The overall goal of CHERM's Community Engagement Core (CEC) is to foster and enhance rural, tribal, and Mexican migrant community-CHERM partnerships that will mitigate health disparities through community engagement. Meeting this goal requires sustainable community collaborations, use of community-based participatory research methods (CBPR), and innovative health communications that consider relevant cultural, linguistic, and literacy needs. This core draws on the expertise of a team of community-academic partners who highly value the mutual goal of improved community health through engagement, dialogue, and collective problem solving. Community members are cultural experts-they "...know what will work and what will not work in their own communities." Importantly, community members also know what health problems are of greatest concern to their community. Yet, Nafive communities, as an example, can be distrustful of researchers because of previous experiences. Thus, the CEC will utilize a cyclical methodological model that entails continual leadership, input, and feedback from community members and is based on the community being an equitable partner in the research. This Core is well integrated into the CHERM in that it will contribute, at least in part, to the accomplishment of three of four of the CHERM speciflc aims. To help achieve CHERM Aim 1, the CEC will fund Community Research Associates (CRAs) to work in the communities and organize a CHERM Community Advisory Board (CAB) for the purpose of facilitating community involvement in determining and evaluafing CHERM activifies. To help achieve CHERM Aim 3, the CEC will facilitate initiation of CHERM investigator-community relationships, aid CHERM investigators in establishing community advisory boards and help conduct their meetings, aid CHERM investigators in recruifing community research participants, and facilitate CHERM investigator-community disseminafion of research results and development of informed intervenfions. To help achieve CHERM Aim 4, the CEC will train and mentor CHERM investigators participating in the interdisciplinary research projects supported by the CHERM pilot project program.
The overall goal of CHERM's Community Engagement Core (CEC) is to foster and enhance both tribal and rural community-CHERM partnerships that will mitigate health disparities through community engagement. Establishing and maintaining partnerships and involving communities as equitable partners in the research and subsequent interventoons is critical to achieving the goal of improving health in these communities.