248583 Structuring community-based participatory research to build effective partnerships and sustainability: MassCONECT (Massachusetts Community Networks to Eliminate Cancer Disparities through Education, Research, and Training)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 11:30 AM

Josephine Crisostomo, MPH , Center for Community Based Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Erline Achille , Boston REACH Coalition, Boston Public Health Commission, Boston, MA
Nashira Baril, MPH , Boston Public Health Commission, Boston, MA
Ediss Gandelman, MBA MEd , Community Benefits, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA
Vilma Lora, BS , Womens Health Advocacy, YWCA of Greater Lawrence, Lawrence, MA
Shoba Ramanadhan, ScD, MPH , Center for Community-based Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Clara Savage, EdD , Common Pathways, Worcester, MA
K. Viswanath, PhD , Center for Community-Based Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Community partnerships, vital in the fight against health disparities, can improve access to and use of health promotion programs by community-based organizations, while simultaneously improving the quality and utility of work conducted by academic institutions. Since 2005, MassCONECT (Massachusetts Community Networks to Eliminate Cancer Disparities through Education, Research, and Training), as one of twenty-five National Cancer Institute-funded community networks programs, aimed to build partnerships among and between community partners, researchers, and policymakers, to increase services and reduce cancer disparities in Boston, Lawrence, and Worcester, Massachusetts - communities with underserved populations of low socioeconomic position. Utilizing a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach, MassCONECT continually sought community input from their four community partnering coalitions. The input was structured through a Community Advisory Group (CAG) that included researchers and community leadership and served as a forum for guidance/feedback on the projects. In addition, formal working groups in each coalition meet monthly to make decisions on projects specific to the coalition. Last, frequent informal meetings supplement the more formal forums of engagement. Using this structured CBPR approach, MassCONECT has engaged in multiple research and educational activities to reduce health disparities in each community, and has proven successful in capacity building and sustainability. It has been awarded supplemental funding for junior investigators to conduct pilot studies utilizing CBPR; has several manuscripts published, or under review; and has provided the infrastructure for several additional NIH-funded CBPR studies. MassCONECT is currently is focusing its efforts on dissemination of research findings to each community.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Assess the benefits of using a structured CBPR approach for partnership building, community capacity building, and sustainability. 2. Describe a structured model of CBPR to address health disparities in underserved populations.

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Community-Based Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Research Scientist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and have served as an academic partner on MassCONECT and a series of other Community-Based Participatory Research projects.
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.