CDC Distributes $19.5 Million to Prevention Research Centers in the United States

First Posted: Jun 02, 2014 07:15 PM EDT

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded 26 academic institutions with funds to conduct public health prevention research and studies last Thursday. The award is part of a five-year funding period.

The prevention research will focus on chronic illnesses such as heart disease, obesity, and cancer. These Prevention Research Centers (PRCs) specialize in translating prevention research results to the public and help drive sustainable community changes through public policy in order to promote public health.

Each of these centers is responsible for conducting one core project that reflects the center's chief research focus with a community. Many centers work on special interest projects (SIPs), which are funded by the CDC and other federal agencies after a competitive peer-review process. SIPs are funded for at least a year, and many are multi-year studies that receive millions of dollars.

"Preventing chronic disease is critical to improving our nation's well-being and avoiding excessive health care costs," said Wayne Giles, M.D., M.S., director of CDC's Division of Population Health, in this news release. "Our investment in the prevention research centers moves us closer to ensuring all Americans share the richness of good health."

PRCs across the United States, according to the CDC, have reached over 31 million people in 103 communities. There are a myriad of projects that each PRC conducts in hopes of providing health strategies to prevent, diagnose, and monitor health conditions in a given community. The CDC provides a complete database listing of current projects that the PRCs are conducting.

The funding likely comes after various public health concerns, including the unprecedented rise in obesity worldwide, the increasing rates of cancer and heart disease, antimicrobial resistance, premature deaths as a result of air pollution, and other issues (MERS outbreak in Saudi Arabia and Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa).

Whatever the reason, the $19.5 million is a good investment to enable these research centers to do what they do best and hopefully promote and ensure public health in the United States.

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