The primary goal of the Community Engagement Core (CE Core) is to develop, implement, and evaluate a community-based infrastructure to maintain linkage (engagement) between DRTC researchers and the targeted communities, including community-based organizations, community leaders, research volunteers, and community health-care systems and providers. In addition, the Core will facilitate the study of health disparities related to diabetes. The DAB DRTC is located within the heart of the Southeast, a region with a large, historically underserved African American population and a fast-growing Hispanic population.
The specific aims are: 1. To establish a coalition that will lead to effective partnerships between the community and DRTC users; 2. To promote capacity building in the targeted communities by educating and empowering the community constituents, such as community-based organizations and church representatives, and by establishing networks of well-trained community volunteers; 3. To develop a culturally appropriate plan to enhance the recruitment and retention of minorities in diabetes-related research studies, with emphasis on underserved groups; 4. To help DRTC investigators pilot-test research tools and protocols, assure cultural competency of measurement tools and interventions, and measure socio-cultural factors related to the health disparities of diabetes; 5. To engage community partners in the application and dissemination of findings from relevant diabetes research projects; 6. To develop a training program that educates DRTC investigators and staff on the best practices for conducting research in racial/ethnic minority communities with emphasis on cultural competency, bioethics, risk assessment, behavioral change, and community based participatory research principles. These core services are based on the expressed needs of funded DRTC Members, and will support a strong research base in human metabolism, interventions and trials, community based research, community participatory research, and health promotion. The CE Core leverages existing infrastructure for recruitment and community research at UAB, for targeted application to the study, prevention, and control of diabetes, diabetes complications, and cardiometabolic disease.
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