The mission of Illinois Prevention Research Center (IPRC) is to collaborate with communities, community agencies, coalitions, small businesses, local and state government, and other partners to engage in interdisciplinary prevention research to test, develop, adapt, implement and evaluate policies and environmental approaches aimed at improving nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco-related health behaviors to reduce chronic disease risk and to reduce disparities in these health behaviors and outcomes. The IPRC will emphasize community engagement and community-based research to help reduce disparities and work closely with community partners throughout Illinois to develop and sustain education and training programs and translate research findings into effective public health policies and environmental changes. The unifying theme of the proposed IPRC of Supporting Policy and Environmental Change aimed at improving health behaviors and reducing disparities will be reflected in all of our Center activities. The IPRC proposed activitie are guided by the CDC's Logic Model for the Prevention Research Center Program and will concentrate in six main areas and aim to: (1) Engage researchers and the community in expert multi-disciplinary applied health promotion and health prevention community-based research aimed at improving health behaviors and reducing chronic disease through effective evidenced-based policy and environmental changes; (2) Conduct community training and provide technical assistance locally and statewide and graduate student and post-doctoral mentoring and education to increase researcher, stakeholder, and community capacity to conduct community- based health prevention research and undertake policy, program, and environmental evaluations; (3) Increase translation of evidence-based research findings into best practices and policies; (4) Build and provide a communications infrastructure and plan that supports information sharing about programmatic, educational and scientific information for a variety of audiences including the public health practice community; local and state health coalitions and advocacy groups; local, state, and national policy-makers; prevention researchers; and, the public; (5) Conduct rigorous evaluations of all IPRC components, report findings, and use this information to improve IPRC programs; and, (6) Identify and address racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and rural disparities in all aspects of the Center's research, community engagement, training, communication, and evaluation to improve health behaviors and reduce related disease risks and outcomes among disadvantaged populations. The IPRC applied public health prevention research project addresses a key CDC Winnable Battle focused on increasing access to and use of parks. Working with community stakeholders, the project capitalizes on planned and funded Chicago Park District playground renovations to evaluate the renovations and implement a park coalition building intervention to increase local capacity to enhance the effects of playground revitalization on park programming, ongoing maintenance, safety, and, in turn, park utilization and physical activity.
The Illinois Prevention Research Center (IPRC) will engage in interdisciplinary prevention research with community partners to test, develop, adapt, implement and evaluate policies and environmental approaches aimed at improving nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco-related health behaviors to reduce chronic disease risk and to reduce disparities in these health behaviors and outcomes. By increasing the application and translation of evidence-based research to practice, evaluating policy and environmental interventions, engaging in community-based research, increasing community capacity, and training practitioners, the IPRC will have a strong public health impact by contributing to effective health promoting policy and environmental changes. The IPRC's applied research project capitalizes on planned and funded playground renovations to evaluate the renovations and implement a park coalition building intervention to increase local capacity to enhance the effects of playground revitalization on park programming, ongoing maintenance, safety, and, in turn, park utilization and physical activity.
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