The mission of the Community Engagement and Outreach Core is to facilitate university-community engagement and community outreach, with the goal of improved minority health and reduced health disparities in the Chicago metropolitan community. Since 1965, the UIC medical and health science colleges, through a wide and evolving network of campus-community partnerships, have become important contributing members of the host community, focusing on neighborhood revitalization, economic development, education, environmental justice, and health and safety. The proposed Community Core will support and motivate faculty, students, and community partners for engagement in community-centered research, develop and strengthen university/community partnerships, and facilitate dissemination of research findings in community settings. Efforts to improve public health and eliminate health disparities require an ecological approach that engages communities in setting priorities, conducting research, and disseminating findings (Healthy People 2010;Institute of Medicine, 2002). To accomplish its mission, the Community Core will follow an ecological model of health promotion, drawing on our well-established expertise, resources, and community relationships to expand UlC's public health impact. This ecological model was developed by the Center for Population Health and Health Disparities (CPHHD) at UIC in collaboration with seven other such centers nationally funded by NIH (Figure 1 in Overview section). In addition, the Core will be informed by key principles of communitybased participatory research for developing a collaborative approach to equitably involve community members, organizational representatives, and researchers (Israel et al., 1998). The proposed UIC Center of Excellence in Eliminating Disparities (CEED) program has chosen to use cancer as an exemplar. By focusing initially on cancer, we build on the strength of our experience with the UIC CPHHD funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI);the Stay Beautiful-Stay Alive outreach program of the National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer the Chicago REACH OUT program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;and the Patient Navigator Research Program funded by NCI. These efforts have provided definitive insights into the barriers to care and models for improving health seeking behaviors through community outreach, patient navigation and culturally appropriate messaging. We will translate these research findings to the community through a community dissemination program aimed at increasing early detection of breast cancer. Our dissemination plan subsequently will be used as a model for community translation of the research findings from the colorectal and prostate cancer studies conducted as part of this CEED to other threats to community health (diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease). We will build on the significant community partnerships that have been developed among researchers, community leaders, community based organizations, and health care providers over more than 20 years, as we have worked together to address cancer in minorities in Chicago. These have been uniquely effective partnerships that have blended research and political activism to produce policy change. These community-wide efforts have recently culminated in Illinois becoming the most progressive state in the U.S. in terms of public funding for breast and cervical cancer, by expanding state medical coverage to include diagnosis and treatment and to cover all uninsured women regardless of income.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Comprehensive Center (P60)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1)
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University of Illinois at Chicago
United States
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