Stanford Prevention Research Center (SPRC)

The Stanford Prevention Research Center centralizes a broad array of research programs involving several Departments and Divisions within the School of Medicine. It was created in the late 1970s by John W, Farquhar, MD. Its mission is to improve individual and population health by developing and disseminating effective health promotion and chronic disease prevention and management strategies through interdisciplinary research, education, and community outreach.

The Center conducts problem-focused research, using mainly experimental methods to test and then diffuse disease prevention and control programs. It uses collaboration among a broad array of health professionals, social and behavioral scientists who share a public health or population-level perspective in planning and conducting research, and educators who deliver science-based information to targeted populations. Over time, the Center’s name changed to the Stanford Prevention Research Center. The tag line for the Center is: The Science of Healthy Living. For more than two decades SPRC was a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center. In this role, SPRC has hosted and helped to educate thousands of visitors who come to Stanford for the purpose of learning what we do and how we do it.

In 1983, as the wellness ‘movement’ was just getting under way, the Center created a worksite wellness program that was one of the first programs on a university campus. It is called the Stanford Health Improvement Program. Each year, HIP offers more than 1,000 classes, workshops, seminars, and webinars to faculty, staff, retirees, and their family members. In 2007, the university created a coalition of already existing university health-related programs on campus. Known as BeWell, this program annually touches approximately 70% of the university faculty and staff. SPRC and HIP are primary contributors to the BeWell program.

In January of 2014, the Center initiated an education program called Health 4 America, later changed to Health 4 All. It brings successful professionals to campus for year to study the science of healthy living. In 2015 the Center initiated a Master of Science degree program in Community Health and Prevention Research. This academic program attracts applicants from around the globe.