Special Interest Projects (SIPs)

The Tulane PRC has the opportunity to apply for funding for Special Interest Projects through the CDC. We currently have one SIP focused on citizen leadership training. In the past, we have had several SIPs focused on salad bars in schools, food policy research, physical activity policy research, and helping women quit tobacco.

Physical Activity Policy Research Network (PAPRN)


Past Project:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created the Physical Activity Policy Research Network (PAPRN) in October of 2004 to study the effectiveness of health policies related to increasing physical activity in communities. The PAPRN was established as a thematic research network of the Prevention Research Centers (PRCs) program, with funding from the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity at CDC. The formally established network consists of four PRC member centers, one coordinating/member and CDC technical advisors. Several other PRCs have joined the network as affiliate member centers.

The mission of PAPRN is to conduct transdisciplinary policy research by:

  • identifying physical activity policies
  • identifying the determinants of the policies
  • describing the process of implementing policies
  • determining the outcomes of physical activity policies

Click here for the PAPRN paper (2014) on perceptions of the built environment and support for local physical activity policies in the American Journal of Health Promotion.
Click here for the presentation abstract on the PAPRN worksite wellness in hospitals project from the 2014 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting.
Click here. for the paper (2014) on perspectives of the National Physical Activity Plan in the journal Health Behavior and Policy Review.

PAPRN Community Play Index – Current Project

Numerous studies have found that unstructured or free play can increase physical activity for children and is essential to social, emotional, physiological and academic development. Children don’t have adequate time and space for play, especially those in low-income communities. A research project conducted by the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) showed that when low-income urban children were simply given a safe place to play during non-school hours, they used it in high numbers, were more physically active, and engaged in less sedentary behavior.

The Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) received funding from the Centers for Disease Control’s Physical Activity Policy Research Network (PAPRN) to create a community play index – a reliable survey instrument to assess the “playability” of a given public space. This tool will allow policy makers to assess the ‘playability’ of public playgrounds, schoolyards and open spaces. The index’s measures can be incorporated into design guidelines of parks and recreation departments, planning commissions or city departments when establishing benchmarks by which to measure city or regional health and physical activity.

Download the National Physical Activity Plan

Principal Investigator:
Jeanette Gustat, PhD, MPH
(504) 988-1029 or gustat@tulane.edu

Other Related Projects


NOLA LEADs (Leadership Education and Action on health Disparities)

Starting in Spring 2016, NOLA LEADs (Leadership Education & Action on health Disparities) recruited individuals from across New Orleans to participate in a new leadership training institute. This opportunity was free and open to New Orleans residents who are concerned about improving the lives of their neighbors and the conditions of their communities. It was specifically for people who have not worked in public health previously. The institute included a series of six trainings held…

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Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN)

Past Project: Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN) is a thematic research network of the CDC Prevention Research Center Program. Its mission is to conduct trans-disciplinary nutrition- and obesity-related policy research and evaluation along a policy change continuum (see below). The work of NOPREN members will help foster understanding of the effectiveness of policies related to preventing childhood obesity through improved access to affordable, healthy foods and beverages in a variety of…

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Featured Publications


Nutrition and Food Availability


The Ubiquity of Energy-Dense Snack Foods: A National Multicity Study


Nutrition and Food Availability


A Rights-Based Approach to Food Insecurity in the United States

all scientific publications




What Do New Orleans Residents Want in Their Neighborhoods?


Policy Briefs


School Vending

all prc publications

Special Interest Projects (SIPs) Health Journal