Community engaged participatory research (CBPR) is defined as the process of working collaboratively with groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interests, or similar situations affecting their well- being. Dissemination of research findings with stakeholders and community members is a significant part of CBPR as it relates to the GCCCR Community Engagement Core (CEC). CBPR requires effective communication between researchers and stakeholders. Bidirectional communication is essential for any community-focused research or intervention to ensure a functional, successful collaboration. This CBPR principle holds true for environmental health and dissemination of research findings in a community setting. To build a trusting collaborative relationship between community members and researchers, bi-directional dialogue must be established. Community Health Workers (CHWs) are frontline public health workers who have a close understanding of the communities they serve. Volunteer Peer Health Advocates (VPHAs) are trained volunteers who are committed to improving the health of their communities. Establishing relationships between CHWs, VPHAs and community members creates mutual respect, enabling bidirectional dialogue between communities and researchers, thus laying the foundation for ongoing, symbiotic collaboration. Leveraging what CHWs and PHAs learn from constant engagement with community members will help researchers identify areas for further investigation. This collaboration enables CHWs and VPHAs to serve as liaisons and intermediaries between health care and social service systems. An advisory board will facilitate bidirectional communication between researchers and stakeholders within the specified GCR communities. The board will serve as the primary resource for developing and conducting environmental health literacy training as well as facilitating town hall meetings to serve as a key platform for increasing awareness, building trust, and disseminating research findings and information. Further, the CEC will utilize existing CHWs and VPHAs to assist in the identification and recruitment of key community members to participate in formative research including a baseline environmental health assessment to determine communities? needs, knowledge, resources, strengths, and limitations. This information will be used to identify collaborations and develop appropriate environmental health education and training to reduce barriers and effectively achieve these goals. In addition to town hall meetings, the CEC will develop a social media page to use as an effective tool in research dissemination and bidirectional commination between the community members and researchers. An electronic newsletter will feature research updates, research findings, and announce opportunities for community members to participate in active research. The electronic newsletter will be distributed to stakeholders, community organizations, local health departments, faith based organizations, community based organizations, and community members.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Research Program Projects (P01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZES1)
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Florida Gulf Coast University
Fort Myers
United States
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