UPenn PRC Director, Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH, Discusses PRC Mission and Goals at ASPPH Annual Meeting

UPenn PRC Director, Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH, joined other PRC Directors in a session to mark the 30thAnniversary of the CDC’s Prevention Research Centers Program at the Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) Annual Meeting March 20-22, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia.

Dr. Glanz and her fellow PRC directors discussed the past accomplishments of their centers and the prevention challenges they are currently addressing. In addition to these challenges, other session topics included the Congressional and administrative history of the program, the future goals of the program, and its interaction with other federal research funders.

The Prevention Research Centers Program is a network of 26 academic research centers in 24 states. Each PRC studies how people and their communities can avoid or counter the risks for chronic illnesses. These centers are located at either a school of public health or a medical school that has a preventive medicine residency program. As a result, the centers are leaders in translating research results into policy and public health practice.


(Peggy Hannon, PhD, MPH, Health Promotion Research Center, University of Washington, Lisa Powell, PhD, Illinois Prevention Research Center, University of Illinois – Chicago, Mehran S. Massoudi, PhD, MPH (CAPT, USPHS), Director, PRC Program, CDC, Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH, University of Pennsylvania Prevention Research Center, University of Pennsylvania, Carolyn Johnson, PhD, MS,Tulane Prevention Research Center, Tulane University)



Winner of 2106 PIUR-CPHI Public Health & the Urban Environment Photo Contest

The Penn Institute for Urban Research, in collaboration with the Center for Public Health Initiatives, announced the winner of its 2016 photo contest. The theme of the contest was “public health and the urban environmental landscape.” The announcement was made at the “Shaping the Urban Health and Environmental Landscape” symposium, held on February 25th in the Fisher Fine Arts Library at the University of Pennsylvania. The entries were judged by the symposium’s panel of experts, who looked for compelling images that emphasize ways that urban design has succeeded or failed to promote public health and well-being.  The winning photograph,  “Summer’s Day at John Kelly Pool, Fairmount Park, Pa.,” was taken by Ben Chrisinger.


“Schuylkill River Trail” by Rob Lybeck














Teng Teng’s “Spruce Street Harbor Park, Philadelphia.”











PRC Seminar: The Science of Simple, Low-Cost Health and Safety Interventions w/ Charles Branas, PhD

The Center for Public Health Initiatives


The Penn Institute for Urban Research


The Science of Simple, Low-Cost Health and Safety


Co-Sponsored by the UPenn PRC

Thursday, February 25, 2016 from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm


As part of the 2015-2016 CPHI Seminar Series  From Innovation to Dissemination, Charles Branas, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania, and Sara Heller, Assistant Professor of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania discussed effective, low-cost ways to keep communities healthy and safe.


Dr. Branas, PhD, is a member of the UPenn PRC Internal Advisory Board and Professor of Epidemiology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He works to improve health and healthcare and is recognized for his efforts to reduce violence and enhance emergency care. Much of his work incorporates human geography and place-based change. His studies have taken him to cities and small towns across the US and other countries.

CHIBE – NEJM Catalyst Web Event: Behavioral Strategies for Better Health. Feb. 25, 2016

On Thursday, February 25,  NEJM Catalyst produced a live web event titled Patient Engagement: Behavioral Strategies for Better Health. Hosted by the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, the event provided expert insight and real-world examples on ways to improve the quality and value of health care through patient engagement.

The event featured eleven preeminent business and clinical experts, with in-depth knowledge of:

  • behavioral psychology
  • habit formation
  • behavioral economics
  • social marketing


Experts shared their perspectives on ways to change patients’ health behavior across a wide range of clinical contexts. In addition to scalable, actionable ideas on how to motivate patients to take an active role in optimizing their health.

“As health care leaders and clinicians see more and more how the pressures to improve patient outcomes are driving health care organizations’ interests, it’s important to think broadly about how we influence patient behavior and how that helps to keep people healthy,” said Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics; Vice Chairman for Health Policy, Medical Ethics and Health Policy; and Professor of Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health Policy and Health Management, Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, UPenn PRC Director, and Lead Advisor for NEJM Catalyst.







The Ivy League Conference on Student Mental Health – Feb. 12-14, 2016 @ Penn

Bringing together student leaders from all the Ivy League universities for three days of workshops, speakers, and discussions focused on unearthing campus perceptions of stress, the University of Pennsylvania hosted: Unmasking the Ivy League: A Conference on Mental Health in the Ivy League.

Over the three-day weekend, student leaders analyzed stressors to mental health on college campuses, identified and discussed the resources available at each university, and collaborated on possible plans of action. In preparation for the conference, each delegation created a booklet summarizing the status of mental health at their university as well as resources and current initiatives at their home institution.

The UPenn PRC is proud to have been a co-sponsor of this event.




6th Annual Community-Driven Research Day@ Penn. Wed. Feb 3, 2016

Bringing Together Community Based Organizations and Local Researchers in the Philadelphia area

2016 THEME:      “Health and Safety Across the Lifespan”

COMMUNITY-DRIVEN RESEARCH DAY encouraged collaborations between researchers and community based organizations (CBOs) and community groups with interest in the topics around health and safety across the lifespan.Through an interactive poster session, CBOs and community groups highlighted their questions to CDRD participants, who included area non-profits, community groups, public sector partners, and researchers from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, The University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Drexel University, and Jefferson University. CBOs, community groups, academic researchers, and students met and discuss potential, mutually-beneficial collaborations.

WHEN:  Wednesday, February 3, 2016 : 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
WHERE:  University of Pennsylvania, Biomedical Research Building, Auditorium & Lobby:  421 Curie Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA


UPenn PRC Community Advisory Board member Glenn Bryan made the opening remarks to the Community-Driven Research Day audience.

