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Applied Research Project, Activate!Activate's Brainy

Principal Investigators: Lesley Cottrell and Nancy O'Hara Tompkins
Start Date: October 2014
End Date: September 2019
Funding Source: USDHHS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The long-term goal of the WVPRC’s applied research project is to increase student physical activity, improve aerobic fitness, combat health risks, and improve academic performance using a coordinated schools approach that incorporates school and family-based strategies that promote physical activity. Project partners include: state and local health departments in the Mid-Ohio Valley, state and local departments of education, a state-wide cardiovascular risk screening program, and members of the WVPRC’s Community Partnership Board.

The WVPRC’s applied research project will:

1) Define and document current school physical education and recess practices among elementary schools in WV and compare student health and academic outcomes based on school practices.

2) Test effectiveness of school- and family-based physical activity interventions in terms of improved child physical activity, health, and academic outcomes.

3) Translate research results into environmental and policy recommendations at the local, regional, and state levels to increase student access to effective physical activity and education.

These outcomes have local, regional, and/or state level policy and practice relevance. These include a state report of current physical education, physical activity policy recommendations to enhance policy and practice for physical activity in schools, the home environment, and recess practices in all elementary schools throughout the state, and enhance partnerships among schools, families, and local health departments.


Core Project - Not On Tobacco Program Dissemination in West Virginia

Principal Investigator: Geri Dino (gdino@hsc.wvu.edu)
Start Date: October 2009
End Date: September 2014
Funding Source: USDHHS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In West Virginia, almost 28% of teenagers aged 14–18 years old smoke, but the Not-On-Tobacco (N-O-T) smoking cessation program has helped more than 1,000 teenagers in the state quit smoking. In West Virginia, 750 people have been trained as N-O-T facilitators. Many of the facilitators report that N-O-T training is helpful and that the program is compatible with their schools’ policies and is highly worthwhile. But less than 5% of facilitators have implemented the program.

Researchers formed a partnership with the West Virginia state health and education departments, the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free West Virginia, and the American Lung Association (ALA) to develop N-O-T and deliver it in schools. NOT training is implemented by a state-level master trainer, who teaches regional coordinators and local facilitators how to introduce and maintain the program in middle and high schools. However, less than 1% of teen smokers have enrolled in the program in the past five years. Factors that contribute to low enrollment in the N-O-T program include insufficient time and resources for facilitators and schools to implement the program, and lack of administrative support. A centralized, statewide approach to implementation will ensure consistent, high standards for facilitator recruitment, training, communication, and program management and that N-O-T will reach many more teen smokers

Researchers are testing the effectiveness of a new, nine-phase dissemination strategy to provide N-O-T programs in two administrative regions of West Virginia. Health and process outcomes for these regions will be compared with outcomes from two similar regions that maintain existing practices. Researchers are working with the ALA master trainer, regional NOT program coordinators, and an external evaluator to establish supporting infrastructures and appropriate staffing levels to ensure access to all teen smokers who want to enroll. This team is providing a revised NOT training to both new and currently certified N-O-T facilitators. The training focuses on promoting N-O-T to teens and negotiating with school administrators to get consistent support for N-O-T activities.

The dissemination strategy aims to have facilitators implement at least one program after 3 months and 2 or more by 6 months. Regional coordinators check in with local facilitators at these milestones to monitor recruitment of teen smokers and provide mentoring. Researchers will use surveys, interviews, and observation of coordinators and facilitators to gather data on the progress of the dissemination strategy. Program reach will be measured by the number of sites offering N-O-T and the number of teenagers completing N-O-T. If this new dissemination strategy proves to be feasible and effective, it may inform the dissemination of other health behavior interventions.


SIP 13 - Rural Healthy Aging Network

Principle Investigator: Geri Dino (gdino@hsc.wvu.edu)
Principle Investigator of the Subcontract: R. Turner Goins (Turner.Goins@oregonstate.edu)
Start Date: October 2009
End Date: September 2014
Funding Source: CDC, National Council on Aging

The Rural Healthy Aging Network is part of the Healthy Aging Research Network - a collaboration of 9 Prevention Research Centers, the Health Care and Aging Studies Branch of the CDC, and national affiliates, under the direction of the Coordinating Center, the University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center. HAN was created to help develop partnerships and define a research agenda that promotes healthy aging at individual, organizational, environmental, and policy levels. Participating Centers bring their expertise in aging research to work together and in collaboration with their communities and other partners. These linkages create opportunities to develop and implement health promotion interventions for older adults at the individual, organizational, environmental, and policy levels. Dr. Turner Goins leads the WVPRC efforts as a Participating Center of the HAN through a subcontract with her current institution - Western Carolina University. Network colleagues work together over the five year grant period (2009-2014) in efforts to achieve an equitable distribution of optimal physical, mental, and social functioning among all older adults. This is accomplished through the individual adoption of health promoting behavioral skills; social, community, and environmental benefits; translation and uptake of optimal health promotion policies, and systems integration.


Evaluation Services Unit: Evaluation for the Division of Tobacco Prevention

Principle Investigator: Valerie Frey-McClung (vfreymcclung@hsc.wvu.edu)

Initial Year of Funding: July 2000
Consecutive Funding Through: June 2014
Funding Source: WV Bureau for Public Health

The primary focus of the EOCU is to provide evaluation strategies for all WV Bureau for Public Health-funded tobacco prevention and reduction projects and to offer evaluation-related technical assistance to applicants and grantees. The EOCU provides evaluation monitoring for state and community-based projects. A key mission of the EOCU is to help grantees’ projects succeed and to document the value of tobacco prevention efforts. The EOCU has provided the following services: Developed, in conjunction with WV-DTP, the Request for Grantee Applications (RGA) documents for State Tobacco Prevention and Reduction Projects; developed and delivered Grant Training Workshops in conjunction with WV-DTP; developed tools to facilitate and standardize the grant proposal review process; reviewed and scored each tobacco prevention and reduction proposal submitted to WVBPH in response to the RGA; provided WV-DTP grant recipients with evaluation monitoring forms to complete at the end of their projects’ funding cycle; provided evaluation feedback and consultation to WV-DTP; provided feedback on data collection instruments to grantees; offered evaluation oversight for all WV-DTP funded projects; and provided on-going technical assistance to the WV-DTP and its subcontractors.