Margaret McGladrey, MA, Research Coordinator and Richard Crosby, PhD, Chair of the Department of Health Behaviors at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, published an article in the November/December 2012 issue of the American Journal of Health Education on the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention’s effort to develop a web-based health promotion service for public health practitioners in rural areas. Called Project CREATE, this service allows users to select customized photos, taglines, and applicable statistics in order to design posters that reach people at risk for HIV/STDs in their areas of rural America. Project CREATE is maintained by the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention at Indiana University at the following URL: https://www.indiana.edu/~projectc/
Because Project CREATE is web-based, practitioners can instantly access the tool anywhere in rural America. The customized statistics and royalty-free images provide health educators and public health department staff with the tools they need to create posters promoting HIV/STD testing and safer-sex practices that are targeted to rural Americans.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share our experiences with developing Project CREATE with the American Journal of Health Education’s large, practice-based audience," said McGladrey. "The Project CREATE model for developing web-based tools to create promotional materials could be applied to any health promotion effort, from anti-smoking and dieting/exercise to vaccination and mammography."
As a case in point, McGladrey is leading an initiative of the CDC-funded Rural Cancer Prevention Center, for which Dr. Crosby serves as Principal Investigator, to adapt Project CREATE for use in promoting mammography, clinical breast exams, Pap tests, and HPV vaccination to prevent breast and cervical cancer among women in the Kentucky River Area Development District. Currently under development, this adapted website will be pilot-tested and disseminated to cancer control specialists in 2013.