COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT CORE ABSTRACT The overarching goal of the HU RCMI Community Engagement Core (CEC) is to assure that biomedical research translates into actual reduction in disparities. To achieve this goal, community-academic partnerships must be designed for sustained effort that integrates community input, promotes research engagement, and effectively disseminates research findings to end-users. To engage communities in the DC metropolitan area in impactful partnerships, the CEC will employ three strategies. First, community leaders will serve in key leadership and decision-making roles for the HU RCMI. Two community members will serve on the HU RCMI Research Advisory Committee and provide feedback on the annual progress of the HU RCMI program. The CEC will also establish a Community Advisory Board of 5-7 local community members who will meet quarterly to provide ongoing guidance about building sustained relationships with the local community. The CEC itself will have a shared leadership structure that includes a community co-leader who has extensive ties to local health disparities networks. The CEC will work with the Investigator Development Core to enlist community partners as co-investigators in clinical and behavioral pilot research. The potential pool of community co-investigators will be drawn from a cooperative network the CEC will establish, bringing together local minority health and health disparities leaders and HU health disparities researchers. Second, the CEC will hire and train a Community Health Worker who will maintain a regular presence in the community to facilitate access to health-related information, resources, and services. He/she will maintain a small caseload of clients (10-12 per month) who receive health coaching and disease self-management support. A novel aspect of the Community Health Worker role will be to address social determinants of health such as employment and education in equal measure with the medical and physical health needs of clients. Moreover, the Community Health Worker will also help to disseminate findings from HU RCMI research to relevant communities. Dissemination activities will integrate research literacy education which is intends to enhance capacity among the general public to understand and use research results to make personal health decisions. Third, the CEC will implement a Pipeline-to-Proposal program to facilitate implementation of community-based participatory research best practices. This program will target early stage investigators applying for HU RCMI pilot project funding to conduct clinical and behavioral research, but will also be available to the wider network of HU investigators seeking external funding for community-engaged research projects. These three strategies are expected to work synergistically to produce measurable and meaningful outcomes that favorably impact the historically intractable health disparities in the District of Columbia.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1)
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Howard University
United States
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