The UNC Research Center for Excellence in Clinical Preventive Services was established, with funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), in response to the important problem of overuse of some screening services, which can expose patients to avoidable harms and contribute to high health care costs. The Center seeks to understand and encourage appropriate use of screening through an integrated research agenda and the activities of the Core Office. The Core administers the research efforts and is charged with promoting research innovation in appropriate use and potential harms of screening, fostering collaboration with a variety of partners, advancing awareness of the topic among practitioners, other researchers, and policy makers, and providing a theoretical and practical foundation for the education of future clinicians.

The Center is one of three AHRQ-funded Research Centers for Excellence in Clinical Preventive Services. At Northwestern University, the Center for Advancing Equity in Clinical Preventive Services is developing and testing interventions to reduce disparities in clinical preventive services by focusing on health literacy, health communication, quality improvement methods and health information technology. The Center for Research in Implementation Science and Prevention (CRISP) at University of Colorado is exploring methods to increase the use of preventive health services within primary health care settings to meet national public health goals. Together the three Centers bring coordinated, but diverse, perspectives to the complex issues of appropriate delivery of clinical preventive services.