The Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods (PRCHN) was formed in 2009 to address chronic health issues faced in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Greater Cleveland.
Housed in the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, the PRCHN is embarking on research that's truly in collaboration with neighborhoods impacted by poverty and chronic health conditions. This is possible in part through partnerships with: city and county health organizations, the Network of Community Advisors (NOCA), and four other schools at Case. The PRCHN will build on the successes of the Center for Health Promotion Research, a parallel organization also housed at Case.
The PRCHN is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of its Prevention Research Centers (PRC) program, which is now entering its 26th year and involves 37 centers in total. The primary aim of the PRCs is to reduce the rate of chronic disease in the most threatened populations across the U.S.
Chronic diseases (such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes) account for 70% of all deaths and are responsible for 75% of the nation's skyrocketing healthcare costs, so this program reflects a critical societal concern (CDC, 2009. OMB, 2008). Due in part to the decline of industry in recent decades, Cleveland often ranks among the poorest and most unhealthy populations in the country (American Community Survey, 2004. CDC BRFSS, 2006).
The PRCHN's initial "core" project is titled "Increasing Access to Healthy Foods in Urban Neighborhoods" and is specifically targeting the communities of East Cleveland and Central. In this and in all future projects, our investigations will be employing the methods of community-based participatory research (CBPR). This means we rely on the expertise of local leaders (both formally and informally recognized) in shaping the direction of our research, giving us the ability to really understand what's happening in these areas. Thus we can intervene with some of the needed resources to help neighborhoods help themselves become healthier and continue that trend long past our involvement.
Whether you're a community partner (or potential partner), a member of the neighborhoods in which we're participating, or an outside observer, we hope you find what you're looking for on this site. If not, please contact us about how we can help.