Online Program

Expanding Participatory Governance: Using Town Halls to Engage Broader Community and Academic Voices in CEnR Program Planning

Monday, November 2, 2015

Jennifer Herd, MHLP, Department of Public Health, City of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Rebecca Ford-Paz, PhD, Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
Benjamin Rucker, MPH, Chinese Mutual Aid Association, ARCC Steering Committee Member, Chicago, IL
Amy Eisenstein, PhD, Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
Melissa Simon, MD, MPH, Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Preventive Medicine and Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Gina Curry, BS, Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities (ARCC), Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
Jen Brown, MPH, Institute for Public Health and Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
There is increasing evidence about the positive impact of using collaborative community-engaged approaches to research. Similarly, efforts to build and sustain community-university infrastructure to promote community-engaged research (CEnR) are also improved by a collaborative approach. For this reason, the Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities (ARCC), in Northwestern University’s Center for Community Health, embraces a participatory governance model for achieving its mission to grow equitable and collaborative partnerships between Chicago communities and Northwestern for research that lead to measureable community health improvements. 

The ARCC steering committee (SC) of Chicagoland community and faith-based organizations, public agencies and Northwestern faculty has decision-making power in planning ARCC’s strategic directions, programs, and budgeting. The SC recognized early on that while only a limited number of community and academic partners can serve on the SC, ARCC serves a much larger set of current and potential partners. ARCC has hosted five annual open Town Halls to invite input from a broader group of community and academic voices on program priorities, activities and future directions. 

Each town hall agenda includes sharing ARCC activities/outcomes to date, showcasing an ARCC-supported partnership, and facilitating group discussions. Town halls are held diverse locations across Chicagoland and are led and facilitated by ARCC community and academic SC members. Town halls are well attended and input has led to changes in ARCC activities/directions. They’ve also successfully engaged Northwestern institutional leaders directly with a wide range of partners. Community and academic presenters will share town hall logistics, input impact, and strategies for replication.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Program planning
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify strategies for engaging broader community and academic voices in research program planning. Describe the logistics and planning steps in organizing these type of events. Discuss impact of these events and strategies for replication.

Keyword(s): Community-Based Research (CBPR), Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am directly involved in the planning and delivery of this event.
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.