Produce area of Hill District Shop and Save in Pittsburgh, PA

PHRESH: Pittsburgh Hill/Homewood Research on Neighborhood Change and Health

Our neighborhoods can impact our health and well-being. We are interested in learning more about how improvements to neighborhoods—including renovating parks and green spaces, increasing affordable, quality housing, and decreasing the distance residents need to travel to buy quality foods—can influence the health of a neighborhood's population.

PHRESH is part of an ongoing study of the Hill District and Homewood communities. We are examining features of the built and social environment, and documenting to what extent changes impact residents' health and well-being, diet, exercise, sleep, and heart health.

This comprehensive study follows a cohort of households and their built and social environment over time to try to answer these questions. Results will provide valuable information on issues that are important to communities nationwide.

An Ongoing Study of Neighborhood Health and Well-being

For 30 years—until 2013—Pittsburgh's Hill District was without a full-service supermarket. In 2011, the original PHRESH study began by looking at residents' health and nutrition, their food shopping (where they bought food, how they got there), perceptions about their neighborhood and access to healthy food options. Since then, the PHRESH study has expanded in several ways and continues to look at whether and how neighborhood improvements affect our health and well-being:

  • Diet and exercise habits
  • Resident use of parks and neighborhood green spaces
  • Transportation access
  • Perceptions of neighborhood safety
  • Heart health, including blood sugar and blood pressure
  • Sleep quality

Community-Focused Research

We believe that the more communities know about the health of their residents, the more empowered they will become. PHRESH is supported by community advisory boards made up of neighborhood residents and representatives from local businesses and nonprofit organizations. We are committed to sharing the study's results with residents, policymakers, and community organizations at public meetings in the Hill District and Homewood.

Visit our FAQ page to learn more about how you can get involved with PHRESH. Participants should live in Pittsburgh's Hill District or Homewood neighborhoods.

To find out if you're eligible, contact PHRESH field coordinator La'Vette Wagner at 412.281.4600 or La'

PHRESH has been collecting data in the Hill District and Homewood every year since 2011. Visit our Findings page for study findings to date, links to publications, and more.