The HPRC employs community based participatory research methods in all phases of our work to enhance the relevance to population health and the likelihood of implementation, effectiveness, reach, sustainability, and dissemination.
Our center-level Community Committee (CC) oversees and guides core projects. The CC provides important links to the broader Boston community, other states, and the National Community Committee of the Prevention Research Centers program. Members provide general guidance, particularly with respect to issues of communication and dissemination.
We have also organized community committees focused on specific projects or activities, including the Maine-HPRC Steering Committee, the Maine Youth Overweight Collaborative (MYOC) Steering Committee, the Out of School Nutrition and Physical Activity (OSNAP) Research Committee, the Physical Activity Policy Group, and the Scientific Advisory Board.
Past Community Engagement Initiatives
Leaders in Health Community Training Program
The goal of the Leaders in Health Community Training Program was to build the internal capacity of our community partners by providing selected staff with training in community based participatory research methods and nutrition, physical activity, and obesity prevention among children and youth.
Youth Task Force
Our Youth Task Force (YTF) project was comprised of a diverse group of youth in grades 10-12 from schools across Boston. Each year the YTF members conducted a research project that built their own research and leadership skills while informing the work of the HPRC and its community partners.
Active School Day Evaluation
This project evaluated the impact of the Boston Public Schools’ Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW)-funded initiatives to increase and improve physical education and physical activity in schools. We evaluated “Active School Day” policy implementation using a quasi-experimental design, conducted cost-effectiveness analysis using evaluation findings, and rapidly communicated and disseminated research findings to key stakeholders via targeted, audience-specific strategies.
Play Across Boston
Play Across Boston was undertaken by the HPRC in collaboration with Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society and a broad-based community advisory board. Play Across Boston led a comprehensive community-based assessment of physical activity programs and facilities for Boston youth. The goal of this project was to document youth sports and physical activity resources in Boston in order to understand how community resources and individual and household characteristics combine to influence levels of physical activity.