The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has renewed a five-year, $5.3 million grant for the Prevention Research Center (PRC) at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. The PRC is a research and policy organization that focuses on the impact the physical and social environments have on obesity and public health within the New Orleans community.
The grant is part of the national Prevention Research Centers Program, which funds a network of 35 centers across the country conducting research in disease prevention and control. The grant will support new research, communications, and advocacy aimed at improving access to healthy foods in area neighborhoods.
“Improving healthy food access is critical to improving the vitality of communities,” said Diego Rose, PRC director and associate professor in Community Health Sciences at Tulane. “We are extremely excited to work with our community partners to have a positive impact on the neighborhood food environment in New Orleans.”
This is the third time the center has received the grant, which is renewable every five years. The PRC"s core research project under the previous grant cycle was Partnership for an Active Community Environment (PACE), an effort to identify and address barriers to physical activity in the St. Roch/St. Claude community. PACE assessed the impact of environmental changes to the neighborhood including a walking path on the St. Roch Avenue neutral ground and adding staff to keep the playground at Drew Elementary School open after school hours. Additionally, five community members received grants to fund neighborhood improvement projects. During its original funding cycle, the PRC focused research on a variety of environmental issues, most significantly reducing childhood lead exposure.
Along with receiving a comprehensive PRC center grant, the Tulane PRC was awarded three Special Interest Projects (SIPS) totaling $254,483 for the 2009-2010 fiscal year. These projects will enable the Tulane PRC to be a Collaborating Center in two different policy research networks, one focused on nutrition and the other focused on physical activity. A third Special Interest Project will fund a tobacco cessation program for prenatal women in Argentina and Uruguay.
For more information about the PRC, please visit: http://www.sph.tulane.edu/PRC/index.htm.