Posts (115)

Fri, Oct 5 3:53pm · CTSA Program Researchers Partner with Barbershops to Cut High Blood Pressure

When is a haircut more than a haircut? When it’s also the first step to cutting high blood pressure.

Black men are more likely to die from complications of high blood pressure than any other group in the U.S. To tackle this disparity, researchers from the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), are pairing pharmacists with barbershops to offer high blood pressure care for customers. The results from a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (link is external) show this approach can dramatically lower blood pressure.

“If we could expand and maintain this kind of blood pressure reduction for years, it would prevent an enormous number of strokes and heart attacks,” said Ronald Victor, M.D., a cardiologist and the director of the Hypertension Center in the Smidt Heart Institute. Victor led the six-month study with other investigators at UCLA’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), an NCATS Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program hub.

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Fri, Sep 28 11:42am · Soccer Field Wars: Latino Neighbors Win a Fight to Play

Omar Gonzalez and many of his neighbors love playing nightly pick-up soccer games on the fields at Harriet Tubman Elementary School in the Columbia Heights neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

Gonzalez never expected to get kicked off the field.

But that’s what happened one night when a local sports league, which had mostly white players in uniforms, showed a permit they had paid to use the fields. They asked the neighbors to stop their game and leave.

Gonzalez and his neighbors were confused. No one had ever used a permit to play there on weeknights.

So they started a battle to allow open and fair usage of the fields.

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Fri, Sep 28 11:26am · School Gardens in the United States: Current Barriers to Integration and Sustainability

Objectives. To elucidate details about the barriers (time, funding, staffing, and space) to integrating and sustaining school gardens.

Methods. A total of 99 school gardeners from 15 states participated in an online survey in June 2017. The 29-item survey contained qualitative and quantitative items that we analyzed using descriptive statistics and inductive content analysis.

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Fri, Sep 14 2:21pm · Podcast New Episode Learning about #pharmacogenomics

Ep. 62 Learning About #Pharmacogenomics #PGx

Fri, Sep 14 1:54pm · Engaging Small Residential Construction Contractors in Community-Based Participatory Research to Promote Safety.

Construction is a large employment sector with a high prevalence of small businesses. Despite the high injury rates reported for employees of small construction firms, these firms are under-represented in occupational safety research studies. Such studies are needed to understand barriers experienced by these firms and to examine ways to overcome them. However, challenges accessing and recruiting this hard-to-reach population are frequently reported. Traditional approaches of recruiting through unions or workers’ compensation insurers may not be appropriate or effective for small construction businesses. Previous studies have demonstrated the value of academic collaborations with community-based organizations for recruiting participants from hard-to-reach populations for research studies. In accordance with the principles of Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR), we formed a recruitment team comprised of staff from a local union, a community organization, and a community outreach team to recruit small construction contractors in Lawrence, MA. Media marketing strategies, participation in community events, exploring neighborhoods in search of ongoing residential projects, and partnership with vocational training institutions and building trade associations were some of the strategies implemented during this project. We recruited 118 contractors, supervisors, and foremen from more than 50 construction firms across the Greater Lawrence area to participate in an intervention project to reduce falls and silica exposure. The CBPR approach facilitated the development and implementation of recruitment strategies that resulted in the participation of a significant number of hard-to-reach small construction contractors.


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Fri, Jul 27 3:07pm · Prevalence and correlates of local health department activities to address mental health in the United States


Mental health has been recognized as a public health priority for nearly a century. Little is known, however, about what local health departments (LHDs) do to address the mental health needs of the populations they serve. Using data from the 2013 National Profile of Local Health Departments – a nationally representative survey of LHDs in the United States (N = 505) – we characterized LHDs’ engagement in eight mental health activities, factors associated with engagement, and estimated the proportion of the U.S. population residing in jurisdictions where these activities were performed.

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Fri, Jul 20 2:54pm · Changes in blood pressure among users of lay health worker or volunteer operated community-based blood pressure programs over time: a systematic review protocol

The objective of this review is to identify studies reporting on lay health worker– or volunteer-led community-based programs for blood pressure screening and cardiovascular awareness in order to determine if these programs contribute to changes in blood pressure among participants over time.

The specific question for this review is: What are the changes in blood pressure among adult users of community-based blood pressure screening and awareness programs operated by lay health workers or volunteers as measured by the differences in systolic and diastolic blood pressure between the user’s first visit to the program and their last visit to the program?

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