The mission of the proposed Advanced Center for Innovation in Services and Intervention Research (ACISIR) is to improve the quality of life of middle-aged and older people with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders through the development, implementation, and dissemination of evidence-based practice through community partnerships. The engagement of community stakeholders (consumers, caregivers, and care providers) as well as the expansion of community research capacity will be an important focus of the Center. This will be accomplished under the direction of the Partners'Council, a decision-making group consisting of equal representation from the investigators and community partners, the primary one being a large public mental health system - i.e., San Diego County's Adult and Older Adult Mental Health Services. Additional community partners will include the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and VA San Diego Healthcare System. We will seek to build, sustain, and expand community partnerships, and to mobilize community support and enhance infrastructure for research capacity. A critical component of this Core will be interactive, bi-directional communication with community stakeholders throughout the development and execution of research projects. Center infrastructure will foster research and education that address three major themes: (I) Optimizing pharmacotherapy, (II) Enhancing recovery through psychosocial interventions, and III) Developing and adapting assessments and interventions for underserved subgroups. The Operations Core will have five general Units: Administrative Unit;Clinical Trials Management Unit;Methodology, Biostatistics, and Data Management Unit;Community Liaison Unit;and Dissemination Unit;as well as three specialized Units: Bioethics Unit;Latino Studies Unit;and Training and Career Development Unit. In this application, we propose three exemplar Developmental Research Projects, and five Pilot Projects. These projects were selected and refined through the community partnership. These and other research projects will be accomplished through close interactions among all the four Center Cores, building sustainable multidisciplinary teams of investigators and community partners. There will be a regular evaluation of the individual projects, Units, Cores, and the partnership as a whole, conducted by all the partners.
This proposed Center will address interventions and services for middle-aged and older people with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders in the community. This group of consumers represents a fast growing yet one of the most disenfranchised and understudied segments of our society.
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