NYU-CUNY Prevention Research Center Completed Core Projects
The NYU-CUNY Prevention Research Center (NYU-CUNY PRC), a partnership between NYU Langone and the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, has completed core research demonstrating its ability to combine innovative community- and clinic-based interventions to enhance preventive care and chronic disease prevention and management—particularly in populations experiencing health disparities.
The Implementing Million Hearts for Provider and Community Transformation project (Project IMPACT) engaged South Asians, a group encountering disproportionately high rates of cardiovascular disease, who receive care in primary care clinics across New York City. The Reaching Immigrants through Community Empowerment program (Project RICE) was a community-driven initiative to promote diabetes prevention among Korean American and South Asian American immigrants in New York City using a community health worker (CHW) model.
Implementing Million Hearts for Provider and Community Transformation
Led by Nadia S. Islam, PhD, Project IMPACT was a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–funded initiative launched in 2014 to improve blood pressure control and cardiovascular health among South Asian patients receiving care in primary care clinics across New York City. Building on the strategies of the Million Hearts® initiative, the study’s goal was to test the efficacy, adoption, and impact of integrating physician-directed training and technical assistance to optimize the use of electronic health record (EHR)–based tools combined with patient-directed CHW coaching and culturally tailored health education to improve hypertension control.
Project IMPACT was implemented in 15 small primary care practices serving large proportions of South Asian patients across the city. The initiative was a collaboration with Healthfirst, an insurance organization serving more than 35,000 South Asian members in New York City, as well as Improving Healthcare for the Common Good, a quality improvement organization for New York State.
Our study findings have informed replication and scale of project components to other initiatives, including the Diabetes Research, Education, and Action for Minorities (DREAM) Initiative, a five-year trial integrating CHW- and EHR-based interventions to support weight loss among South Asians at risk for type 2 diabetes living in New York City, and a subsequent DREAM initiative with partners at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta to address diabetes and hypertension disparities within the growing community of South Asians living in the Southeastern United States.
Reaching Immigrants through Community Empowerment
Led by Nadia S. Islam, PhD, the Reaching Immigrants through Community Empowerment project, or Project RICE, tested the efficacy of a CHW-led intervention to promote diabetes prevention among Korean American and South Asian American immigrants in New York City. A community-based participatory research approach guided development of the intervention, which consisted of six workshops held by CHWs on diabetes prevention, nutrition, physical activity, diabetes complications, stress and family support, and access to healthcare.
Positive changes were seen after six months in participants’ weight, waist circumference, diastolic blood pressure, physical activity nutrition, diabetes knowledge, and mental health. The Project RICE study findings, published in 2013, are cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Community Guide recommending the use of CHWs to support diabetes prevention.