Prevention Research Center

Email: 
boekeloo@umd.edu

Mission

To eliminate health disparities in Maryland along the national capital border. The national capital border area in Prince George's County, Maryland between the "National Capital Beltway", the District of Columbia, and Montgomery County, Maryland is specifically targeted for community health improvement.

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The University of Maryland Prevention Research Center (UMD-PRC) is located in the University of Maryland School of Public Health in College Park, MD and was first funded in 2010 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Prevention Research Center Program. Prevention Research Centers, designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are “committed to conducting prevention research and are leaders in translating research results into policy and public health practice. These centers have rich capacity for the community-based, participatory prevention research needed to drive the major community changes that can prevent and control chronic diseases”.

Goals

  • Advance community based participatory research 
  • Address community needs through research partnerships
  • Address health disparities

Research Approach to the Mission

The UMD-PRC facilitates research to develop models of disease prevention and health promotion through community-based research.  Faculty partner with community stakeholders during all phases of the research from research conception to findings dissemination.

Rationale for the Mission

Much of the Prince George's County national capital border area is medically underserved. The Prince George's County national capital border area suffers from remarkably high rates of primary  Syphilis, HIV, stroke, diabetes, low birth weight, and other health problems relative to neighboring jurisdictions. Contrasts between this area and surrounding areas are pronounced in regard to  demographics, health services, and health status.

The UMD School of Public Health (SPH) happens to be located in Prince George's County at the nexus of the contrasting jurisdictions. The UMD-PRC infrastructure will build on the community-campus partnerships in Prince George's County engaging with organizations within and across the many area borders. It will use community-based research to link needs with resources and address issues that exacerbate health disparities.

Health Behavior Risks of Electronic Communication  (P.I. Bradley Boekeloo)

To conduct qualitative and quantitative study of undergraduate college students about the role or electronic communications in sexual and substance use risk. 

UMES Prevention Works (UMD P.I. Bradley Boekeloo)

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) is a Historically Black Institution/University and an 1890 Land Grant Institution within the University of Maryland System. UMES Prevention Works Initiative addresses alcohol, substance abuse, sexually transmitted infections including HIV and Hepatitis C Virus (STI/HIV/HCV), and pregnancy sexual risk as well as overeating at UMES. This study is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to James White Ed.D. at UMES.  

Climbing Up and Reaching Back (CURB) (P.I. Bradley Boekeloo)

The program demonstrates and evaluates a 4-year metnoring program starting in the 10th grade to help more students pursue a college education in health research. The research team consists of education andresearch professionals from the Prevention Reseearch Center and the Maryland Institute for Minority Achievement and Urban Education (MIMAUE) at the University of Marlyand College Park; and the Patriots Technology Training Center(PTC) in Seat Pleasant, Maryland.

Maryland HIV Prevention Plan 2017-2021 (P.I. Bradley Boekeloo)

The Prevention Research Center provides technical and research support to the Department of Health and Mental Hygeine regarding HIV program planning.  

HIV Prevention Among African American/Black Women in a High HIV Prevalence Area (P.I. Bradley Boekeloo)

The Prevention Research Center in collaboration with Strategic Community Services, Inc. evaluates HIV and substance use prevention programs among African American/Black women aling the Prince George's County/Washington DC jurisdictional border.  

National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program (P.I. Min Qi Wang)

The major goal of this project is to identify Maryland-specific data on environmental hazards, exposures to environmental hazards, health outcomes thought to be related to environmental factors.  The tasks involve collecting data and integrating data on environmental hazards, exposure to these hazards, and human health outcomes in a Web-based system employing a customized Geographic Information Systems (GIS) interface.

A Multi-Method Multi-Design Study of Galli Galli Sim Sim (GGSS) (Co- P.I. Donna Howard)

This is a 5-year study examining the impact of Galli Galli Sim Sim (the Hindu name of the program/the Indian version of Sesame Street) on preschool children’s literacy, numeracy, socioemotional development, health, nutrition and safety.  Three different studies are being conducted to examine the impact of GGSS and inform its content.  These studies include 2 waves of qualitative data collection from parents, educators and children, a preschool-based RCT, and a 24 month longitudinal study.

The Girls Healthy Dating Relationship Study (P.I. Donna Howard)

The overall goal of this study is to better understand how conceptualizations of healthy and harmful dating relationships are informed by religious socialization and whether such socialization may be related to risk of dating violence victimization. This study makes use of the Socialization Influence Framework (SIF), which identifies multiple domains of socialization influence and socialization mechanisms that shape adolescent health-related attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.  In-depth interviews and focus groups were conducted with adolescent girls aged 15-18 who were enrolled in public, private, religious and secular high schools in greater Baltimore, Maryland. This NIH funded mixed methods study is in the data analysis/manuscript production phase. 

