurants to offer onsite flu shots to employees. HPRC researchers are now evaluating the effects of the interventions, which involved increased access, decreased cost, and enhanced knowledge through “myth-busting” education.
  • At the end of 2012, almost 2,000 people have participated in PEARLS, the Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives.
  • Currently, 44 active PEARLS programs are operating in 13 states.

Spotlight on Miruna Petrescu-Prahova

Miruna Petrescu-PrahovaMiruna Petrescu-Prahova, PhD, has always been drawn to investigating interesting problems. This curiosity, combined with her unique skill set, made her a good match for the work conducted by HPRC. Miruna joined HPRC in September 2012 as a new investigator.

Miruna is interested in applications of social network analysis. But this doesn't mean that she spends her time studying Facebook—a common assumption she encounters when she tells people what she does. In fact, social network analysis has been around for 75 years. "Social network analysis is focused on relationships and how being embedded in a network influences behavior," Miruna explains.

Miruna’s work with HPRC involves studying how social networks can be leveraged to assist dissemination efforts, with a focus on HPRC's older adult health promotion projects.

Learn more about Miruna and how she became interested in social network analysis >>

Selected Publications

During 2012, HPRC gave 45 community presentations, 43 scientific presentations, and published 47 journal articles. Here are a few publications since September.

People with mobility disabilities face a variety of challenges procuring food.

Huang DL, Rosenberg DE, Simonovich SD, Belza B. Food Access Patterns and Barriers among Midlife and Older Adults with Mobility Disabilities. Journal of Aging Research. 2012;2012:231489.

Steps can be taken so that older adults and those with mobility disabilities can remain active in their neighborhoods.

Rosenberg DE, Huang DL, Simonovich SD, Belza B. Outdoor Built Environment Barriers and Facilitators to Activity among Midlife and Older Adults with Mobility Disabilities. The Gerontologist. 2012 Sep 25.

Mid-sized, low-wage employers need to have resources in place before they can commit to workplace health promotion.

Hannon PA, Hammerback K, Garson G, Harris JR, Sopher CJ. Stakeholder Perspectives on Workplace Health Promotion: A Qualitative Study of Midsized Employers in Low-wage Industries. American Journal of Health Promotion. 2012 Nov-Dec;27(2):103-10.

When mid-size employers in low-wage industries don’t engage in workplace health promotion, it is often because they lack the resources to do so.

Hannon PA, Garson G, Harris JR, Hammerback K, Sopher CJ, Clegg-Thorp C. Workplace Health Promotion Implementation, Readiness, and Capacity Among Midsize Employers in Low-Wage Industries: A National Survey. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2012 Oct 19.

Physicians who want to increase the colorectal screening rates of their patients can use several effective communication strategies.

O'Farrell CM, Green BB, Reid RJ, Bowen D, Baldwin LM. Physician-Patient Colorectal Cancer Screening Discussions by Physicians' Screening Rates. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2012 Nov;25(6):771-81.

One third of people 65 and older fall each year, but CDC’s STEADI toolkit helps health care providers reduce the chances of falling.

Stevens JA, Phelan EA. Development of STEADI: A Fall Prevention Resource for Healthcare Providers. Health Promotion Practice. 2012 Nov 16 [Epub ahead of print].

Save the Date

The next Community Advisory Board meeting will be on Friday, January 25th, at the Tukwila Community Center, 8:45-12:00. Directions.


HPRC 1st Quarter 2013 Research Seminars

January 10: Marlana Kohn and Basia Belza will present “Uptake of EnhanceFitness by Local Ys.”

February 14: Meredith Cook will present “Vaccination Promotion Practices Among Large Employers.”

March 14: Hendrika Meischke and Elizabeth Phelan will present "HPRC's Fall Prevention Work with King County Emergency Medical Services"


Welcome to Laura Farren

Laura Farren joined HPRC as a Program Coordinator in November 2012. She is working on a variety of HPRC projects, including PEARLS, EnhanceFitness, and workplace health promotion.


Welcome to Steve Zeliadt

We would like to welcome Steve Zeliadt to the HPRC team as the center's new evaluation lead. Steve is a researcher at VA Health Services Research & Development Service and a faculty member in the UW School of Public Health.


Welcome to HPRC Research Assistants

We would like to welcome several new research assistants working at HPRC: Christina Miyawaki, Claire Allen, Clarissa Lord Brundage, Lu Chen, and Stephanie Ennis.Training graduate students in public health research is an important part of HPRC's work.


Congratulations to Jeff Harris

Jeff Harris, director of HPRC, was recently named Vice Chair for the Department of Health Services in the University of Washington School of Public Health. As part of the Department’s management team, Jeff will lead a number of strategic initiatives in addition to his regular duties as director of HPRC.


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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