262699 Engaging Diverse Communities in Health Disparities Research: Best Practices and Lessons Learned in Developing Intercultural Community-Academic Scholars

Monday, October 29, 2012

Lisa Cacari Stone, PhD , Department of Family & Communitiy Medicine, University of New Mexico Health Science Center, RWJF Center for Health Policy at UNM, Alburquerque, NM
Lucinda Cowboy , Department of Family & Community Medicine, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, NM
Clarence Hogue , Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Alison McGough-Maduena , Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Nina Wallerstein, DrPH , Masters in Public Health Program, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
What kind of institutional strategies and actions foster authentic research partnerships between the academy and community? While the core principles and processes of community based-participatory research (CBPR) have received wide recognition as an effective approach to studying and addressing health disparities, less is known on effective organizational change strategies. Using an intercultural communications and CBPR model, the Community Engagement Core (CEC) of the New Mexico Health Disparities Research Center (NM CARES HD) implemented a two year initiative to facilitate institutional capacities to engage, participate, and develop health disparities intervention research with and across diverse Latino and Native American communities. Using a two-pronged approach, the CEC implemented: 1) an institutional assessment of barriers and facilitators to effective community engaged research; and 2) developed cohorts of “intercultural health disparity scholars” and co-learning institutes in four diverse regions of the state. Key insights and lessons learned from both processes suggest that building trust with the community requires a deeper reflection and self assessment of current and historical patterns of institutional privilege, racism and power dynamics, including traditional University control over budgets and research processes. Mutual listening, cross-cultural dialogue and negotiated agreements that include new terms and conditions that benefit the communities are needed for shifting to doing research “with” rather than “on” communities of color. Our project has implications for other community-academic partners seeking new strategies for institution-wide engagement, rather than project-specific research and for building public trust and a “community of researchers” that spans institutional boundaries.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session participants will be able to: Identify 2-3 institutional barriers and facilitators to effective community engaged research. Describe key components for training community and academic partners in intercultural communications, dialogue and CBPR. Discuss strategies and tools for negotiating terms of engagement that benefit not just the researcher but also the community.

Keywords: Community Participation, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Tribal Liaison for the Community Engagement Core under the NM CARES Health Disparity Center. I have ten years experience with community outreach as a health educator and prevention specialist geared towards diabetes and substance abuse prevention. My past role as a community outreach specialist allowed me to engage and build partnerships with various groups and organizations in the Native American communities. I am currently pursuing my Master’s Degree in Community Health Education.
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.