258881 What community partners from across the country have to say about community-engaged research

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Elmer Freeman, MSW , Center for Community Health Education Research and Service, Boston, MA
Willie Mae Bennett-Fripp , Committee for Boston Public Housing, Roxbury, MA
Grace Damio, MS, CDN , NIH EXPORT Center for Eliminating Health Disparities among Latinos, Hispanic Health Council, Hartford, CT
Susan Gust , Partners Three Consulting Company, Minneapolis, MN
Loretta S. Jones, MA , Healthy African American Families II, Los Angeles, CA
Alma Knows His Gun McCormick , Messengers for Health, Crow Agency, MT
Ann-Gel S. Palermo, MPH , Harlem Community & Academic Partnership, New York, NY
Fernando Pineda-Reyes , Community Research Education Awareness (CREA) Results, Denver, CO
Alex Pirie , Immigrant Service Providers Group/Health, Somerville, MA
Jean Schensul, PhD , Institute for Community Research, Hartford, CT
Peggy Shepard , West Harlem Environmental Action, New York, NY
Eric Wat , Special Service for Groups, Los Angeles, CA
Community engagement in research is essential to understanding and addressing health disparities. Substantial federal funds are supporting faculty members and academic institutions to conduct community-engaged research. As more community organizations enter into research partnerships and initiate and conduct research as a strategy for health equity, we need to join together to support each other, influence research practice and policy, and hold institutions accountable. With these goals in mind, Community-Campus Partnerships for Health and the Center for Community Health Education Research and Service held the National Community Partner Forum on Community-Engaged Health Disparities Research on Dec 6-7, 2011 in Boston – the first national meeting to be designed “by and for” community organizations engaged in research.

Through a call for applications process, we invited 100 community partners who were committed to eliminating health disparities, open to sharing challenges and successes, and eager to both enhance their impact locally and contribute to a broader national research and action agenda. Participants, including 16 Community-Based Public Health Caucus members, reflected diversity in terms of location, race/ethnicity, gender and research experience.

During the forum, participants addressed concerns, exchanged knowledge, identified models and made recommendations in four main areas: community review of proposed research, governance structures for research, community engagement throughout the research process, and funding the community infrastructure needed to conduct research. Participants determined a leadership structure for an ongoing national network, formed workgroups and pledged to hold another forum. We will present forum recommendations and invite the audience to contribute to their implementation.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Explain why many community organizations engaged in research are concerned that community-based participatory research could become a methodology that simply replaces the conventional research methodology without embracing social change, policy change, paradigm shifts and power sharing. Explain why community organizations engaged in research need networks for professional development, mentoring and advocacy in order to advance the social change through knowledge and power sharing that must happen if we are to achieve health equity. Identify specific ways that community organizations engaged in research can influence research practice and policy within their own communities as well as regionally and nationally.

Keywords: Community Research, Community Capacity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am principal investigator of the NIMHD grant that supported the project being presented at this session. My leadership of CCHERS, since 1997, has led to its recognition as a national model partnership promoting academic-community engagement and research. I am actively involved in the development of CBPR partnerships between academic medical centers and the diverse communities of Boston. I served a 4 year term on the national NIH Council of Public Representatives.
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.