Community-based participatory research (CBPR) has gained visibility and acceptance as an approach to engage minority communities in health disparities research. There have been an increasing number of conferences focused on CBPR, however typically they are tailored for academics. For community partners to participate as equal partners in CBPR with academic researchers there is a need to enhance their knowledge and skills and support systems among their peers at the national level. The Community-Based Public Health Caucus (CBPHC) of the American Public Health Association (APHA) was formed in 2000 by community and academic partners to promote CBPH in research, teaching, and practice. CBPR is an assets-based approach where communities, public health practitioners, and academicians work together to identify issues, mobilize resources, and implement solutions to improve health and promote health equity. CBPHC promotes the use of CBPR as a way to assure equitable relationships in community-academic partnering for research. CBPHC seeks support to maximize the resources and opportunities afforded by 2013 APHA Annual Meeting in Boston as a mechanism to address identified training and support needs of community partners in CBPR. This will include organizing 1) a full-day Learning Institute entitled, "Enhancing Expertise of Community Partners to Promote Equity in CBPR" conducted by experienced community and academic members of the CBPHC;2) sessions and meetings;and 3) formal and informal mentorship opportunities preceding, during, and after the APHA Annual Meeting. This plan builds on over eleven years of experience of CBPHC reaching out to and mentoring community partners, disseminating results, and building skills in CBPR. The overarching goal is to develop the knowledge and skills, as well as the peer relationships and support systems needed by community partners to reduce health disparities in their communities by participating as equal partners in CBPR. Our innovative approach is utilizing CBPHC and its connection with APHA to help achieve mutuality between community and academic partners enabling community members to be equal partners in CBPR. Our team will use CBPR principles (Israel et al, 1998) to guide the development and implementation of these activities. We will address the following aims through an iterative approach: 1) Through surveys and discussions with community members of the CBPHC and other research partnerships and national groups, develop a comprehensive understanding of priority training and support needs of community partners in CBPR;2) Maximize the resources and opportunities afforded by APHA as a mechanism to address identified training and support needs;3) Establish a peer mentoring/support program for community partners in CBPR and pilot modalities to build relationships and a network of support;and 4) Evaluate the effectiveness of training, peer mentoring, and support activities and identify ongoing and new training and support needs of participants.
Community-based participatory research (CBPR) has gained visibility and acceptance as an approach to engage minority communities in health disparities research (Israel et al 1998) (Eng 2006) (Jurkowski &Paul-Ward, 2007) (Minkler and Wallerstein 2008) (Bonham et al 2009) (De Loney et al, 2009) (Israel et al, 2010) (Minkler et al, 2012). This proposal supporting conference and related activities of the Community-Based Public Health Caucus is relevant to the mission of NIMHD and public health in that it will promote minority health and the reduction of health disparities by developing the knowledge and skills, as well as the peer relationships and support systems needed by the community partners to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities in their communities by participating as equal partners in CBPR (Community-Campus Partnerships for Health 2007) (Key et al, 2010) (Hammat et al, 2011) (Community Campus Partnerships for Health 2012). This conference plan will maximize the resources and opportunities afforded by the American Public Health Association as a mechanism to address identified training and support needs for the primary audience for these activities: community partners from minority and other health disparity communities who are or wish to be engaged as partners in health disparities research (Cashman et al 2008) (Griffith et al, 2009).