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

Update for Participants

Dear PHRESH participants,

Our data collectors are now in the field conducting interviews for PHRESH 2021. This study is focused on how your neighborhood influences health. We know that the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing and you may have concerns. We care about your health and safety, and we are taking precautions to conduct the interviews safely.

We have collected a list of Pittsburgh resources being offered for those with COVID-19-related issues:

Resources and support for Pittsburgh residents »

To ask any questions about data collection or to schedule your interview, please call La’Vette Wagner at 412-586-5695. You can earn up to $75 for your participation in the study.

To learn more about the how the PHRESH study is making an impact in Pittsburgh, check out our new website including short videos that feature residents from the Hill District and Homewood! We are very grateful for your past participation and hope to hear from you soon.

Take care,
The PHRESH team

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 in the City of Pittsburgh. We are examining features of the built and social environment over time, 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 to City Planning, housing authorities, community development corporations, and real estate developers on issues that are important to communities nationwide.

An Ongoing Study of Neighborhood Health and Well-being

For 30 years—until 2013 through 2019—Pittsburgh's Hill District was without a full-service supermarket. 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, and then looked at what changes occurred after a supermarket opened. 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
  • Neighborhood conditions
  • Heart health, including blood sugar and blood pressure
  • Sleep quality
  • COVID-19 pandemic related outcomes including food security, distress and employment impacts
  • Mental health.

Community-Focused Research

We believe that the more communities know about the health of their residents, the more empowered they can 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.

Interested in Participating in PHRESH?

Participate with PHRESH

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 412.586.5695 or La'Vette_Wagner@rand.org.

Learn More About PHRESH and Our Findings

Learn more about PHRESH

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.