Other Projects

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The following represent projects conducted by PRC faculty that aim to develop and disseminate effective chronic disease prevention programs in diverse community settings in Los Angeles, California, and the nation in order to reduce disparities in health status across the lifespan.


Nutrition and Physical Activity Policy and Procedures in Preschools

In collaboration with the Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) program, we assessed physical activity and nutrition policies and practices at 10 preschool sites and evaluated their impact on youth, parents, and teachers. Onsite observations and site-specific policy reviews were conducted by trained UCLA staff and surveys with preschool teachers, parents, and site directors from each preschool. Data are being used to develop strategies to improve preschool policies and practices with regard to physical activity and nutrition.
Center Member(s)Roshan Bastani, PhD;Paul Chung, MD, MS; Burt Cowgill, PhD; Beth Glenn, PhD

Development of an Active Transportation Plan for the City of Carson

Funded by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s PLACE Program, through LA County’s CDC-funded Community Transformation Grant (Healthy Eating Active Living Initiative), the aim of this project is to develop an Active Transportation Plan (ATP) for the City of Carson in partnership with the city’s Community Development Department. The ATP will develop pedestrian, bicycle, and public transit modes of transportation and amend the city’s master plan to allow for implementation of improvements to the built environment that encourage residents to walk and bike throughout Carson.

Center Member(s): Paul Chung, MD, MS; Burt Cowgill, PhD

Increasing HPV Vaccine Uptake in a Low Income Ethnic Minority Population

The purpose of this NCI-funded study is to evaluate the effect of a brief intervention aimed at increasing HPV vaccine uptake rates among an ethnically-diverse sample of adolescent girls. The educational intervention will be delivered to mothers of age-eligible girls who are users of the LA County Department of Public Health's Office of Women's Health telephone hotline.

Center Member(s): Roshan Bastani, PhD; Beth Glenn, PhD; Catherine Crespi, PhD

Community Academic Policy Partnership

This NIH-funded project aims to build upon existing community, academic, and policy partnerships between UCLA and the Carson-Wilmington area of Los Angeles. Through community trainings, seed grants, and the dissemination of health promotion and disease prevention strategies, the capacity for community organizations to engage in public health research and programming will be increased. As part of the effort, the City of Carson will pursue recognition as a Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) City.

Center Member(s): Paul Chung, MD, MS; Burt Cowgill, PhD

Knowledge, Beliefs, and Practices Regarding Human Papillomavirus among Women and Health Care Providers in Mexico and Los Angeles

This study aims to compare and contrast the knowledge, beliefs, and practices regarding human papillomavirus virus vaccination among women and health care providers in Southern California and Cuernavaca, Mexico.

Center Member(s): Yvonne Flores, PhD; Roshan Bastani, PhD

Community Dissemination of an Evidence-Based CRC Screening Intervention

We provide technical assistance and training to Filipino American community based organizations to implement an evidence-based intervention to increase colorectal cancer screening among their members. The impact of two dissemination strategies will be comprehensively assessed using the RE-AIM framework.

Center Member(s)Annette Maxwell, DrPH; Roshan Bastani, PhD

Healthy-By-Default (HBD) REACH Project

Project aims to broadly disseminate strategies to improve physical activity levels and healthy eating behaviors among vulnerable populations in the U.S. through partnerships with national-level organizations across multiple sectors (education, health care, public health, professional sports, worksites).

Center Member(s) Roshan Bastani, PhDAntronette K. Yancey, MD, MPH; Beth Glenn, PhDAnnette Maxwell, DrPH; William J. McCarthy, PhD

WORKING (Working Out Regularly Keeps Individuals Nurtured and Going)

Through a community partnership between the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, WORKING sought to implement organization level interventions to improve physical activity and healthy eating in health and social service organizations. The project was funded by NIH.

Center Member(s) Roshan Bastani, PhDAntronette K. Yancey, MD, MPHBeth Glenn, PhD; Annette Maxwell, DrPH; William J. McCarthy, PhD

Routine Health Behavior Screening in Safety Net Primary Care Practices

The purpose of this NIH-funded study is to evaluate the use of a patient portal to implement electronic patient-reported outcome assessments of behavioral risk factors and psychosocial status longitudinally in safety net clinics.

Center Member(s): Roshan Bastani, PhD; Beth Glenn, PhD; Dylan Roby, PhD; Hector Rodriguez, PhD

REACH US (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Across the US)

The UCLA REACH US Center of Excellence in the Elimination of Health Disparities (CEED) focuses on dissemination activities and training to achieve sustainable change at the level of key organizations in at-risk communities, and simultaneously spark advocacy to influence policies and regulations at the local, state and national levels to promote healthy eating and active living, focusing on the African American, Latino, Asian, and Pacific Islander populations.

Center Member(s)Antronette K. Yancey, MD, MPHRoshan Bastani, PhDBeth Glenn, PhDAnnette Maxwell, DrPH; William J. McCarthy, PhD

Evaluating School-Based Wellness Centers

The Los Angeles Trust Wellness Centers are a network of 13 new wellness centers established at schools serving some of the most vulnerable children and families in the Los Angeles Unified School District. PRC researchers are evaluating the provision of health promotion and disease prevention services through these centers, including sexual, vision, and dental health screening and referral services.

