Collaboration with communities in research occurs along a continuum referred to as community-engaged research. Community-engaged research is recognized by NIH, researchers and community groups as critical to understanding and addressing differences in health status and health outcomes across race, ethnicity and income status. As a result, community groups are increasingly being approached by researchers seeking to conduct research in the communities they serve or have access to, and more community groups are initiating their own research studies. Universities and university-based health disparities researchers have established funding mechanisms for their research roles and networks for professional development, mentoring and advocacy. As more community organizations are engaged in research, it is clear that they need their own such supports. Building on a successful conference held in December 2011 that laid the foundation for a national community partner network, our proposed conference, """"""""A National Community Partner Forum on Community-Engaged Research as a Tool for Eliminating Health Disparities: From Dialogue to Action"""""""" will convene community organizations involved in health disparities research to deepen their knowledge and skills, present their work and get feedback from peers, dialogue with key stakeholders, and grow and strengthen a national community partner network.
Community-engaged research is recognized by NIH, researchers and community groups as critical to achieving health equity across the diverse communities that comprise the United States. By convening community organizations that are involved in community-engaged health disparities research, our proposed conference will help to ensure that communities most affected by health disparities are at the decision making tables that decide what research gets conducted, how and by whom, and that adequate resources are provided for their involvement. As such, the proposed conference seeks to ensure that community-engaged health disparities research in the future can reach its full potential to improve the public's health.