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RG P-DT08.01, Series 00598, 00599

Harvard School of Public Health. Harvard Prevention Research Center. Records, 1992-2003 (inclusive), 1994-2003 (bulk): Finding Aid.

Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)

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Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)

© President and Fellows of Harvard College


The Harvard School of Public Health Harvard Prevention Research Center records were processed with grant funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as awarded and administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) in 2017.

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: RG P-DT08.01, Series 00598, 00599
Repository: Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)
Creator: Harvard School of Public Health. Harvard Prevention Research Center
Title: Harvard School of Public Health. Harvard Prevention Research Center records
Date(s): 1992-2003 (inclusive)
Date(s): 1994-2003 (bulk)
Quantity: 10.95 cubic feet (11 records center cartons, 1 index card box, 1 letter-size document box, 1 half letter-size document box, 2 half-legal size document boxes, and 1 flat oversize box)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The Harvard School of Public Health Harvard Prevention Research Center records, 1992-2003 (inclusive), 1994-2003 (bulk), are the product of research projects and educational interventions developed and implemented by the HPRC under the direction of Steven L. Gortmaker, particularly the Planet Health curriculum and Play Across Boston. The records are arranged in two series: I. Planet Health Records (1992-1997); and II. Play Across Boston Records (2000-2003).

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

The Harvard School of Public Health Harvard Prevention Research Center records were donated to the Center on 2015 December 11 by Kathy Yeo and Steven L. Gortmaker. They were later accessioned in two series under the following accession numbers.
  • Accession number 2017-118. Kathy Yeo and Steven L. Gortmaker. 2016 November 09.
  • Accession number 2017-152. Kathy Yeo and Steven L. Gortmaker. 2017 January 19.
  • Processing Information:

    Processed by Amber LaFountain, with the assistance of Sarah Bush, 2017 February.
    Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine analyzed, arranged, and described the papers, and created a finding aid to improve access. Items were rehoused and, where necessary, photocopied to acid-free paper. Folder titles were transcribed from the originals when available; titles supplied by the processing staff appear in brackets only on the physical folders. Processing staff discarded or returned duplicate records and records that did not meet the collection policy of the Center for the History of Medicine. All audio and audiovisual recordings were flagged for inclusion in the Center's AV survey.
    Please note: brackets have been used in several distinct ways in the box and folder lists. Where possible, abbreviations and acronyms have been written out in brackets directly after the abbreviated word (no space between the word and the brackets, e.g. "Folder titl.[title]"). Where a word on the original folder was illegible, the guessed word has been placed in brackets with a question mark (e.g. "Folder [title?]"). Finally, where a topical arrangement has been maintained that is not clear in the folder titles, bracketed topics have been added to the beginning of folder titles in the list only to better explain the folder arrangement (e.g. "[Topic] Folder title").

    Conditions Governing Access:

    Access requires advance notice. Access to Harvard University records is restricted for 50 years from the date of creation. These restrictions are noted where they appear in Series I (00598) and II (00599). Access to personnel, patient, and personal information is restricted for 80 years from the date of creation. These restrictions are noted where they appear in Series I (00598) and II (00599). Researchers may apply for access to restricted records. Consult Public Services for further information.
    Please note: audio and audio-visual recordings are restricted to access until such a time as they can be converted to digital media. They are also subject to the above restrictions. Once converted, recordings will be restricted based on the recording's contents, or as per the restrictions for the folder from which the recording was removed.
    The Records are stored offsite. Researchers are advised to contact Public Services for more information concerning retrieval of material.

    Conditions Governing Use:

    The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all the materials in the collection. Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be directed to Public Services. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from Public Services are responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations that hold copyright.

    Digitized Items:

    Selected digitized copies of research data, protocols, data collection instruments, and other research regulatory records are available for download in the Center's Dataverse: https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataverse/HPRC-NPA. To provide context, links to relevant Dataverse records are also provided below in each series and subseries from which items were digitized.

    Preferred Citation:

    Harvard School of Public Health. Harvard Prevention Research Center. Records, 1992-2003 (inclusive), 1994-2003 (bulk). Harvard Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Boston, Mass.

