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Centers for Disease Control Special Interest Project Grants
CDC logoThe Centers for Disease Control (CDC) created the Special Interest Projects (SIPs) program to support supplemental projects in health promotion and disease prevention research. The SIP mechanism, created in 1993, allows Prevention Research Centers (PRCs) such as the PRCHN to compete for research projects sponsored by CDC organizational units and other Health & Human Services agencies. A SIP is a health promotion and disease prevention research project that focuses on a topic of interest or a gap in knowledge or research. It can also support the development of effective state and local public health interventions and policies.
SIP grants are only available to investigators affiliated with one of the 26 Prevention Research Centers in the national CDC network. PRCHN Affiliated Faculty are eligible to apply for SIP funding. Below are SIP grants awarded to PRCHN-affiliated faculty, by year.
Awarded 2018 
Martha Sajatovic, MD, and Siran Koroukian, PhD (co-principal investigators)
SIP 18-001: Describing Treatment Gaps for People with Epilepsy (EPREF)
There are 3.4 million people in the US with epilepsy and approximately 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with new-onset seizures each year. Unfortunately, people with epilepsy lose many years of life due to lack of appropriate diagnosis and treatment. One study found the median time of epilepsy onset and epilepsy surgery as a marker of advanced epilepsy care was 20.7 years. The reasons for delayed referrals for patients with seizures to neurologists or epilepsy specialists are not clear. To address the question why, and how much there is a referral gap in patients with seizures, this project leverages parallel studies using study teams at two geographically distinct centers (Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine with PIs Sajatovic & Koroukian, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System with PI Jobst) who will work in concert.  Medicaid claims data (MCD) will be used to identify patterns that are best seen on a broader population level, while electronic health records (EHR) will be used to identify finer-grained clinical variables that cannot be determined from claims data only. This one-year data analytic project will describe (Aim 1) pre-referral characteristics of individuals with epilepsy (who gets referred and in what context) and will explore (Aim 2) outcome trajectories for people with epilepsy based upon their referral patterns (those who do not receive specialty referral vs. those who are referred to neurologists or epilepsy specialists). The team at Case Western Reserve University will mine MCD to examine socio-demographic and clinical variables including factors that may contribute to known health disparities such as race, ethnicity, rural vs. urban health settings and health insurance status. The Dartmouth team will use an existing large EHR both to validate findings from the MCD and to assess the relationships between clinical variables not typically available in claims data, such as standardized measures of depression severity to evaluate the relationship between these clinical variables and specialty referral. Taken together, the project will build on the strengths and collaborative track-record of the research teams and their stakeholder partners, who will meet regularly to refine analyses, compare findings and synthesize results in a set of recommendations on specialty referral for individuals with epilepsy. 
Awarded 2014-2019 grant cycle 
Erika Trapl, PhD, Associate Professor and Associate Director of the PRCHN
SIP 14-­011 Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) – Collaborating
The Greater Cleveland and Ohio Cancer Prevention Research Network 
The research project will implement a systems-focused community-clinical linkage intervention to increase use of the evidence-based state QuitLine for smoking cessation. The PRCHN will partner with MetroHealth, the Ohio Department of Health, and the providers of the Ohio QuitLine, National Jewish Health. This work is aligned with national prevention priorities: reduction of tobacco use, community-clinical linkage interventions, systems change, sustainable interventions, and engaging local communities and state health departments. Joining the CPCRN to engage in collaborative projects and to conduct this study will accelerate our work to reduce the burden of cancer on disadvantaged populations.
Click here for more information on the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network.
Dr. Martha Sajatovic, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology
SIP 14-­007 Managing Epilepsy Well (MEW) Network Collaborating Center
Self-management for people with epilepsy and a history of negative health events (SMART)
The SMART intervention is intended to reduce negative health events and improve self-management and quality of life for adults with epilepsy, and will target participants from lower-income urban locations, safety- net health systems, and the Veterans Health Care System. SMART will consist of web-based group sessions, telephone coaching, and peer support. The primary outcome will be change in number of negative health events, and additional outcomes of interest will include changes in quality of life, depressive symptoms, seizure control and resource use data.
Click here for more information on the national MEW network.
Patients with dementia: Common combinations and impact of co-occurring chronic illnesses 
Dr. Martha Sajatovic, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology
SIP 14-­008: Testing New Communication Strategies to Improve Attitudes Toward
Communicating with youth in transition about epilepsy
People with epilepsy often experience stigma and social rejection, and while national organizations have recommended key messages to erase stigma, it is not clear how these should be effectively communicated to the general population. This 2-year proposal will use a medical literature review process, input from a community advisory board, and a randomized research trial to identify new communication strategies, aimed specifically at young people ages 18-29, that could be used to help erase epilepsy stigma.
Awarded 2009-2014 grant cycle
Dr. Martha Sajatovic, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology
TIME (Targeted Self-Management for Epilepsy and Mental Illness)
This project worked with adults with both epilepsy and a serious mental illness such as severe depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. The TIME program consisted of 12 weekly group sessions that included education, behavioral modeling, and group support.
Click here for more information on the TIME trial.
Susan Flocke, PhD, Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Associate Director of the PRCHN
Medical Resident Preparedness to Provide Obesity Counseling
This study included 26 primary care training programs in Ohio and used both qualitative and quantitative data collection to identify the scope and modalities of training for preparing primary care physicians to provide obesity, nutrition, and physical activity counseling; residents' self-efficacy, knowledge, and performance of counseling; and program features associated with variation in residents' self-efficacy, knowledge, and performance of counseling.