The Clemson University Department of Public Health Sciences has become a critical resource for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as faculty members provide intellectual leadership on several CDC-funded projects.
Recently, researchers in the Department have collectively received more than $19 million in CDC funding to address public health preparedness and response and the reduction of chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes.
Current CDC projects within the Department include:
Disease Modeling and Analytics to Inform Outbreak Preparedness, Response, Intervention, Mitigation and Elimination in South Carolina (DMA-PRIME)
Led by Lior Rennert, associate professor of public health sciences and director of the Center for Public Health Modeling and Response, the five-year, $17.5 million DMA-PRIME initiative will inform and improve outbreak detection and response in South Carolina and beyond.
As part of the initiative, a team of public health researchers will utilize data-driven approaches to conduct infectious disease forecasting, design decision-support toolkits and enhance methods of communication to public health organizations and decision makers. The team will develop and implement innovative early warning systems to identify and predict the severity of disease outbreaks and allow health care providers to quickly prioritize emergency response efforts.
The project will work in close collaboration with Clemson Rural Health, Prisma Health, University of South Carolina and the Medical University of South Carolina. Additional partners include the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) and the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD).
DMA-PRIME is one of 13 initiatives at partner institutions funded by the CDC to work alongside its Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics (CFA) to establish the Outbreak Analytics and Disease Modeling Network (OADN).
High Obesity Program (HOP)
Clemson University has received $768,000 in CDC funding to implement the first year of a $3.8 million, five-year High Obesity Program in rural and underserved areas of South Carolina. This is the second, consecutive HOP grant for Department of Public Health Sciences Interim Chair Sarah Griffin who will serve as principal investigator (PI) for the project. The first award was for $5 million.
The CDC provides HOP funding to universities with cooperative extension services to address health disparities that impact nutrition, physical activity and obesity in primarily rural counties where the obesity rate is 40% or more in adults.
Researchers from the University’s College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS) and the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences (CAFLS) along with the Rural Health and Nutrition Extension team will implement the High Obesity Program through the Clemson Cooperative Extension System in communities across the state.
Health Extension for Diabetes: Program Expansion to Advance Health Equity
Through a $1 million award from the CDC and cooperative agreement initiative, the University is helping four states duplicate its successful Health Extension for Diabetes (HED) program.
HED is an education and support program designed to teach people diagnosed with diabetes to adopt healthy behaviors for long-term management of the condition, thereby improving blood glucose control and lowering the risk of diabetes-related side effects.
Developed in 2017 by the Department of Public Health Sciences, Clemson Extension and Prisma Health, the program is delivered through the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service in South Carolina.
Windsor Sherrill, professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences and Clemson University vice president for health research, will serve as Co-PI on the project.
Leslie Hossfeld, dean of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, said the Department of Public Health Sciences is deeply connected to the College’s mission to build healthy people and communities, and each partnership with the CDC allows researchers to broaden the scope of their work to reach communities nationwide.
The Department of Public Health Sciences is in the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS). Established in July 2016, CBSHS is a 21st-century, land-grant college that combines work in seven disciplines – communication; nursing; parks, recreation and tourism management; political science; psychology; public health sciences; sociology, anthropology and criminal justice – to further its mission of “building people and communities” in South Carolina and beyond.
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