This renewal application for the Center for American Indian and Alaska Native Health Disparities (CAIANHD;P60 MD000507) is organized in terms of 4 Cores: an Administrative Core, a Research Core, a Research Training and Education Core, and a Community Engagement and Outreach (CE/O) Core. Candace M. Fleming, Ph.D., (Kickapoo/Onedia/Cherokee), Associate Professor, Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health (CAIANH), Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Denver (UCD), will direct the Community Engagement and Outreach (CE/O) Core. Dr. Fleming, a clinical psychologist, is nationally recognized for her research and leadership in areas directly relevant to all aspects of this request to renew our comprehensive (P60) NIMHD Comprehensive Center of Excellence (COE) and in ongoing efforts to understand and eliminate health disparities among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs). The CE/O Core has 5 Specific Aims: 1. Employ and expand community partnerships to facilitate the planning, conduct, and dissemination of high-quality research that holds promise for reducing the differential in health status and access to care that experienced by AI/AN populations; 2. Transfer the requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes to Native and non-Native investigators to enable them to build and maintain their own working relationships with the same or similar community partners; 3. Bring community partners more fully into the process of selecting questions for study, of framing the nature of the research designs, of assisting with the identification and operationalization of key constructs, and of collecting relevant data; 4. Develop and improve upon mechanisms for disseminating the results of health disparities research, so that there is a greater likelihood of more immediate application for the benefit of the local populace;and 5. Demonstrate that scientific merit, applicability of health disparities research, and subsequent advocacy are not mutually exclusive, but rather can be combined in a synergistic fashion that enhances the value of each.
These aims flow directly from the CAIANH philosophy and represent important guideposts for continuing to promote a meaningful research agenda that attracts and sustains the participation of Native people, their families, and communities in an enterprise that can benefit all parties. The CE/O Core houses 3 interrelated efforts that focus on mobilizing Al/ANs to participate in and eventually lead health disparities research and advocacy within their communities: a) extending our extensive experience in Community Readiness Assessment methods to health disparities research by developing a multimedia. Internet-based tool kit that will more broadly and effectively disseminate this important work to AI/AN populations;b) focusing our previous dissemination activities, pursued through the Native Telehealth Outreach and Technical Assistance Program (NTOTAP), on digital storytelling as a primary vehicle for social marketing of priorities for and approaches to AI/AN health disparities research and advocacy;and c) convening high-quality tribal research conferences that disseminate locally relevant, scientifically meritorious research findings and facilitate partnerships consistent with community-based participatory research (CBPR) principles. The last?tribal research conferences?becomes, then, the means for integrating and disseminating the Community Readiness Assessment methodology and social marketing techniques in a targeted fashion to AI/AN communities. As possible throughout, we will underscore the potential impacts of addressing trauma-related health disparities. Dr. Fleming will be assisted in these activities by Ms. Rhonda Dick and Dr. Jan Beals. Ms. Dick holds a Master's Degree in Educational Technology Leadership, serves as the Technology Coordinator for the CAIANH, and directs NTOTAP. She will continue those activities here and also will collaborate with Dr. Fleming and others on the development of a Community Readiness Assessment tool kit. In the CE/O Core, Dr. Beals will continue her current collaborative role with our tribal partners in the planning of tribal research conferences. As we will show, these efforts build directly upon our accomplishments during the current period of support, and position us for success in the proposed period of renewal.
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