OVERALL COMPONENT We propose an innovative and synergistic combination of research, career development, and community partnership activities that will engage communities in delivering and disseminating health disparity interventions. Such community involvement has the potential to enhance the innovation, potency, relevance, and sustainability of efforts to reduce health disparities. The Administrative Core will oversee, manage, and coordinate all proposed activities and will facilitate equitable, collaborative, and sustainable relationships with communities, institutions, and other stakeholders. The Investigator Development Core will publicize the availability of a pilot project program and utilize an online system for submission and review of applications. Both academic investigators and community organizations will provide intensive support to pilot awardees to ensure successful project completion. Our two complementary research projects involve novel approaches for engaging community members. The first project seeks to address social contextual factors that function as barriers to hypertension management. We will train lay health advisors to help African American patients with poorly controlled hypertension to address these barriers. The second project seeks to increase the input of health disparity populations into the dissemination of research findings by medical journals. We will train and mentor community members to review manuscripts for two prominent journals. Journal editorial teams will then use these reviews in decisions to accept, revise, or reject manuscripts. The Community Engagement and Dissemination Core will engage with and disseminate research findings to community members, partner organizations, service organizations, policymakers, and scientists. The Community Core will also develop a strategic plan to translate research findings into sustainable community and system-level changes that will have a measurable impact on minority health and health disparities. An independent evaluator will monitor and evaluate the processes and outcomes of our activities. We will use ongoing evaluations to modify and improve our activities. Strengths and innovative features of our application include involvement of a broad range of community organizations, institutions, and multidisciplinary faculty and staff; use of theoretical models or conceptual frameworks to guide the work of each Core and project; synergistic use of overlapping personnel, community partners, and shared activities across Cores and projects; strong institutional commitment by Case Western Reserve University and MetroHealth Medical Center, including provision of additional resources; and the experience, expertise, and prior productivity of the personnel involved in the Center of Excellence.
OVERALL COMPONENT The proposed Center of Excellence will conduct a number of research, educational, and community partnership activities that focus on involving communities in delivering and disseminating health disparity interventions.
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