About the Prevention Research Center

Vision

Communities that Support Physical Activity and Healthy Eating for All People

Mission

The USC PRC is committed to conducting research that benefits the public's health and to translating research into practice. We promote physical activity and healthy eating through community-engaged intervention, training, dissemination, and applied prevention research.

Current Cycle

In the current cycle (2019-2024) the PRC received funding to support its applied public health prevention research project, as well as activities to support collaboration and partnerships, communication and dissemination, training and education, evaluation, translation, and infrastructure.

The USC PRC has established a research agenda to achieve its vision of Communities that Support Physical Activity and Healthy Eating for All People. Center activities are guided by the following aims:

  1. Strengthen the infrastructure of the Center (including the Community Advisory Board) and the capacity of staff and investigators to carry out the Center’s vision and expand its research portfolio
  2. Engage translation partners and conduct activities to support the translation of research findings into public health practice
  3. Use innovative communication channels to disseminate knowledge and products and to promote the Center and its activities 
  4. Provide prevention research training to students, partners, and community members
  5. Contribute to the PRC Network and collaborate with partners to increase the network’s collective impact
  6. Conduct an applied public health research project, using a community-engaged approach, focused on the national implementation of an evidence-based program for churches

Core Research

FAN logo

The USC PRC's applied public health prevention research project is titled "National Implementation Study of the Faith, Activity, and Nutrition (FAN) Program."

Faith, Activity, and Nutrition (FAN), was developed and tested in partnership with the 7th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, using a community-based participatory approach. This faith-based program targets organizational change within the church to be more supportive of physical activity and healthy eating. In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (2006-2013), University staff delivered in-person training to church committees. This effectiveness trial demonstrated significant improvements in leisure-time physical activity and fruit and vegetable intake. As a result, FAN was indexed in the National Cancer Institute’s Evidence-Based Cancer Control Program, where it received a high rating for “dissemination capability.”

From 2014-2019, the FAN Dissemination and Implementation (FAN D&I) study was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To disseminate the FAN more broadly, Community Health Advisors were recruited from local churches and trained to deliver FAN training to churches. In the first phase, FAN was disseminated throughout a county in South Carolina. Results from the earlier study were replicated, with intervention church members reporting greater church-level physical activity opportunities, greater physical activity and healthy eating messages, and more pastor support for physical activity and healthy eating than did members from control churches. The proportion of physically inactive members was also lower in members of intervention versus control churches. Based on significant organizational- and individual-level changes, FAN was added to the Rural Health Information Hub’s Models and Innovations in 2018. In the second phase of this study, FAN was disseminated statewide through the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. Increases in opportunities, messages, pastor support, and policies for physical activity and healthy eating were seen.

For the 2019-2024 funding cycle, with guidance from Community Advisory Board members and translation partners, the USC PRC is conducting a national implementation study to deliver FAN using a web-based approach. Church committees will complete FAN online training and receive a year of implementation support. For a full description of the project, visit the FAN Project page.

Other projects and activities

In addition to core funding, the USC PRC also seeks funding for projects related to our mission. Descriptions of our projects can be found on the Research page, here.

CDC Support

Supported by CDC Cooperative Agreement U48DP006401, the USC PRC is one of 25 university-based centers conducting applied research and practice in chronic disease prevention and control as part of the Prevention Research Centers Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The USC Prevention Research Center (PRC) has been funded since1993 as part of the Prevention Research Centers Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).