The Boys Healthy Dating Relationship Study (P.I. Donna Howard)

The study pilot tested the feasibility of recruiting and gathering non anonymous, sensitive information on healthy and harmful dating relationship beliefs and behaviors among underage males. The overall goal of this study is to understand adolescent minority males’ conceptualizations of healthy and harmful dating relationships and how these are informed by socialization. In-depth interviews and focus groups were conducted with adolescent males aged 13-18 who were recruited from community centers and youth-serving organizations within Prince George’s County, Maryland along the DC border within the “National Capital Beltway”. This University of Maryland Prevention Research Center/CDC funded study is in the data analysis/manuscript production phase.  

Teens, Technology and Dating Violence Study (P.I. Donna Howard)

The overall aim of this study is to explore how electronic communication technologies (e.g. social networking sites and text messaging), are used in adolescent dating relationships, including: a) motivations for use; b) context of use, e.g. relationship formation, maintenance, conflict resolution, and, break-ups; c) perceptions of healthy and unhealthy dating communications that occur electronically. In-depth interviews and focus groups were conducted with adolescent males and females aged 15-18 recruited from community centers and youth-serving organizations within Prince George’s County and the greater Baltimore, Maryland area. This University of Maryland Population Research Center funded study is in the data analysis/manuscript production phase.  

Maternal Intimate Partner Violence Victimization and Immune activation in Women and Children in Tanzania (P.I. Mona Mittal)

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a critical public health issue that impacts families worldwide.  Research has linked IPV with multiple diseases and with a variety of adverse psychological and physical health consequences in children. Although there is a substantial body of literature on the economic and health impacts of IPV, the physiological pathways underlying the association between IPV and elevated chronic disease risk among women and children are still unclear. IPV has been associated with elevated inflammation in women and children, and inflammation is an established risk marker for a number of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes, and depression. It is plausible that immune markers might serve as a shared mechanism between IPV and poor health outcomes among abused women and their children. This study examines the relationship between IPV and exposure to inter-parental violence and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, a marker of systemic inflammation, for women and children respectively. 

HIV Risk Reduction for Women Reporting Intimate Partner Violence (P.I. Mona Mittal)

The two foremost health problems impacting young adult women are HIV infection and intimate partner violence (IPV). Currently, there are very few empirically tested interventions that simultaneously address women’s risk for HIV and their experiences of IPV. The purpose of this research is to develop and test the feasibility and efficacy of an integrated HIV-IPV prevention intervention for community-based abused women. A randomized clinical trial comparing 30 participants receiving the IMB-TGP intervention to 30 participants receiving group counseling at a domestic violence agency will be conducted. This research could have a significant public health impact by improving health outcomes for women who experience IPV.

Comorbid Patterns with Alcohol Use Disorders  (P.I. Kerry Green)

This study funded by NIAAA aims to assess patterns of alcohol involvement with comorbid non-alcohol substance use symptoms and disorders, specifically assessing transition patterns for these comorbid conditions, and for subgroups of the population.  Analyses assess secular trends in alcohol comorbidity over the past 20 year period using data from the National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey (NLAES) (1991-2), the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) wave 1 (2001-2), and the NESARC III (2012-3).

Impact of Life Events on Patterns of Drug Use in an Urban African American Cohort (P.I. Kerry Green)

This NIDA-funded study uses data from the Woodlawn Study, a longitudinal community cohort study, to examine the role of informal social control stemming from individual life events as potential turning points in substance use.  This project will extend existing research by considering a wide array of life events and drawing on the stress literature, in particular, to examine the possible variability in the impact of life events on desistance and persistence, such as the quantity, combinations, timing and ordering of life events, as well as individual characteristics and personal circumstances that may interact with life events to alter substance use trajectories.

Multilevel Moderators of Drugs, Violence, Poverty and HIV Among Black Youth and Young Adults Living in Baltimore (P.I. Kerry Green)

This NIDA-funded study examines the influence of neighborhood and protective factors on trajectories of drugs, violence, and sexual risk behaviors across adolescence and young adulthood in a cohort of black youth followed from age 6 to 25. It focuses on factors that moderate risky behaviors and risky environments, as well as long-term outcomes.

Syndemics, STI and HIV Among Black Men Who Have Sex with Men and Women (MSMW) (P.I. Typhanye Dyer)

This NIDA-funded study explores syndemics and HIV incidence and prevalence among Black gay and bisexual men in the HIV Prevention Trials Network Brothers Study. Preliminary findings suggest a high burden of psychosocial vulnerability among Black gay and bisexual men, including experience with racism and incarceration.

Intersectional Stigma, Engagement in Car and Antiretroviral Medication Adherence (P.I. Typhanye Dyer)

This Advance Seed grant study explores compound stigma, engagement in care and antiretroviral adherence among older Black women living with HIV in PG County, MD. These women reported VERY high levels of stigma, reporting other age-related co-morbid chronic illness, which piqued or interest in re-submitting the R21 focusing on those outcomes, as well.

