The Morehouse School of Medicine Prevention Research Center Receives $4.5 Million From The CDC

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Grant Provides Five More Years of Funding to Conduct Public Health Prevention Research in Minority Communities

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded the Morehouse School of Medicine’s (MSM) Prevention Research Center (PRC) a $4.5 million grant to continue its critical public health work for five more years. This five-year funding cycle begins Sept. 30, 2014, and ends Sept. 29, 2019. MSM-PRC is part of a network of 26 total academic prevention research centers in 25 states across the country. The Center has maintained its CDC funding since 1998.

“The MSM-PRC’s work is unique in that community residents do not just contribute or advise, but lead our research agenda to address chronic health problems that are often related to other social determinants,” said Dr. Tabia Henry Akintobi, principal investigator and director of MSM-PRC. “I am thrilled that we can expand upon this 15 year legacy of collaboration and partnership through coupling community credibility with research rigor toward evidence-based, translational research strategies with demonstrable outcomes.”

The overall PRC network is funded to reduce health disparities in communities by studying how people and their communities can avoid or counter the risks of chronic illnesses, such as HIV, heart disease, obesity, and cancer. The network also develops and evaluates practical public health prevention interventions and disseminates study findings broadly across communities.

During this 2014-2019 funding cycle, MSM-PRC intends to fulfill its vision toward eliminating health disparities through prevention by:

1.Conducting multiple interdisciplinary community-based research initiatives, inclusive of its core HIV research, in African American and other minority communities throughout City of Atlanta Neighborhood Planning Units (NPUs);

2.Training over 5,000 minority community-based researchers and public health practitioners;

3.Demonstrating the value of community coalitions in conducting research and building community capacity through the expansion of its Community Coalition Board (CCB) to include a greater collaborative community-academic partnership with neighborhood residents, diverse organizations and academic representation, where the CCB will be the driving force of MSM-PRC’s work;

4.Communicating and disseminating research findings and public health information widely to advance public health practice and improve health outcomes in communities.

An essential part of MSM-PRC’s focus is the implementation of the core HIV research program. The research intervention will place attention on the prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) among African American adolescents ages 14-18 throughout NPUs. The program will address gaps in the efficacy of HIV and STI prevention to impact gender differences, a multi-component intervention versus a single-component intervention, and including parents in the intervention program. The research intervention is being held at youth-focused, community-based organizations. The research efforts will incorporate the use of text messages and social media in a major social marketing campaign.

Dr. Akintobi, Dr. Rhonda Conerly Holliday, principal investigator of the Core HIV research program, and LaShawn Hoffman, Pittsburgh Community Improvement Association CEO and chair of the CCB, serve as key leaders of the MSM-PRC.

For additional information about this program, contact the MSM-PRC office at 404.752.1022 or prcinfo(at)msm(dot)edu. For more information about the CDC National PRC Program, visit http://www.cdc.gov/prc.

About Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM)

Founded in 1975, MSM is among the nation's leading educators of primary care physicians and was recognized by Annals of Internal Medicine in 2011 as the top institution in the first study of U.S. medical schools for our social mission based on our production of primary care physicians, training of underrepresented minority doctors and placement of doctors practicing in underserved communities. Our faculty and alumni are noted for excellence in teaching, research and public policy, as well as exceptional patient care.

Morehouse School of Medicine is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctoral and master's degrees. For more information, please visit http://www.msm.edu.

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Ronna Charles Nu'Man
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