Brownson awarded $2.6 million grant for cancer research

Health researcher Ross Brownson has received a five-year, $2.6 million grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a study examining poor implementation of cancer-control programs.

Ross Brownson

“The grant is looking to identify some of the reasons why cancer-control programs at state public health departments continue when there isn’t a solid evidence base for them — and also why some programs don’t continue when there is a solid evidence base for them,” said Brownson, the Bernard Becker Professor at Washington University in St. Louis and director of the Prevention Research Center at the Brown School and the School of Medicine.

“In times of limited resources, these are critical decisions for making use of precious public funds and applying science-based programs and policies.”

The grant, “Mis-implementation in Cancer Prevention and Control,” runs through 2022.

In collaboration with the Brookings Institution, Brownson and his team are seeking to assess how often programs are not properly implemented, what factors contribute to these decisions and what knowledge or information can help ensure that evidence-based cancer-control programs are implemented and sustained appropriately.

“This study is the first of its kind and applies innovative approaches,” he said. “We will employ a nationwide survey of state health-department practitioners to identify these factors and utilize in-depth case studies to highlight lessons learned.

“Finally, we will employ computational modeling as a tool to identify and predict successful implementation of evidence-based cancer-control programs and simulate how we can prevent non-evidence-based programs from continuing.”

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