The Community Engagement/Outreach Core plays a central role in advancing SIRC's mission of developing an Exploratory Center to reduce and eliminate health disparities among diverse populations of the Southwest. This core matches the Center's theme by fostering an equitable collaboration between university researchers and ethnic-minority community representatives in order to conduct health disparities research and interpret and disseminate research findings and other information within a participatory action framework. The research will explore cultural processes as fundamental to the causes of morbidity and mortality in Southwestern ethnic minority communities and thus advance knowledge of health disparities. Community partners will act as experts, providing feedback on research questions, designs and findings, and will actively participate in the translation of research to practice in community settings. The core will be a forum where university-community teams develop research partnerships to address health disparities. The priority of this core is to maintain local relevance through the implementation of participatory action research and community-oriented dissemination activities responding to the needs identified by community constituencies. The core will facilitate the recruitment of community partners and the maintenance of a good working relationship with community-based participatory action research projects. This core team recruits and mentors the Community Research Associates (CRAs). CRAs are staff members of community agencies who become paid staff members of a research team. CRAs are assigned official roles on Center projects and can participate in a range of research activities. The CRA mechanism is an institutionalized way to engage community collaborators in effective participatory action research. Center resources are allocated to assure the CRA receives any necessary training and compensation. Potential CRAs are identified through the Center's extensive community and agency ties and through the operations of the Community Advisory Board. In addition, the core team coordinates outreach activities in community settings such as health centers and schools targeting heath providers and community members. Ongoing information and dissemination will also take place through a public website and computer kiosks with relevant and up-to-date information on health disparities.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Arizona State University-Tempe Campus
United States
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