The Participatory Research and Community Partnerships Core (PRCPC), formerly named the Social Policy and Dissemination Core (SPDC), will translate the knowledge, skills and experience acquired over the last 4 years in participatory research (PR) methods and community partnerships into practice/action by community and university investigators to eliminate/reduce health disparities in vulnerable populations and develop science in this area. As this Core has matured, our goal to promote the use of PR methods has been a central focus of the PRCPC and our experience with PR has grown accordingly. Core activities are evolving in the direction of forming community partnerships. The PRCPC will extend and expand prior accomplishments in the use PR methods with an emphasis on assisting investigators to conduct culturally and linguistically competent community research. In addition we will pursue a new goal of mentoring investigators in strategies to establish partnerships with a variety of communities to conduct research. The focus of these partnerships will center on the conduct of participatory research and the dissemination of findings. Continued active involvement of research participants in all phases of the research process remains a centerpiece and primary goal of the PRCPC. The Core plans to embark on wider ranging community network activities, and increased interdisciplinary and new inter-university collaborations.
The Specific Aims of the PRCPC are to: 1) mentor new and experienced community and university investigators in the use of participatory research methods and in establishing community partnerships; 2) strengthen existing community partnerships, develop partnerships with a minority serving university, and seek new community partners as needed to conduct research addressing health disparities; 3) assist investigators to develop culturally and linguistically competent programs of community research; 4) develop additional strategies to influence health, social and public policy; and 5) disseminate the methods and work/outcomes of the PRCPC to the communities participating in the research, other investigators, clinicians, ethicists and policy makers. The sum of these efforts will be directed toward influencing future research, clinical practice, health policy development and ethical decision-making. Continuation of the work begun by the SPDC and the extension of this work in the PRCPC will provide services that are essential to the continued success of the Center for Vulnerable Populations Research.
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