Health disparities in the US are more pronounced among racially/ethnically diverse, sexual and gender minority (SGM), and lower-income populations. Academic-community partnerships are critical to research focused on addressing these health disparities. When academics and partners collaborate to conduct such research, the collaboration can result in more sizable and longer lasting changes. However, research is lacking on effective models for partnerships that simultaneously promote reciprocal capacity building and knowledge transfer among academics and partners, including those that serve the same minority and health disparate populations (e.g., Hispanic/Latino, SGM, and lower-income populations). Thus, a driving force for the proposed Center and Community Engagement Core (CEC) is to solidify a bidirectional learning process, one that seeks to reduce the research-to-practice and research-to-policy gaps that exist, and improve the collective impact of our work. We seek this with clinical and population-focused organizations that serve underserved populations who are at greatest risk of poor health outcomes. Specifically, the CEC will partner with two FQHCs, one located in an urban environment (Family Health Centers of San Diego in San Diego County) and one located in a rural environment (Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo, Inc. in Imperial County, California), as well as a large county health and human service agency that serves over three million residents in San Diego County (County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency). We seek to promote capacity building and knowledge transfer by and between the Center investigators and CEC partners through three Workgroups and a CEC Committee: (1) the Research Workgroup will involve a collaboration between the Center CEC investigators, CEC partners, and other interested parties on processes for meaningful use of Electronic Health Record (EHR) data and the development of a Patient Registry for Health Research to address recruitment challenges with underserved and hard-to-reach populations; (2) the Research Translation Workgroup will identify effective methods for dissemination of Center research findings and products from transdisciplinary efforts. The dissemination activities are designed to inform practices and policies to promote the diffusion, adoption, and sustainability of effective evidence-based interventions and build the capacity of community residents to use these data to effect changes in their communities; and, (3) the Clinical Practice Workgroup, in collaboration with the AC Evaluation team, will assess the needs of clinical partners to develop a `Practice and Provider Toolkit'. Finally, the CEC will collaborate with other Cores and Research Projects to maximize what is achievable. For example, CEC Committee members and partners will be encouraged to help design trainings for academics and partners on how to establish successful partnerships. Collaborations between CEC partners, Research Projects and Investigator Development Core pilot projects will further inform infrastructure needs and priorities.

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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San Diego State University
San Diego
United States
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