Prevention Research Center launched on December 12

Tags: reproductive and population health, Deborah Ehrenthal, ehrenthal lab, laurel rice

Campus and community partners gathered on December 12 to celebrate the newly-launched UW-Madison Prevention Research Center! Speakers including UW SMPH Dean Robert Golden, MD, UW Ob-Gyn Department Chair Laurel Rice, MD, Prevention Research Center Director Deborah Ehrenthal, MD, and more introduced different aspects of the center, which will be focused on improving the health of low-income women, infants and families in Wisconsin.

UW-Madison is one of just 25 academic institutions across the country to receive five-year funding from the CDC to establish a Prevention Research Center. The center reflects a partnership between the UW School of Medicine and Public HealthInstitute on Poverty​, and the School of Human Ecology. In addition to campus partners, the PRC will work closely with a community advisory board made up of state and local health departments, non-profit organizations, and “family circle” members – individuals representing communities experiencing maternal, infant or child health inequity, and providers connected to the core research project. 

UW Population Health Institute Director Sheri Johnson, PhD, introduced two members of the Community Advisory Board to speak about why they’re partnering with the PRC: Dalvery Blackwell, executive director of the African American Breastfeeding Network Inc., and Walter Orzechowski, executive director of the Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program, Inc.

The principal investigators of the PRC’s core project also outlined their research goals. Roseanne Clark, PhD, of the UW SMPH Department of Psychiatry, and Jane Mahoney, MD, of the UW SMPH Department of Medicine, introduced the research project “Addressing Postpartum Depression in WI Home Visiting Programs.” The project will be a randomized trial of a two-generation, preventive intervention to:

  • Ameliorate mother’s depressive symptoms
  • Address relational trauma history
  • Support the mother-infant relationship
  • Support infant psychosocial and developmental outcomes

The project will work with community and translational partners to culturally adapt the Mother-Infant Therapy Group model for implementation in home visiting programs in urban, rural and Tribal communities across Wisconsin.

Mahoney also spoke about the PRC’s implementation and dissemination goals, noting that the center’s projects will be designed with dissemination in mind.

Learn more about the UW-Madison Prevention Research Center’s goals, faculty and staff, community partners, and opportunities for funding!