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The Lerner Center For Public Health Promotion

Past Projects

Examination of Alcohol Outlets as Epicenters of Neighborhood Violence

This pilot project examine alcohol outlets as epicenters of neighborhood violence. The project will analyze data related to violent activity stemming from licensed liquor establishments that are identified by the Police Department as the most violent locations in Baltimore. The outcome of the study will provide tools to increase accountability for the responsibility held by the Liquor Board and individual liquor licensees, for negative impacts on public health due to neighborhood violence. 

Simulating the Health and Economic Impact of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland’s Health Choices Program

The Girl Scouts of Central Maryland developed the Healthy Choices program to address inadequate nutrition and physical activity among elementary and middle school girls in Baltimore City Public Schools. This project will develop and test a computational simulation model to evaluate the health and economic impact of the Healthy Choices program. These findings will be instructive to the partnering organizations, as well as key stakeholders and policymakers who are interested in expanding the Healthy Choices program.

Immigrant and Refugee Youth Mental Health Needs Assessment at Baltimore City Public Schools: A Cross-sectional Observational Study with a Mixed Methods Approach

This project targets foreign-born minors who migrated to the United States and are currently enrolled in Baltimore City Schools. The purpose of the project is to conduct a comprehensive health needs assessment to evaluate mental health, exposure to violence, perceptions of safety and barriers to access services among this vulnerable population. The findings will be used to inform the Mayor’s office and school district of current needs to improve the health and wellness of Baltimore’s youth immigrant population.

Using Photovoice to Explore the Back on My Feet Community and Impacts on Mental and Physical Health and Stigma

Back on My Feet is a national nonprofit organization that combats homelessness through the power of running, community support and essential employment and housing resources. Marybeth Moran will be collaborating with Karin Tobin, PhD to implement a project that uses Photovoice to explore the context and psychosocial mechanisms (e.g., social connectedness, stress reduction) experience by Back on My Feet members to achieve improved mental and physical health, and how these improvements lead to employment and housing.

Pilot Trial to Test the Feasibility of Interventions to Improve Healthful Food Availability in Baltimore Food Pantries

The Maryland Food Bank is a nonprofit hunger-relief organization that operates three facilities with an extensive network of soup kitchens, pantries and schools, distributing food across 21 counties and Baltimore City. Tim Regan will be collaborating with Joel Gittelsohn to conduct a three-phase pilot intervention aimed at improving healthful food availability in Baltimore food pantries by: improving food pantry staff capacity; utilizing educational and environmental strategies; and implementing policy change.

DeStress Monday at School Phase II

This project will replicate the initial findings from the DeStress Monday Phase I pilot using a randomized controlled study design to explore whether teacher-reported program impacts are maintained at 3-month follow up, and to evaluate whether teacher participation positive impacts student outcomes. The DeStress Monday at School program seeks to improve teachers’ stress management and well-being through weekly mindfulness practices for self care and for use in the classroom.

Examination of Alcohol Outlets as Epicenters of Neighborhood Violence

This pilot project examine alcohol outlets as epicenters of neighborhood violence. The project will analyze data related to violent activity stemming from licensed liquor establishments that are identified by the Police Department as the most violent locations in Baltimore. The outcome of the study will provide tools to increase accountability for the responsibility held by the Liquor Board and individual liquor licensees, for negative impacts on public health due to neighborhood violence. 

Monday Wellness Evaluation Toolkit

Our colleagues at the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies developed a Monday Worksite Wellness Evaluation Toolkit consisting of two turnkey evaluation resources to help organizations measure the impact of The Monday Campaigns at their sites.  The Organizational Assessment Self-Evaluation Form allows organizations to self-assess program implementation quality, barriers/facilitators, and outcomes related to implementation of The Mondays Campaign.  The Employee Assessment Self-Evaluation Form can assist organizations in obtaining employee feedback on The Monday Campaigns topic areas.

Monday Text Message Intervention for Weight Loss

A study conducted at the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center evaluated a week-based text message intervention for weight loss.  In addition to standard care, participants received several personalized messages throughout the course of each week, which focused on goal-setting and tips related to individually selected weight loss topics.

Quit and Stay Quit Monday Pilot Project

This study evaluated a Monday-focused smoking cessation program.  Instructors encouraged participants to use Monday as a day to quit or to recommit to their quit, and offer tools and tips through a variety of media.  The project was informed, in part, by research that suggests that people may be more inclined to seek out smoking cessation materials on Mondays.

Weekly patterns in HIV-related behaviors

The peak time for seeking information on topics related to HIV, such as prevention and testing, is at the beginning of the week, while risky sexual behaviors tend to increase on the weekends, according to a new analysis by researchers at the Lerner Center and The Monday Campaigns.  The paper appears in the journal AIDS Care, and is available for download here.

Tracking consumer interest in health-related information: Two Google search analyses

HBS researchers explored global Google search logs to determine whether people conduct more health-related queries on Mondays than on other days of the week.  A study published in April 2014 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows a consistent Monday surge in health-related Google searches over an eight year period.  A related study, which was published in the JAMA Internal Medicine in October 2013, looked at searches related to quitting smoking, and found that people search about quitting smoking more often early in the week, with the greatest query volumes on Mondays.  This adds to a growing body of evidence demonstrating that Monday can be a powerful leverage point for promoting healthy behaviors.

Promoting health through periodic messaging: A review of the literature

A paper by HBS researchers, "Characterizing Periodic Messaging Interventions Across Health Behaviors and Media: Systematic Review" found that periodic messaging interventions appear to work for short-term health behavior change, particularly if the interventions include feedback and strategies.  The paper was published in March 2014 in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Knowing your daily calorie budget: A text message reminder intervention

HBS and JHSPH researchers studied knowledge of the 2000 daily calorie limit among participants receiving email and text reminders.  They found that a simple weekly text message reminder can greatly improve awareness of calorie needs. The results were published in Health Promotion Practice in August 2014.

Adapting an existing children’s cooking program for a low-income African American urban setting

JHSPH researchers adapted the existing Kids Cook Monday program for a pilot study in Baltimore City.  You can read the final report, or access the detailed curriculum.  Report courtesy of the Bmore Healthy Communities for Kids team.