Social Network and Sexual Risk for HIV/STI's Among Older Female Sex Worker's (P.I. Hongjie Liu)

The objective of this study is to quantify the collective roles of social network components (relations, structure, and functions) and environmental factors (physical, social, and political factors) on HIV/STI risk behavior in older female workers.  The central hypothesis is that network-based interpersonal factors mediate the effects of environmental factors on HIV/STI risk behavior in female sex workers aged 35 years or older.  This research project targets an important and under-investigated area of social epidemiology that has potential applicability to understanding the collective roles of social network components and environmental factors on HIV/STI risk behavior among older female sex workers.  FIndings will provide much needed empirical data and theoretical guidance for the development of an effective intervention program to reduce sexual risk for HIV/STI's among older female sex workers.  

 

 

 

PRC Seat Pleasant Day

Sexually Transmitted Infections Community Coalition (STICC)

The Sexually Transmitted Infections Community Coalition (STICC) is partnership of over 60 public and private stakeholders in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area who have a common interest in reducing the impact of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. STICC operates to establish and maintain partnerships that leverage resources to prevent and control sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. STICC meets on the second Thursday of every month. All are welcomed.

Strategic Community Services, Inc. 

Strategic Community Services, Inc. led by Sylvia Quinton, Esq., has partenred with the UMD-PRC to evaluate substance use and HIV prevention projects among African American/Black women.  Additionally, it haspartnered to develop and evaluate substance use and HIV among Historically Black Colleges and Univerisities (HBCU) college students.

Prince George’s Health Action Coalition (PGHAC)

​Prince George's Healthcare Action Coalition (PGHAC) serves as a community health network and forum for collaboration to advance the state of health care in Prince George's County. This community-powered coalition represents over 70 community organizations, health care providers and stakeholders in community health.

The Coalition was formed in 2012 under the leadership of Prince George's County Health Department (PGCHD), with Health Officer Pamela Creekmur serving as Chairwoman, in order to move the county towards reaching its health goals as outlined in Prince George's Health Improvement Plan​.

Six Priority Areas
PGHAC consists of six work groups composed to address the six priority areas for health improvement in Prince George's County:

IMPACT DMV

The DC Department of Health with the Maryland and Virginia Departments of Health established the IMPACT DMV Coalition. The Coalition is made up of service providers, community members, private entities, and health department staff from each of the three regions to provide a holistic health and wellness system that strengthens and supports men who have sex with men and transgender persons of color in healthy decision making. The project ensures equitable access to screening, care and treatment, behavioral health, economic opportunity, peer support, and other supportive services. The Coalition has identified three initial priority program areas: Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) expansion, community health and wellness, and behavioral health. HAHSTA seeks to support implementation projects. Such projects are more fully conceived or have already started. They are appropriate for organizations (or multi-sectorial collaborations of several organizations) that are ready to implement a defined plan of action, with goals and outcomes

Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygeine (MDHMH)

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygeine (MDHMH) Infectious Disease Prevention and Health Services Bureau has parterned with the UMD-PRC on several projects including an assessment of the HIV services infrastructure in Prince George's County, the Maryland HIV Plan 2012-2016 and 2017-2021, and other HIV-related projects.  

Community Partners

Independent study opportunities are available for students. Students may be asked to complete a variety of tasks related to the mission of the PRC.

 

If interested, please contact:

Bradley Boekeloo

boekeloo@umd.edu

 

 

 

​Faculty/Staff

Bradley Boekeloo
Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
Prevention Research Center Director
Ph:  301-405-8546, Email:  boekeloo@umd.edu

 

 

Evelyn King Marhsall
Research Assistant Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
Prevention Research Center Deputy Director
Ph:  301-405-2789, Email:  eckm@umd.edu

 

 


Jeannine Bulbulia

Faculty Research Assistant, Prevention Research Center
Ph:  301-405-3259, Email:  bulbulia@umd.edu

 

 

 

Investigators

Typhanye V. Dyer
Assistant Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Ph:  301-405-8547, Email:  typhanye@umd.edu 

 

 

Mona Mittal
Assistant Professor, Family Science
Ph:  301-405-7937, Email:  mmittal@umd.edu

 

Hongjie Liu
Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Ph:  301-405-3102, Email:  hliu1210@umd.edu

 

 

 

Donna Howard
Assistant Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
Ph:  301-405-2520, Email:  dhoward1@umd.edu

 

 

 

Kerry Green
Associate Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
Ph:  301-405-2524, Email:  greenkm@umd.edu

 

 

 

Min Qi Wang
Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
Ph: 301-405-6652, mqw@umd.edu 

Main Office

University of Maryland Prevention Research Center
School of Public Health
Department of Behavioral and Community Health
4200 Valley Drive
College Park, MD 20742

Email:boekeloo@umd.edu