    Separations

    Historical Note

    The Harvard Prevention Research Center (HPRC) on Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Harvard School of Public Health (as of 2014, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health), previously the Harvard School of Public Health Prevention Research Center, was founded in 1998 in Boston, Massachusetts to work with local, community, and governmental organizations to research, develop, implement, and refine school- and community-based youth intervention programs to encourage better health habits among youth. Its programs particularly focus on improving nutrition and exercise habits, in order to lower the risk of obesity and chronic disease in children and youth.
    As of 2017, the Harvard Prevention Research Center was nested under the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Steven L. Gortmaker (born 1949) served as Principal Investigator and Director, and Angie Cradock (born 1969) was Deputy Director. Community-based advisory board members supervised key projects with the HPRC directors, faculty, and staff. In 2000, a HPRC branch opened in Biddeford, Maine. The Maine-HPRC operated in collaboration with the University of New England Center for Community and Public Health, the Maine CDC, and the HPRC. As of 2017, the Associate Director of the Maine-HPRC was Karen O'Rourke.
    The Harvard Prevention Research Center has conducted numerous school-, community-, and clinical- based intervention research projects, including: the Planet Health project (1995-), funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a university gift; and the Play Across Boston project (1999-2001), funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Planet Health was a middle-school-based wellness curriculum developed for use by teachers and physical education instructors to teach healthy decision-making regarding nutrition, exercise, and leisure activities, while also supporting learning in traditional subject areas. The program included lesson plans, student self-assessment tools, worksheets, and templates for parental communication, as well as opportunities for teacher trainings and implementation assistance. The Planet Health curriculum was widely disseminated in all 50 states and more than 20 countries. Play Across Boston was a collaborative initiative with Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society, to survey and evaluate the availability of afterschool fitness activity programs for Boston-area youth, and to determine how both access to these resources and individual family characteristics influence youth physical activity. The project surveyed youth participation in 237 programs in the Boston area. Project partners observed disparities both in participation in fitness programs and access to quality playgrounds in Boston, then later conducted a follow-up assessment to gauge the success of initiatives taken by the City of Boston to reduce the disparities.
    As of 2017, the Harvard Prevention Research Center continued to conduct research and produce tools and training programs centered on improving nutrition, promoting physical activity, and preventing obesity, with a focus in six areas: schools, out of school time, communities, policy, healthcare, and home. One research project, the Out of School Nutrition and Physical Activity (OSNAP) program, worked with partner sites to create practices, environments, and policies that promoted physical activity and nutrition for out of school time programs. It was widely disseminated across Massachusetts, and provided online access to tools such as program assessments, online learning communities, and planning materials. Other projects include the Boston Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health: Obesity and Hypertension Demonstration Project (REACH), the Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study (CHOICES), and the Worksite Model for Prostate Cancer Screening. Other tools and resources produced by the HPRC include "Keep it Flowing: A Practical Guide to School Drinking Water Planning, Maintenance & Repair" (2014), the Pediatric Obesity Clinical Decision Support Chart (2008), and "Outsmarting the Smart Screens: A Parent's Guide to the Tools that are Here to Help" (2014). Scholarly publications resulting from the HPRC's research and programs include "What Do Children Eat in the Summer? A Direct Observation of Summer Day Camps That Serve Meals" (2017), "Using School Staff Members to Implement a Childhood Obesity Prevention Intervention in Low-Income School Districts: the Massachusetts Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration (MA-CORD Project)" (2017), and Planet Health: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum for Teaching Middle School Nutrition and Physical Activity (Second Edition) (2007).

    Series and Subseries in the Collection

    Scope and Content

    The Harvard School of Public Health Harvard Prevention Research Center records, 1992-2003 (inclusive), 1994-2003 (bulk), are the product of research projects and educational interventions developed and implemented by the HPRC under the direction of Steven L. Gortmaker, particularly the Planet Health curriculum and Play Across Boston. The records are arranged in two series: I. Planet Health Records (1992-1997); and II. Play Across Boston Records (2000-2003).
    Planet Health records (Series 00598) consist of raw data and administrative records generated during the randomized control trial of the program's curriculum, conducted in various cities and towns in the Greater Boston area of Massachusetts. Records include: raw data fitness questionnaires; raw data television viewing worksheets and student-made graphs; Spanish language food and activity surveys; financial records; teacher Wellness Workshops administrative and participation records; and student participation consent forms. Series I also includes audio cassette recordings of student focus groups, teachers' evaluations of the curriculum, and occasional summarized and analyzed data.
    Records of the Play Across Boston study (Series 00599) consist of raw data surveys completed by middle- and high-school students in Boston, and by physical fitness program providers in the Greater Boston region. Student surveys address students' physical activity and exercise habits, access to fitness programs and facilities, health and physical conditions, and subjects' demographics, among other topics. Program provider surveys cover a variety of topics, including details about physical fitness programs offered, cost and accessibility of the programs, and participant numbers and demographics. Series II also includes parental consent forms for student participation.
    The records include a number of access restriction types, to protect personal and institutional privacy. These types include: 80-year restrictions from the date of record creation for health, personnel, and personally-identifying information; and 50-year restrictions from the date of record creation for institutional records of Harvard University and its affiliates. The collection also includes audio-visual records, which are restricted to access until such a time as they can be converted to digital media. Once converted, restrictions will be determined based upon the recording's contents, or as per the restrictions for the folder of which the recording is a part.
    Records are predominantly in English. Occasional records are in Spanish.

    Container List

    Additional Index Terms

    Exercise for youth.
    Health behavior in adolescence.
    Health education (Middle school) -- Curricula.
    Health surveys -- Massachusetts -- Boston.
    Obesity in children -- Prevention.
    Physical education and training -- Massachusetts -- Boston.
    Physical education teachers -- Training of -- Massachusetts -- Boston.
    Preventive health services for teenagers.
    Public health -- Research -- United States.
    Public health -- Research grants -- United States.
    Recreation centers.
    Television and youth.
    Youth -- Nutrition.
    Diet, Food, and Nutrition
    Exercise
    Health Behavior
    Health Surveys
    Pediatric Obesity -- prevention & control
    Physical education and training
    Preventive Health Services
    Sports and Recreational Facilities
    Teacher Training
    Television
    Youth Sports
    Boston (Mass.).
    Analyzed data.
    Audiocassettes.
    Data (information).
    Grant files.
    Raw data.
    Summary data.
    Survey instruments.
    Harvard School of Public Health. Harvard Prevention Research Center
    Gortmaker, Steven Lawrence, 1949-
    Harvard School of Public Health. Harvard Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity.
    Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Harvard Prevention Research Center.
    Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Harvard Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity.

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