The mission of University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center (UNM PRC) is to engage in evidence- based prevention research to improve community and population health and well-being and reduce health disparities. UNM PRC's research, community engagement and partnership, training, communication and dissemination, and evaluation activities have five main focus areas: 1) nutrition, physical activity, and obesity prevention;2) adolescent and school health;3) tobacco, alcohol, and substance abuse prevention;4) injury prevention;and 5) mental health. These foci have been developed based upon our community partners'priorities, as well as the documented burden of disease and health disparities experienced by New Mexican populations, with a particular emphasis on rural American Indian and Hispanic populations. UNM PRC has multiple on-going prevention studies and projects, which are supported by a wide diversity of federal, state, local, and foundation funding sources. These efforts are guided by a participatory research approach that emphasizes establishing and maintaining trust with communities and interacting knowledgeably on an equal basis. In response to community needs to reduce the burden of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, UNM PRC's proposed core research project focuses on the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based strategies for increasing physical activity through a participatory research partnership, VIVA-Step into Cuba, in an economically disadvantaged, underserved, and under-represented rural population. The prospective study will include formative assessment, implementation, process and outcome evaluation, evaluation of the community/academic partnership, dissemination of findings, and policy recommendations. Other UNM PRC core elements will continue to maintain and further develop core capacity;engage in active collaboration and partnership with Indian tribes, public schools, state and federal agencies, urban and rural communities, other universities, and UNM faculty, staff, and students;enhance communication and dissemination of evidence- based prevention programs;implement and evaluate training and education for community members, public health professionals, and students;and implement and improve internal evaluation processes.
. New Mexicans as a whole, as well as Hispanic/Latino and American Indian populations in New Mexico, experience health disparities in all UNM PRC focus areas: obesity and related chronic diseases;adolescent and school health;tobacco, alcohol, and substance abuse;injury;and mental health. UNM PRC's proposed research and other core efforts seek to reduce these disease burdens and promote health and well-being.
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