226749 Advocating for Change in Clinical & Health Research: The Importance of Clinical Research Associates (CRAs)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Patricia Piechowski-Whitney, MPH, MSW, MA , Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Lee Bell, AA , PRC/MI, Flint, MI
Karen Calhoun, MA , City Connect Detroit, Detroit, MI
Fran Talsma, MSW , Community Engagement, Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, Ann Arbor, MI
Marie Watkins, LPN , Michigan Clinical Research Unit (MCRU), Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research, Ann Arbor, MI
Community Engagement (CE) is part of Clinical & Translational Science Awards (CTSA) funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and strives to build partnerships between community and academic partners in clinical and health research. Through this effort, the CE Program at the University of Michigan's Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) realized the best way to encourage community-engaged research, build new research partnerships, and support ongoing ones in community-based settings requires a new position filled by someone from the community. The position of Clinical Research Associates (CRAs) was created to fulfill this role and link the community and university together by providing consultation and support. CRAs represent the communities of Detroit, Flint, and Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti and one to link research efforts to impact policy. The CRAs have various yet complimentary backgrounds including social work, nursing, grant development, community health and community organizing. Their expertise empowers them to apply different skill sets and perspectives to CE, research endeavors at UM, and build capacity for formal research in community-based settings. They provide technical support to develop new initiatives, intervention models, and community leadership activities including building collaboratives, attending and presenting to community coalition meeting, and one-on-one meetings with community and governmental agencies. The policy CRA develops policy briefs, sets meetings with State and local legislators, and works with partnerships to disseminate their research and impact policy. Through their work, CRAs enhance community-university partnerships to move health research forward and drive emerging research initiatives to respond to community needs.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify ways to engage the community in research related activities. Formulate ways to build partnerships between community and university partners in research. Describe the importance of CRAs in clinical and health research.

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Public Health Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As Clinical Research Liaison at MICHRís Community Engagement Program I ensure investigators address key community issues and also provide ongoing consultation, assistance and monitoring to research investigators and community partners engaged in research. I successfully manage and mentor four CRAs in diverse communities/arenas of Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, Detroit, Flint, and policy to connect communities with clinical and health research. Part of my role is to continuously evaluate the Community Engagement Program and its outreach, education, and programmatic support through basic data analysis and report writing.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.