This application is to continue the Arkansas Prevention Research Center (ARPRC), building on: activities currently by initial PRC funding;close collaboration between the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health (COPH) and community partners with a reconfigured structure of a consortium between these three entities. The 5-year goal is to: develop the research, partnerships, educational, and communication/dissemination infrastructure in collaborative consortium consisting of ADH practitioners, COPH faculty, and key community partners to develop and implement a core research project to address a scalable approach to enhancing HTN control;develop public health practice capacity;enhance a history of collaboration;and participate actively in the PRC Network. The Mission is to: develop research and educational programs to enhance public health practice in order to reduce risks for chronic diseases among those who bear the greatest risk in the state, Arkansas'racial and ethnic minorities, with a goal of eliminating chronic disease health disparities. To achieve this Mission, the Center will develop core infrastructure, including: a Director's Office (DO) and Executive Committee (EC) to manage the daily administrative matters;a Partner Advisory Committee (PAC) of state health leaders to provide feedback and assist in sustaining cost- effective findings;a Steering Committee (SC) with all members of the EC, core unit members, and Research Project PI/Co-PIs to establish ARPRC priorities;a Community Committee (CC) with members representing diverse leaders of Desha County, the proposed research project site to advise both the DO and the Research project team about implementing the research project;a Community Engagement, Partnerships and Technical Assistance Unit (CEPTAU), building on the existing the COPH and ADH collaborations (particularly the existing Joint Advisory Council - JAC) for technical assistance (TA) initiatives and to develop the CC;a Communication and Dissemination Unit (CDU) to establish a communication plan to integrate and promote all center core activities and translate research, and to develop and implement a community media HTN campaign for the Research Project;and a Training Unit (TU) to develop a 5-year comprehensive training plan for identified training needs to strengthen capacity of health practitioners, students, community members, and partner organizations to provide TA, improve applied public health research and practice. In addition, the major research focus of this application is identifying cost-effective methods of better controlling hypertension (HTN), a leading, relatively easily controllable risk factor for a variety of diseases which are leading sources of morbidity and mortality, particularly in Arkansas where uncontrolled HTN (u-HTN) is exceedingly high. HTN control is a major ADH priority, and public health practice approaches to enhance HTN treatment via cost-effective methods are likely scalable and sustainable if they can be integrated in the rapid health care reform occurring in Arkansas, providing a model for other sectors of the nation.

Public Health Relevance

This application is to continue the Arkansas Prevention Research Center (ARPRC) to accomplish two basic goals. First, we propose to develop research, partnerships, educational, and communication/dissemination programs in a collaborative consortium consisting of Arkansas Department of Health practitioners, College of Public Health faculty, and key community partners in order to enhance public health practice capacity in the state. Secondly, we propose to develop and implement a core research project to examine methods of enhancing the control of hypertension and improving overall health in Arkansas and other states by more broadly applying these hypertension control methods if proven effective.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Chronic Disease Prev and Health Promo (NCCDPHP)
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research Centers (U48)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDP1)
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University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Little Rock
United States
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Stewart, M Kathryn; Spencer, Nicola; Huff Davis, Anna et al. (2018) Developing and Piloting a Community Scientist Academy to Engage Communities and Patients in Research. J Clin Transl Sci 2:73-78