Center Member(s): Paul Chung, MD, MS; Wendy Slusser, MD; Rebecca Dudovitz, MD, MS

Conducting Developmental Screening through 211 LA County

211 LA County is the largest information and referral service in the United States, serving as both a gateway to and navigator of the complex social service delivery system for the county's most vulnerable residents. We are working with 211 LA County to assess the effectiveness of their developmental screening program. This program was implemented to assist with early identification of developmental problems among young children so that they may be addressed at a time when intervention has the greatest likelihood of making a significant positive impact.  Data to demonstrate the program's efficacy is critical to 211 LA County's ability to sustain this important program.

Center Member(s): William J. McCarthy, PhD; Alison Herrmann, PhD, MS; Bergen Nelson, MD

Using Telehealth to Deliver Developmental, Behavioral, and Mental Health Services in Primary Care Settings for Children in Underserved Areas 

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has approved a $1.6 million research award to the Children's Discovery and Innovation Institute at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA to study the use of videoconferencing technology to deliver developmental, behavioral, and mental health care to pediatric patients in community primary care settings. The project will focus on the integration of developmental, behavioral, and mental health services into pediatric primary care using live videoconferencing technology. This study will examine whether using this technology, a part of “telehealth”, can be an effective, efficient, and family-centered way to provide these integrated services to children in low-income communities. The project brings together researchers from General Pediatrics, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, and Psychiatry to work in partnership with North East Valley Health Corporation, a large multi-site community clinic consortium. 

Center Member(s): Tumaini Coker, MD, MBA; Paul Chung, MD, MS

A New Model for the Delivery of Well-Child Care to Low-Income Children (NIH/NICHD)    

This is an NIH-funded, five-year project in partnership with a multi-site federally qualified health center, South Bay Family Health Care (SBFHC). During the first three years of the study, we 1) collected qualitative data on the perspectives of the clinical and administrative staff at a SBFHC on alternative ways to deliver and structure well-child care (WCC) services for low-income families with young children ages 0-3, including their views on possible changes to providers, formats, and locations for care, and 2) synthesized the views of providers, parents, and payers into a new model for the delivery of WCC services for low-income families, using an explicit and reproducible process that included a community advisory board (CAB) and a national expert panel in a modified Delphi process. We are currently developing a group-based model for well-child care that is family-centered, sustainable, and feasible, and will be tested at SBFHC.

Center Member(s): Tumaini Coker, MD, MBA; Paul Chung, MD, MS

Well-Child Care Redesign: A New Model of Care for Children in Low-Income Families 

In partnership with the largest public health plan in the United States, L.A. Care Health Plan, we have combined the perspectives of three major well-child care stakeholder groups—providers, parents, and payors (e.g., health plans)—with a community advisory board and expert panel to design and pilot test a new model for the delivery of well-child care to children ages 0-3 years. The model was developed in partnership with two large, Medicaid-focused, pediatric practices and utilizes a Parent Coach (health educator), at every visit from 0-3 years of age, as well as a web-based pre-visit tool and a text messaging service. The project is funded by HRSA.

Center Member(s)Tumaini Coker, MD, MBA; Paul Chung, MD, MS

Cancer Control Among Korean Church Attendees

The purpose of this NCI-funded study was to test the effectiveness of a culturally tailored intervention to increase cancer prevention behavior in Korean church attendees in Los Angeles county.

Center Member(s)Roshan Bastani, PhD; Catherine Crespi, PhDBeth Glenn, PhDAlison Herrmann, PhD, MS; Annette Maxwell, DrPH; Weng Kee Wong, PhD

Tobacco Prevention and Control Programs of Research: School-based Anti-Tobacco Programs for Deaf/HH Youth

The purpose of this research is to investigate the determinants of cigarette smoking in diverse and vulnerable populations, such as deaf youth.

Center Member(s)Barbara Berman, PhD

Ethnicity and School Level Effects on Adolescent Tobacco Use

Examines school- and individual-level influences on ethnic differences in adolescent tobacco use and examines if presence of tobacco retailers around schools influences student tobacco use.

Center Member(s)William J. McCarthy, PhD

Assessing the Relationship between Living near an Oil Refinery and Health Status

The goal of this project is to collect air quality data for households living in close proximity to an oil refinery in the South Bay region of Los Angeles and to compare health status with a control population living further away from the refinery. Health surveys will be conducted with members of households in both the neighborhoods. 

Center Member(s): Paul Chung, MD, MS; Burt Cowgill, PhD; Yifang Zhu, PhD

Decreasing Dental Disease in at-risk Children in the Los Angeles Unified School District

The LA Trust for Children's Health, supported by the Prevention Research Center’s National Community Committee, was funded by the Dentaquest Foundation to develop an Oral Health Initiative focused on decreasing the burden of dental disease in children served by the Los Angeles Unified School District. Through this project, The Trust established an Oral Health Community Advisory Board (OHCAB) of stakeholders representing parents, school staff, oral health experts, and dental providers. Together the OHCAB developed a model for school-based universal oral health screening and fluoride varnishing that was piloted at 2 elementary school campuses. During the two and half screening days, 573 children were served,  50% of whom already showed evidence of dental decay, including 26 children who were referred for emergent, same-day care for serious dental issues. Based on the success of this project, The Trust has submitted an application for funding to extend this program to 8 schools, and hopes to take it district-wide in the future.

