Goals of National Center

The health behavioral change theory and related public health practice development is dependent on utilizing the best minds in social and behavioral science medicine-psychiatry, psychology, counseling and sociology of health within a "think tank" - brain-trust format. The colleagues that co-authored the book, The Health Behavioral Change Imperative, is the core group of theoreticians and practitioners best qualified to engage in the theory building, practice development and research needed to educate the current and next generation of public health and community health professionals. Further, the group will be augmented with a psycho-behavioral pharmacist, a sociology of health scientist, a cultural and health anthropologist and other cutting edge social-behavioral scientists both as members of the core group and as Associate Fellows on research and specific theory building and practice developmental projects.

The socio-behavioral scientists and health scientists discussed above are designated as Senior Fellows in the Center for Health Behavioral Change. Projects may include Senior Fellows and Associate Fellows in various combinations given the nature of theory development and/or research being undertaken. Hence the goals are as follows:

  1. To develop health behavioral change curricula materials including advanced learning modules, monographs, and occasional papers series for use by schools of public health, psychiatry, psychology departments and related disciplines.
  2. To identify the most pressing research needs regarding health behavioral change and commission research and also submit proposals to agencies (i.e., NIH, NIMH, HUS) and foundations (Kellogg, Robert Wood Johnson, Pew, i.e.) to conduct research in behavioral change areas. The research will be conducted under the leadership of the National Center for Health Behavioral Change.
  3. To develop training materials for practitioners of public health and related disciplines on cultural competence as practiced in cross-cultural behavioral change interventions in partnership with the Multicultural Task Force of the American Counseling Association and in partnership with NIH (presently under negotiation).
  4. To provide technical assistance to Schools of public health and related disciplines in developing Health Behavioral Change Curriculum and to integrate cultural competence content into their course work including epidemiology, bio-statistics, health policy, health education and other areas of the curriculum.
  5. To convene the best minds nationally in the health behavioral change field including psychiatry, psychology, social work, nursing, counseling, medical sociology, cultural and medical anthropology to further identify and advance theoretical notions and to develop health behavioral change theory. We will also validate theory through practice and basic research.
  6. To identify and further develop scholarship of application to foster community based public health practice within new practice constructs and to conduct practice focused research with the objective of validating community based public health practice. Emphases will be placed on disseminating findings through consultations, curriculum materials, monographs and through multimedia methodology including distance learning - web based programs, CD ROM's, video tapes and other readily accessible means.