Monthly Archives: June 2014

$4.35 Million Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Grant Establishes UPenn Prevention Research Center

CPHI will play an important role in the community engagement, partnerships, training and evaluation components of the new Center.

A five-year, $ 4,350,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has established a Prevention Research Center (PRC) at the University of Pennsylvania, which will begin in September 2014. The PRC, one of 26 in the nation, will conduct innovative public health and disease management research aimed at preventing chronic disease and reducing health disparities in Southeastern Pennsylvania. This will be the first PRC in Philadelphia, and a major win for public health at Penn.

The PRC is co-directed by Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH, George A. Weiss University Professor and professor of epidemiology and nursing, and Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, professor in the department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy and Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine and professor of health care management at The Wharton School. Glanz is also Interim Director for Research at the CPHI.

The PRC will strengthen public and private sector community partnerships; conduct research on how behavioral economics and public health strategies can reduce health risks and improve health in social-environmental contexts; and extend collaborative training, education, and communication in high-risk and underserved populations in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

The new UPenn PRC will advance missions that are also integral to the CPHI. This grant is a unique opportunity to create a hub for interdisciplinary chronic disease prevention research, training, and dissemination here at Penn, and will extend our commitment to reducing disparities and improving the health of those in our communities. Faculty members from the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Annenberg School for Communication, The Wharton School and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia are among the leadership of the new Center. CPHI Fellows Carolyn Cannuscio, David Grande, Doug Wiebe, John Holmes and Alison Buttenheim are on the leadership team.

The CDC awarded a total of $19.5 million to 26 academic institutions in 25 states to support development and evaluation of practical public health prevention interventions during the first year of the funding period. Further information, a map of all centers and their research description may be found at:



Penn Undergraduate Public Health Award

CPHI announces our 2014 Marjorie Bowman under-graduate award winner in Pubilc Health: Robert Hsu

Robert Picture

Robert is a rising senior at the University of Pennsylvania studying biology in the College of Arts & Sciences and business in Wharton, with an individualized concentration in public health.  His life mission is to make the world a healthier place, and at Penn, he’s explored this from various perspectives.  Robert was a research assistant at the Center for Health Behavior Research (led by Karen Glanz) for two years and then spent one summer at the Behaviour and Health Research Unit at Cambridge University under Theresa Marteau.  Currently, he is working on independent projects in soft contact lens care compliance and e-cigarette experimentation.  He also provided consulting services to a local community health organization to help it start a social enterprise to provide affordable, healthy food to underserved areas through a food truck.  Robert also provides physical activity and health education programming at a local school, the City School at Spruce Hill.  Finally, Robert helped start the Healthy Food Truck Initiative, which collaborates with food trucks to promote healthier meals to customers, provide some degree of nutritional information, and host events to educate people on healthier options available from food trucks. 

To read more about the Health Food Truck Initiative click here.

Interested in receiving an award for your public health work? Read more about CPHI awards and scholarships here.