Center Member(s): Paul Chung, MD, MS; Rebecca Dudovitz, MD, MS

Dissemination of SNaX (Students for Nutrition and eXercise): A school-based obesity prevention program

The aim of this project is to disseminate SNaX or Students for Nutrition and eXercise throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). LAUSD staff will be trained to lead the dissemination of the program district wide to interested middle schools and teachers.

Center Member(s): Burt Cowgill, PhD

CalTrans Stair Study

In cooperation with Georgia Tech University, the study was designed to assess stairwell redesign in the Cal Trans building in downtown Los Angeles influences employees’ physical activity levels and other health-related behaviors.

Center Member(s)
Antronette K. Yancey, MD, MPH; William J. McCarthy, PhD

Lift Off! 10-Minute Physical Activity Breaks

Examining the feasibility and efficacy of integrating brief bouts of structured exercise into daily organizational routine. These activity breaks are designed to change socio-cultural norms to increase moderate regular physical activity participation. For more information and materials, please visit www.instantrecess.com

Center Member(s)Antronette K. Yancey, MD, MPH; William J. McCarthy, PhD

Breast Cancer Educational Programs

Develop tailored educational materials about breast health, breast cancer, and breast health advocacy for Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing women.

Center Member(s) Barbara Berman, PhD; Roshan Bastani, PhD

Improving Health Habits: Self-care Priorities

An intervention to increase intake of fruits and vegetables, decrease TV watching, increase daily physical activity for low-income, mostly immigrant Latinos.

Center Member(s)Lillian Gelberg, MD; William J. McCarthy, PhD

Improving Health Habits in Impoverished Populations

Training of community-living promotoras to provide face-to-face health promotion lifestyle counseling to patients attending QueensCare community clinics in Los Angeles, to boost patient self-efficacy for sustaining healthful changes in diet and physical activity among low-income, mostly immigrant Latino population.

Center Member(s)Lillian Gelberg, MD; William J. McCarthy, PhD

Understanding Decision Making About Genetic Testing For Breast Cancer Risk

The purpose of this research, funded by the California Breast Cancer Research Program, was to understand potential barriers and facilitators of interest in genetic testing for breast cancer risk among ethnic minority women with a special focus on issues related to family.

Center Member(s) Beth Glenn, PhD; Roshan Bastani, PhD

Family Mediation Program for At-Risk Youth

The goal of this study is to evaluate a parent-child mediation program for at-risk high school students and their parents in terms of its effects on family functioning, adolescent substance use and delinquency, and academic orientation and performance.

Center Member(s): Joan Tucker, PhD

The Role of Peer Networks in Youth Drug Use

Using longitudinal friendship network data from the National Survey of Adolescent Health (Add Health), this project is addressing the following specific aims: 1) To determine the extent to which friendship networks influence drug use (influence effects) and drug use influences friendship selection (selection effects); 2) To investigate how different levels of peer influence are concurrently and prospectively associated with youth drug use behavior; and 3) To identify adolescents who are more resilient versus vulnerable to different levels of pro-drug use peer influences, focusing on characteristics from three domains: personal factors; family factors; and neighborhood factors.

Center Member(s): Joan Tucker, PhD

Reducing Tobacco Use among Homeless Youth

With input from homeless youth and service providers, this project is developing a set of specific, feasible environmental policy and smoking cessation treatment strategies to help homeless youth quit smoking.

Center Member(s): Joan Tucker, PhD

Social Network Effects in the Context of Adolescent Risk Behavior

The goal of this study is to advance knowledge of how peer networks and other psychosocial factors shape adolescent substance use, and contribute much-needed information on the application of novel social network analysis methods in public health research.  We are collecting both complete school-based friendship network data and ego-centered friendship network data on a sample of high school students, which will allow us to compare models relating peer networks and substance use developed with data from these two different approaches.  By describing more clearly how ego-centered approaches impact the modeling of health behaviors, in this case adolescent substance use, researchers will be better able to apply them in large-scale health studies.

Center Member(s): Joan Tucker, PhD

Building Mixtec Community Capacity to Address Breast Health

The goal of this pilot study, funded by the California Breast Cancer Research Program, is to conduct a needs assessment in the Mixtec community in Ventura County, to develop theoretically informed intervention strategies to increase acceptability of breast cancer screening in this community, and to strengthen the collaboration between the community and the academic partner.

Center Member(s)Annette Maxwell, DrPH

Promoting Mammography among Chinese American Women

Randomized trial of a culturally appropriate video (group session versus individual watching) to promote mammography screening among Chinese American women

Center Member(s)Annette Maxwell, DrPH

Faith, Fellowship, and Fitness on the Move

The objective is to help lead local congregations in a movement to change public awareness about health care and access to affordable health care.

Center Member(s)Antronette K. Yancey, MD, MPH