THE CDC PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTERS PROGRAM:
A DECADE OF ACHIEVEMENT, 1986-1996
and
AN AGENDA FOR THE DECADE AHEAD

A landmark event for health research in the United States was the establishment of the Centers for Research and Demonstration of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, through Public Law 98-551, enacted on October 30, 1984, and implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1986. This report illustrates the Program 's achievements in its first 10 years, 1986-1996, and proposes an agenda for its further development over the next 10 years.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The CDC Prevention Research Centers Program is unique in the nation 's health research enterprise: This Program applies current knowledge about health promotion and disease prevention directly to the benefit of the public's health. And it forges essential new linkages for health between participating academic health centers and numerous federal, state, and local agencies — public and private — and with the communities they serve.

Its mission is to provide a rigorous scientific underpinning for health promotion and disease prevention policies and practices and to transalate this science into the practical demonstration and evaluation of cost-effective strategies. The Program's success is a consequence of the joint efforts of CDC, state and local health departments, and their natural partners — the schools of public health and other academic health centers.

Collectively, this collaborative program of research, demonstration, and implementation of health promotion and disease prevention in local communities is having a significant impact on the nation's health.

The Critical Need for “Prevention Research”

Prevention research involves the direct and immediate application of effective strategies to benefit the public's health. Further, it aims to avert the onset of disease or disability, to reverse subclinical or inapparent disease, and to delay progression from established asymptomatic The ultimate benefit of prevention research is to prolong health, well-being and self-sufficiency and thereby to enhance productivity and quality of life.

These fundamental aspects of prevention research contrast sharply with research in the laboratory and with individual patients. In fact, it is prevention research which identifies and



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