Unhealthy behavioral choices to smoke, overeat and lead sedentary lifestyles underlie the preponderance of chronic disease in the U.S. Greater understanding of the mechanisms underpinning vulnerability to such unhealthy decision making and developing more effective interventions to change behavior is vitally important to improving the U.S. public health. The overarching goal of the Administrative Core of the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health (VCBH) is to organize and grow existing strengths at the University of Vermont (UVM) while engaging in local and national collaborations in this important area of health research. This core will provide the administrative and intellectual infrastructure necessary to (a) strengthen and further collaboration among an interdisciplinary group of UVM faculty who share research and clinical expertise in this area, (b) mentor junior faculty in conducting thematically related research and preparing competitive research grant applications, (c) establish productive collaborations with community healthcare organizations and other universities located in IDeA states, (d) recruit new members into the center, and (e) secure the necessary financial support to sustain the VCBH tDeyond COBRE support. Stephen T. Higgins, PhD, will direct the core with assistance from Philip A. Ades, MD. UVM senior faculty will participate as primary and secondary mentors for junior faculty who will conduct COBRE-supported and thematically related research projects. We will collaborate with Vermont community healthcare leaders and investigators from Brown University and the University of Kentucky in pursuing the VCBH mission. Program oversight will be guided by an External Advisory Committee of distinguished scientific leaders in the area of behavior and health. An Internal Advisory Committee composed of accomplished senior UVM investigators will advise the VCBH on scientific and organizational matters. A Community Advisory Committee of experts in Vermont health care delivery and policy will help assure that the VCBH is responsive to community needs. This interdisciplinary team will work closely together to make the VCBH a nationally and internationally recognized center of research excellence.

Public Health Relevance

Many inidividuals persist in personal behaviors (substance abuse, physical inactivity/obesity) that significantly increase risk for chronic disease and premature death. This relationship between personal behaviors and disease risk is firmly established, but much remains to be learned about why certain individuals are more likely to engage in risky behaviors and how to promote behavior change.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1)
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University of Vermont & St Agric College
United States
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Sigmon, Stacey C; Schwartz, Robert P; Higgins, Stephen T (2017) Buprenorphine for Persons on Waiting Lists for Treatment for Opioid Dependence. N Engl J Med 376:1000-1001
Higgins, Stephen T; Reed, Derek D; Redner, Ryan et al. (2017) Simulating demand for cigarettes among pregnant women: A Low-Risk method for studying vulnerable populations. J Exp Anal Behav 107:176-190
McMahon, Sean R; Ades, Philip A; Thompson, Paul D (2017) The role of cardiac rehabilitation in patients with heart disease. Trends Cardiovasc Med 27:420-425
Villanti, Andrea C; Johnson, Amanda L; Ilakkuvan, Vinu et al. (2017) Social Media Use and Access to Digital Technology in US Young Adults in 2016. J Med Internet Res 19:e196
Higgins, Stephen T; Heil, Sarah H; Sigmon, Stacey C et al. (2017) Response to varying the nicotine content of cigarettes in vulnerable populations: an initial experimental examination of acute effects. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 234:89-98
Gaalema, Diann E; Savage, Patrick D; Rengo, Jason L et al. (2017) Patient Characteristics Predictive of Cardiac Rehabilitation Adherence. J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev 37:103-110
Phillips, Julie K; Higgins, Stephen T (2017) Applying behavior change techniques to weight management during pregnancy: Impact on perinatal outcomes. Prev Med 104:133-136
Gaalema, Diann E; Elliott, Rebecca J; Morford, Zachary H et al. (2017) Effect of Socioeconomic Status on Propensity to Change Risk Behaviors Following Myocardial Infarction: Implications for Healthy Lifestyle Medicine. Prog Cardiovasc Dis 60:159-168
Matusiewicz, Alexis K; Melbostad, Heidi S; Heil, Sarah H (2017) Knowledge of and concerns about long-acting reversible contraception among women in medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. Contraception 96:365-369
Brooklyn, John R; Sigmon, Stacey C (2017) Vermont Hub-and-Spoke Model of Care for Opioid Use Disorder: Development, Implementation, and Impact. J Addict Med 11:286-292

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