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Current Projects

Current Projects Include:

CPHPR has implemented, analyzed and written YRBS reports for many school districts. The YRBS survey records the frequency and prevalence of alcohol, tobacco and other drug usage activities, exercise and dietary behaviors, violence-related activities, sexual behaviors, and a variety of other health and safety related activities among middle and high school students. YRBS survey services are available throughout Virginia.

The Center is partnering with the Baptist General Convention and Virginia Cooperative Extension to deliver the Healthy Children Healthy Families curriculum throughout the state. The long-term goals of the project are to: 1) prevent and reduce childhood obesity through improved parenting practices and home environment related to obesity; 2) expand Extension capacity for community-engaged research and collaborative programming with faith-based organizations; 3) enhance Extension strategies for recruiting and training community volunteers to extend Extension reach; and 4) train future health professionals to provide culturally appropriate collaborative community-based health programs. Please visit the Empowering Healthy Families website to learn more about the project.

The "PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience" Model (PROSPER) will be implemented in four Virginia communities by Virginia Cooperative Extension agents, with the goal of helping prevent opioid misuse. The center is serving as external evaluator on this project. It is anticipated that the CYFAR outcome that school aged youth will demonstrate knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behavior necessary for fulfilling contributing lives will be met. 

Center faculty are serving as external evaluator for this project funded by Piedmont Community Services, which is focused on reducing initiation of tobacco use in the Black community in Martinsville, VA.

The Center is collaborating with Cooperative Extension, Virginia State University and the Crater Health District to empower people to lead healthy lifestyles and reduce obesity in Petersburg, Virginia with  the Petersburg Healthy Options Partnerships (PHOP). Please visit the PHOP website to learn more about this project.

This project builds upon previous opioid abuse prevention projects to expand training and technical assistance on opioid prevention through implementation of evidenced-based curricula targeting 6th grade students and their families and 7th grade students in middle schools to nine rural Virginia counties. The project is funded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

This project builds upon previous opioid abuse prevention projects to implement evidenced-based curricula targeting 6th grade students and their families and 7th grade students in middle schools rural Virginia counties. We have added a Mental Health First Aid training component for adult community partners. The Center will serve as external evaluator on this project. The project is funded by USDA/NIFA.

This is a five year grant to support a research partnership between the University of Virginia, Inova Health Systems, Carilion, and Virginia Tech. Dr. Kathy Hosig, Center Director, is serving as the lead for the community and collaboration core. This project is funded by the NIH.

The Center is serving as external evaluator for this project focusing on reducing substance use and increasing resiliency among youth in Franklin County, VA.

The Center is serving as an external evaluation for this expansion of Piedmont Community Services' Community Recovery Program in Henry County, Patrick County and the City of Martinsville.

Through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Center is collaborating with Subject Matter Experts at Virginia Tech and Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension agents to increase trust in vaccines in rural areas of the state.

In close collaboration with Cooperative Extension agents around the state, the Center is working to promote uptake of all adult vaccinations, including COVID-19 by increasing trust in the vaccines and decrease vaccine hesitancy.

As part of this project, Associate Director Sophie Wenzel and Graduate Assistant Natalie Martin worked with Craig County residents to create a story tree to celebrate community resilience. They also organized a photovoice project with Craig County youth.

The Center continues to work closely with Piedmont Community Services Board on several projects:

  • Evaluation of a tobacco prevention project in Martinsville, VA
  • Evaluation of the Drug Free Partnership grant in Franklin County, VA
  • Evaluation of the Partnership for Success grant in Martinsville and Henry County, VA
  • Evaluation of the Community Recovery Program

Applying the SEED method to the opioid epidemic (funded by USDA/RHSE and Americorps).

In partnership with colleagues in Cooperative Extension and at Virginia Commonwealth University, the Center will evaluate the implementation of the SEED community engagement method in three rural Virginia communities.

The Center is working with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) and the Virginia Tech office of Sustainable Transportation on a project to promote safe alternative transportation use among university students, staff and faculty. The project is funded by the national SAFE-D (Safety through Disruption) program. Focus group discussions with Virginia Tech students, faculty and staff informed development of an online education program guided by the Transtheoretical Model of behavior change and the Health Belief Model. The educational program is currently being evaluated with students in a Spring 2023 MPH course (PHS 5034: Health Education and Health Behavior).

Dr. Rose Wesche, Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Science at Virginia Tech, is principal investigator for a project funded by the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth to explore how social media messages related to electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are associated with adolescents’ ENDS-related attitudes and behaviors. Kathy Hosig is a co-investigator on the project and is building on CPHPR’s connections with schools and communities to help recruit adolescents to participate in the study. If you know a young person aged 13 to 17 who may be interested in talking with our team about what they see on social media about ENDS, please give them this website or have them text (540) 744-2609.

Virginia Tech is one of 25 sites in a consortium of universities that will recruit 300 pregnant women at each site and follow their babies for 10 years to better understand brain development, beginning in the perinatal period, and extending through early childhood, including variability in development and how it contributes to cognitive, behavioral, social, and emotional function. CPHPR’s connections in southwest Virginia are crucial to recruitment and retention of participants. Kathy Hosig is one of three multiple principal investigators for the study. The other two principal investigators are Dr. Brittany Howell, Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Science and Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, and Dr. Martha Ann Bell, University Distinguished Professor of Psychology.

CPHPR is providing expertise in community engagement for a project funded by the Predictive Intelligence for Pandeim Prevention (PIPP) program of the National Science Foundation. T. Murali, Professor of Computer Science, leads a multidisciplinary team of faculty from across Virginia Tech to develop innovative, transdisciplinary strategies to predict and prevent future pandemics. Kathy Hosig and Kristina Jiles will train team members on community-engaged research and conduct community-engaged studios to facilitate conversations between researchers and members of communities that are likely to be affected by the research. For more information, please click this link to see the story in the VT News.

Four MPH students are conducting surveys in Franklin County, Henry/Martinsville and Patrick County for the Community Health Assessment/ Community Health Improvement process this Spring.