NYU-CUNY Prevention Research Center Special Interest Projects
Special interest projects (SIPs) at 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, generate innovative combinations of community- and clinic-based interventions for improved linkage to preventive care and chronic disease prevention and management. These projects focus on a topic of interest or a gap in scientific evidence, and funding is competitively awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to schools associated with the Prevention Research Center (PRC) network.
In our third consecutive five-year funding cycle, spanning 2019 to 2024, we are accelerating the translation of evidence-based and innovative programs to increase access to care and disrupt the cycle of health disparities among hard-to-reach populations from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. Specifically, we are proud to be part of two of the four current Thematic Research Networks, groups of multiple PRCs collaborating on a specific health topic, within the overall CDC PRC program. Our center is a collaborating center for the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) and the Managing Epilepsy Well (MEW) Network.
Below we describe current thematic network and SIP initiatives. Learn more about our diverse array of completed special interest and supplemental projects.
Addressing Disparities in Hypertension and Reducing Racial Inequity Through Engagement
Addressing Disparities in Hypertension and Reducing Racial Inequity Through Engagement (ADHERE) is an individual-level, two-arm randomized controlled trial that examines the implementation of a tailored community health worker (CHW)–led intervention on blood pressure control, discrimination-related outcomes, and mental wellbeing through addressing racial discrimination experienced by Black patients with hypertension. Led by Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH, the ADHERE project will leverage the infrastructure of the seven-year ADDRESS-BP Project funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health (UG3HL151310-01A1), designed to improve hypertension control in Black patients via three evidence-based approaches including nurse case management, home blood pressure monitoring, and CHW-led coaching on lifestyle management. ADHERE adds racial discrimination, stress, and mental wellbeing assessments; coaching in stress management and coping skills; and referral to resilience resources to the CHW protocol of ADDRESS-BP.
Systemic Lupus Targets Related to Improving Vital Endpoints
Heather T. Gold, PhD, and Peter M. Izmirly, MD, have been awarded an SIP titled STRIVE: Systemic Lupus Targets Related to Improving Vital Endpoints. They will leverage and enhance their extant and phenotypically well-characterized clinical registry and biobank of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus to identify targets for interventions to improve clinical and self-management of this condition. The registry and biobank are also ethnically, racially, and socioeconomically diverse. The study will provide unique insights to improve care for patients with lupus while aiming to reduce disparities and open new avenues for research. The investigative team brings the unique combined knowledge of lupus biology, clinical management, healthcare disparities, and health services research to investigate the important public health issue of identifying non-biological markers, including pain, fatigue, and physical activity, as targets for improving patient-centered care and management of adults with lupus.
New York City Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network
The New York City Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) is a collaboration between NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. It is one of eight funded CPCRN centers across the United States.
Our mission is to engage local communities to advance evidence-based solutions to prevent and reduce the burden of cancer in diverse, low-income, and minority communities in New York City. Under the direction of Chau Trinh-Shevrin, DrPH, we utilize a multi-theoretical framework to evaluate the adoption and impact of culturally adapted strategies in different settings and adapt evidence-based strategies that integrate the role of mental health on cancer control outcomes, from post-diagnosis to survivorship. During this five-year funding period, we are conducting two core projects, a mental health formative research project and an implementation research evaluation, and participating in various collaborative network workgroups.
Mental Health Formative Research Project
The mental health needs of Asian Americans with cancer and survivors are unmet and understudied. This core project includes a collaboration with Victoria Ngo, PhD, and Terry T.-K. Huang, PhD, MPH, MBA, of the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, and focuses on developing a mental health preventive intervention, based on the collaborative care model, which will be integrated into primary and oncology care settings to reduce anxiety, depression, and suicide risk among Asian Americans post-cancer diagnosis, from care to survivorship. Preliminary designs will be obtained through an extensive environmental scan of current practices and a thorough review of the existing literature. We will further refine potential interventions using a mixed-method approach to assess barriers and facilitators across levels of adaptation, including at the patient, provider and care team, organizational, and clinical–community linkage levels.
Implementation Research Evaluation
Based upon data from four studies and programs that utilize electronic health records, culturally tailored approaches, or both, we are evaluating key factors that influence reach, uptake, and adoption of evidence-based strategies for preventing infection-related cancers among Asian Americans seen in Federally Qualified Health Centers and public hospital settings. Guided by the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance framework and the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, this work aims to identify critical factors to improve the implementation of evidence-based prevention guidelines of infection-related cancers among Asian Americans.
Our review currently includes the following studies and programs:
- stomach cancer prevention through Helicobacter pylori screening and treatment among Chinese Americans
- human papilloma virus vaccination among adolescents in Federally Qualified Health Center school-based clinics
- cervical cancer screening promotion among South Asian women
- hepatitis B virus treatment adherence among Chinese and Korean Americans
Collaborative Network Work Groups
Our network engages in collaborative work groups related to cancer and health equity, mental health, survivorship, health behaviors, implementation science, systems science, and organizational theory. Through these efforts, we are actively advancing the science of evidence-based cancer control strategies and developing a robust portfolio of scientific articles and opinion pieces reflective of this diverse national network. We and our network partners are also examining the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on cancer prevention and control.
Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network Acknowledgment
The CPCRN is a national network of academic, public health, and community partners who work together to reduce the burden of cancer, especially among those disproportionately affected. Its members conduct community-based participatory cancer research across its eight network centers, crossing academic affiliations and geographic boundaries. The CPCRN is a Thematic Research Network of the Prevention Research Centers, which are the CDC’s flagship program for preventing and controlling chronic diseases.
Feasibility Testing of Electronic Health Records–Based Cancer Surveillance
Led by Lorna E. Thorpe, PhD, MPH, this study aims to demonstrate the feasibility of using electronic health record data to develop a model cancer surveillance report on performance measures of cancer prevention and control programs in New York City. We are designing our report in collaboration with the New York City and New York State Departments of Health and cancer experts at the CDC, with a goal to help improve cancer prevention and control interventions. Using systematic consensus building, we are designing and testing a model that includes performance measures and quality of cancer prevention and control in ambulatory care. Our indicators are being developed using rules-based testing approaches, and then being validated using well-established chart review methods to assess sensitivity and specificity.
Managing Epilepsy Well Network Collaborating Center: UPLIFT 2.0—Replicating a Depression Self-Management Program for Diverse People with Epilepsy
In this renewal of funding as a MEW Network Collaborating Center, investigators Tanya M. Spruill, PhD, and Daniel Friedman, MD, are conducting a replication trial with Project UPLIFT, or Using Practice and Learning to Increase Favorable Thoughts, a telephone-based mindfulness intervention for adults who have epilepsy and elevated depressive symptoms. In the previous funding cycle of the MEW Network, they adapted UPLIFT for Hispanic people with epilepsy and conducted a randomized trial to evaluate its feasibility, acceptability, and effects. Building on their promising findings, Dr. Spruill and Dr. Friedman are now comparing the effects of UPLIFT versus telephone-based support groups on depressive symptoms, quality of life, and seizures in a larger, more diverse sample of English- and Spanish-speaking people with epilepsy. They will also conduct focus groups with epilepsy clinic providers and staff to explore barriers and facilitators to adoption of UPLIFT in clinical settings. Learn more about the MEW Network.