population-based health research, which is influenced by a wide range of disciplines.”
The PRC Program, she said, provides one of several types of extramural prevention research funds available through CDC. It “is designed to connect science and public health practice and to improve health promotion and disease prevention efforts” in four ways by:
focusing on high-priority public health issues;
conducting rigorous, community-based prevention research with outcomes applicable to public health programs and policies;
enhancing community partnerships; and
bridging gaps between scientific knowledge and public health practices.
The PRC Program, Dr. Anderson noted, has grown since 1986, and presently supports 24*PRCs across the United States at schools of public health, medicine, or osteopathy that have accredited preventive medicine residencies. These PRCs, she said, “serve as a national resource for developing prevention strategies and applying those strategies at the community level.” For example, PRC investigators in South Carolina, having identified physical activity as a key issue, are “working collaboratively with a community coalition to include physical activity promotion in its strategic plan.” They are also helping the coalition expand and connect a number of walking/biking trials.
“One special feature of the PRC program is community participation” in community-based research, Dr. Anderson said, “although it has taken time for trusting relationships to develop between the PRCs and their community partners” across the nation. “Even regarding methodologies of doing research within communities, we need to understand the process of learning from the community as well as doing research with the community.”
Another priority for the PRC Program is to facilitate the application of research findings, she said. “Because insufficient transnational research has been done in the past, CDC is working with several PRCs to understand what contributes to the uptake of research results and to establish new
Since the time of this presentation, two additional PRCs have been awarded, bringing the total to 26 (http://www.cdc.gov/prc).