The Division of Public Health Sciences makes it a priority to share its disease prevention and health communication research findings with the public. This dedication to community engagement has resulted in several platforms to keep people and communities in the St. Louis region and beyond aware of ways they can stay healthy and prevent disease.

Building Capacity for Chronic Kidney Disease Research in Guatemala

Faculty involved: Joaquin Barnoya

In this study, Dr. Barnoya and colleagues hope to identify potential causes of chronic kidney disease in specific ethnic populations and geographical locations. Outcomes will help physicians understand ethnic disparities for chronic kidney disease patients, and improving prevention and screening interventions.

CER of Encounter Decision Aids for Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Faculty involved: Mary Politi

As a co-investigator on the PCORI grant and PI of the subaward from Dartmouth College, Dr. Politi aims to support women of low socioeconomic status through early-stage breast cancer treatment decisions by providing patients with point-of-care decision aids.

Communicating Multiple Disease Risks

Faculty involved: Erika Waters

This study, Communicating Multiple Disease Risks: A Translation of Risk Prediction Science, translates epidemiological data about five major health consequences of insufficient physical activity into a visual display that conveys individualized risk estimates in a way that is understandable and meaningful to diverse lay audiences and motivates physical activity behavior.

Community Engagement in Research

Faculty involved: Mary Politi, Bettina Drake, Esther Lu, Aimee James, Jean Hunleth, Erika Waters, Vetta Sanders Thompson, Graham Colditz

This line of research strives to engage all members of the community throughout the research process to help navigate the healthcare process.

Community Outreach: Mobile Mammography Van

Faculty involved: Bettina Drake, Graham Colditz, Su-Hsin Chang

This project worked towards increasing and providing effective mammography screening for women in the St. Louis area.

Dietary Habits in Rural Guatemala Adolescent Women

Faculty involved: Joaquin Barnoya, Yikyung Park

This project addresses poor dietary and physical activity habits in rural Guatemalan adolescent women.

Disparities in Adherence to Adjuvant Therapy for DCIS and Outcomes

Faculty involved: Ying Liu

Ying Liu, MD, PhD, assistant professor of surgery, has received a three-year, research scholar grant from the American Cancer Society to study disparities associated wtih ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).

Health Literacy in the Context of Kidney Cancer & Smoking

Faculty involved: Erin Linnenbringer

This pilot project examined health literacy in the context of kidney cancer and smoking among rural populations in southern and central Illinois.

Improving Rural Colon Cancer Screening

Faculty involved: Aimee James, Esther Lu, Graham Colditz, Jean Hunleth

This project will address colorectal cancer mortality rates in rural Southern Illinois by  improving the screening process and follow-up for patients who have a positive fecal blood test (FOBT, FIT).

Informing Kidney Patients of Treatment Options

Faculty involved: Mary Politi

This project will develop tailored, patient-centered education materials to facilitate treatment decisions in patients with Hepatitis C infection and chronic kidney disease.

Mixed Methods Analysis of Interdistrict School Transfer Program

Faculty involved: Erin Linnenbringer

This one-year pilot study explores potential health impacts – both positive and negative – among children currently participating in the St. Louis’ Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation school transfer program.

Optimizing Decision-Making about Breast Reconstruction after Mastectomy

Faculty involved: Mary Politi

This project will develop a preference-sensitive decision support tool for patients considering breast reconstruction after mastectomy. The tool will provide patient education, elicit patients’ preferences, and include personalized risk prediction to aid in the decision making process.

Patient Research Advisory Board

Faculty involved: Vetta Thompson Sanders

The St. Louis Patient Research Advisory Board was founded by and consists of CRFT program alumni who have completed a 15-week training program on research methods and are certified to conduct research with human subjects by the Human Research Protections Office at the Washington University School of Medicine. The PRAB is designed to help investigators with community-engaged or community-based research proposals/projects by having community members review proposals and give feedback.

Prevention of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (PLUS) Research Network

Faculty involved: Aimee James, Siobhan Sutcliffe

The PLUS Research Network is a multi-site network designed to develop the evidence base for future clinical trials to prevent the development and progression of lower urinary tract symptoms in women and girls. Current projects include a qualitative focus group study, the development of new instruments to measure bladder health, systematic reviews of the literature, and analyses of existing study data to better understand bladder health and factors that contribute to the development and progression of lower urinary tract symptoms.

Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities (PECaD)

Faculty involved: Graham Colditz, Aimee James, Bettina Drake, Vetta Sanders Thompson, Kia Davis

The mission of Siteman Cancer Center’s Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities (PECaD) is to create a national model for eliminating local and regional disparities in cancer education, prevention and treatment. Through a community advisory committee and community partnerships, PECaD works with community representatives to find solutions that reduce disparities.

Prostate Cancer Biorepository Network

Faculty involved: Bettina Drake

The Prostate Cancer Biorepository Network (PCBN) is a Department of Defense (DOD)/ Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) bioresource that provides tissue and other biospecimens to all prostate cancer investigators.

Prostate Cancer Prospective Cohort

Faculty involved: Bettina Drake, Graham Colditz

The long-term goal of this collaboration between Dr. Drake and The St. Louis Mens Group Against Cancer is to be able to identify patients with increased risk for dying of prostate cancer while they are still treatable.

Supporting Cancer Patients Health Insurance Decisions

Faculty involved: Mary Politi, Aimee James, Esther Lu, Jean Hunleth

The goal of this grant from the American Cancer Society is to help cancer patients and survivors choose health insurance plans that best meet their health and financial needs. An existing decision support tool will be tailored based on patient interview data, and the modified tool will be evaluated with a 3-arm randomized trial.

Supporting Decisions About Cancer Clinical Trials in Rural Cancer Centers

Faculty involved: Mary Politi

This project will bring evidence-based decision tools to rural communities and attempt to support rural cancer patients’ participation in clinical trials.

The New Face of Homelessness: A CRFT Project

Faculty involved: Vetta Sanders Thompson

Alumni of the first Community Research Fellows Training (CRFT) program created this project, which focused on identifying the health needs and concerns of homeless women ages 45-64 living in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

Understanding & Addressing Cost Related Nonadherence to Medication

Faculty involved: Aimee James

Nonadherence can have significant negative health effects for the individual and contribute to increases in hospitalization, healthcare costs, and mortality. Adherence is a complex issue, but cost and affordability of medication is a common and critical barrier.The short-term objective is to identify how patients and healthcare providers approach affordability and adherence and use those data to refine and pilot test an intervention promoting patient-provider discussion about cost, affordability, and adherence. The long- term objective is to deliver interventions to reduce cost-related nonadherence.

Unemployment and Mental Health Literacy: A CRFT Project

Faculty involved: Vetta Sanders Thompson

This CRFT Alumni project, Unemployment and Mental Health Literacy among African American Mothers in St. Louis County, examined levels of stress experienced by unemployed African American mothers and whether educational materials about the effects of stress related to unemployment improved their recognition of stress, stress management and knowledge of when to seek services.