Principal Investigator: Mandy Allison & Steve Berman
Funding Source: The Walton Foundation
Impact and Importance: Extend reach and efficacy of the program to parents through interactive technology

Using text messages and social networking to enhance parent's use of the Colorado Bright Beginnings (CBB) program, an established 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing parents with tools to support their child's development during the critical first three years of life. Read More »  

Principal Investigator: Jacinda Nicklas, MD  
Funding Source: Nutrition Outcomes Research Center
Impact and Importance: Addresses obesity inequalities for new mothers and subsequent risk for diabetes  

Links "quantified self" tools like Fitbit with social media support and text messaging to help new moms eat well and stay active. Read More »

Using digital storytelling to draw attention to barriers for teens to access services

Principal Investigator:
      Evelinn Borrayo
      Latino Research and Policy Center


Funding Source:
     The Ford Foundation
     Using digital storytelling and social media among pregnant and parenting teens to facilitate dialogue among policy makers to respond to barriers identified in accessing sexual and reproductive health services for Latina teens in Colorado.
Impact and Importance:
     Develops 21st Century skills in communication and advocacy for Colorado teens.
     Draws attention to links between sexual and reproductive health outcomes and social factors, including structural barriers teens face in
     accessing services.


This NIH Funded study (#R01NR01492) was the first ever to demonstrate that we use social media to improve health behaviors. We created and evaluated Just/Us, a Facebook page designed for inner city minority youth to maintain healthy sexual behaviors to reduce sexually transmitted infections.

Following is a list of publications and a video link describing the study:

Bull, S., Levine, D., Black, S. Santelli, J. 2014. Recruitment and retention of high-risky youth for research using social media. Vulnerable Children and youth. In Press.

Black, S.*, Schmiege, S.J., Bull, S. 2013. Actual versus perceived sexual risk among peers in online social networks. Transitional Behavioral Medicine. 3(3):312-319. 

Bull, S., Levine, D., Black, S., Schmiege, S. Santelli, J. 2012. Social Media-Delivered Sexual Health Intervention: A cluster-randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Prevention Medicine. 43(5):467-474.

Allison, S., Bauermeister, J., Bull, S., Lightfoot, M., Mustanski, B., Shegog, R., Levine, D. 2012. Research at the Intersection of Youth, Technology & New Media, and Sexual Health: Moving the Agenda Forward. Journal of Adolescent Health. 51(3):207-212.

Bull, S., Breslin, L., Wright, E., Black, S., Levine, D., Santelli, J. 2011. An ethics case study of HIV prevention research on Facebook: The Just/Us Study. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 36(10):1082-1092.

Levine, D., Madsen, A., Barar, R., Wright, E.*, Bull, S. 2011. Asynchronous Focus Groups on My Space: Creating Cultural and Environmental Relevance for Hard-to-Reach Populations. Journal of Health Communication. 16(4): 448-54.

LUCHAR was among the first NIH funded efforts (UO1HL079208) to explore using tailored messages and computer algorithms on a computer kiosk website to influence nutrition and physical activity among Latinos. Pilot data show those using the program had improvements in both these areas after using the program. 

Principal Investigator: Edwin Asturias, MD
Funding Source: The Bolanos Foundation, Guatemala
Impact and Importance: Streamlines data collection, entry, analysis and surveillance and improves quality of data entered

Using cell phones to establish a perinatal registry to help improve pregnancy and neonatal outcomes in Trifinio de oste, Guatemala. Read More »

Principal Investigator: Maya Bunik
Funding Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Impact and Importance: Reduces child mortality and prevents chronic illness for both mother and baby

Using text messages and social media to encourage women to breastfeed only (rather than combine with formula) and continue breastfeeding their children for longer amounts of time. Read More »