Mr. Bryan is also the Assistant Vice President of Community Relations at the University of Pennsylvania.







UPenn PRC Community Advisory Board member Cheryl Bettigole, MD, delivered the keynote address.

Dr. Bettigole is the Director of Get Healthy Philly, the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.







A poster session allowed community groups to share their topics and goals with academic researchers from major Philadelphia-area universities with teaching hospitals, such as Penn, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Drexel, Jefferson, and Temple.



CPHI Seminar w/ Kevin Volpp, MD: Behavioral Economics: How People Process Information and Make Decisions

Behavioral Economics: How People Process Information and Make Decisions
On Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at the Arch Auditorium of the University of Pennsylvania,
Dr. Kevin Volpp discussed innovative ways of applying insights from behavioral economics in improving patient health behavior and affecting provider performance.




Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, UPenn PRC Director, is Vice Chairman, Division of Health Policy, Department of Medical Ethics and Policy; Director, Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics; Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine; Professor of Health Care Management, Wharton School

Seminar: The Role of Data Visualization in Prevention & Population Health Research with Jason Moore, PhD, Thurs. Jan. 14, 2016

The UPenn PRC & The Institute for Biomedical Informatics presented

Data Visualization

with Jason Moore, PhD

On Thursday, January 14, 2016, Dr. Jason Moore discussed the role of biomedical informatics and data visualization in applied prevention research and population health research.  Dr. Moore also highlighted resources available through the new Institute for Biomedical Informatics and potential opportunities for collaboration. (http://upibi.org/)


Jason H. Moore, PhD, is the Director of the Institute for Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, as well as Professor of Genetics and Senior Associate Dean for Informatics.



Prostate Cancer Evidence Academy at the University of Pennsylvania , Nov 13, 2015

Under the direction of Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH, and Tim Rebbeck, PhD, the UPenn PRC, the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network, and the Penn Center for Excellence in Prostate Cancer Disparities presented the Prostate Cancer Evidence Academy at the University of Pennsylvania. Nearly 100 attendees, including researchers, policymakers, survivors, and advocates, as well as physicians and other health care providers, gathered for a comprehensive symposium on prostate cancer prevention, control, awareness, and education.

Dr. Glanz, Director of the UPenn PRC, introduced the plenary sessions and keynote.

Linda Jacobs, PhD, RN, presented at a Survivorship/Advocacy session on the Medical and Psychosocial Effects of Cancer Treatment in Survivors. Dr. Jacobs discussed the shift in prostate cancer research from cure to long-term survivorship and long-term vs. late effects of treatment. She is a Co-Investigator for UPenn PRC SIP 15-001 Self-Management Education for Childhood Cancer Survivors.

A panel discussion, “Research to Policy: Improving Prostate Cancer Outcomes,” was moderated by Neha Vapiwala, MD, University of Pennsylvania, and included Lorelei Mucci, ScD, MPH, Epidemiology, Christopher Saigal, MD, Medical Decision Making, Justin Bekelman, MD, Research and Practice, and Michael Scott, Activism and Education.

Christopher J. Logothetis, MD, The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center

“Transitioning from a Prognostic to a Predictive Classification of Prostate Cancer”

Lorelei Mucci, ScD,MPH, Harvard, T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University

“Epidemiology of Prostate Cancer Risk and Progression”

Colonel Jim Williams, MS, Pennsylvania Prostate Cancer Coalition

“Men: The Silent Majority – Prostate Cancer Advocacy”


Prostate Cancer Evidence Academy 2015

This one-day CME/CNE-certified conference presents the latest evidence, research, and model programs that are proven effective or being studied to improve prostate cancer prevention, control, treatment, and survivorship.  Therefore, the goal of the event is to engage clinicians, public health professionals, policymakers, and patients/survivors to reduce the burden of prostate cancer and bridge the gap between research and practice.


What: The Prostate Cancer Evidence Academy, a continuing education event hosted by The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania


When: Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM


Where: The Inn at Penn, 3600 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.


Registration is no longer available.

As a result, of this and other evidence academies, the team published an article in Preventive Medicine. Read the journal article here.

Behavioral Economics – Evidence for Chronic Disease Prevention

Who: Eric A. Finkelstein, PhD, MHA

When: Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015, 12 – 1 pm

Where: 251 Biomedical Research Bldg, (BRB II/III), 421 Curie Blvd, Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Finkelstein will provide an introduction and overview of the role of traditional and behavioral economics in preventing chronic disease and cover the theoretical motivation for why these strategies are likely to be effective, present results of a literature review on their effectiveness and results from his recent studies. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of how these strategies, combined with an increase in wearable technology, are likely to further promote healthy behaviors in the future.

Eric A. Finkelstein, PhD, MHA, is Executive Center Director of Lien Centre for Palliative Care and Professor of the Signature Research Program in Health Services and Systems Research at the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School and Research Professor at Duke University Global Health Institute. He received his BA in Mathematics/Economics from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in Economics and Masters in Health Administration from the University of Washington.

Over the past ten years, Professor Finkelstein has established himself as a leading international health economist doing research in the economics of health behaviors. His research focuses on economic incentives, behavioral economics, the economics of obesity, discrete choice analysis, economic evaluation, the burden of illness analysis, and cost-effectiveness analyses. He has published over 140 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters in these areas. He also has experience as a Principal or Co-Investigator on research projects funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Presented by the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the Leonard Davis Institute and the University of Pennsylvania Prevention Research Center.

Website: https://www.duke-nus.edu.sg/content/finkelstein-eric