University of Washington School of Public Health

UW SPH News: AARP Foundation Awards $750,000 Grant to the Health Promotion Research Center

AARP Foundation Awards $750,000 Grant to the Health Promotion Research Center


The Health Promotion Research Center (HPRC) at the University of Washington School of Public Health has been awarded a three-year, $750,000 grant from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Foundation, as part of its initiative to study and scale up evidence-based solutions for vulnerable older adults.

The grant will fund research to evaluate the financial and social benefits of HPRC’s PEARLS program – or Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives – a national depression treatment program for seniors and adults with epilepsy. HPRC will be working with PEARLS programs around the country, as well as the Research and Data Analysis Division at the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, the UW Study of Health in Public Policy led by Norma Coe and HPRC investigators Mark Snowden and Miruna Petrescu-Prahova. The AARP Foundation is funding this and six other U.S. studies, with the goal of scaling evidence-based programs to serve increased numbers of low-income adults.

“We are really excited about this opportunity to further study how PEARLS has an impact on people’s lives,” says Lesley Steinman the principal investigator. “While we know that the program is effective at treating late-life depression, this project will allow us to better understand the effect of PEARLS on other outcomes, including health services utilization, transition to nursing homes and social isolation. These outcomes are of interest to not only older adults and their families, but also to the community-based organizations and policymakers that support them.”

The HPRC is one of 39 Prevention Research Centers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.