Minority Health Archive

Aligning the Goals of Community-Engaged Research: Why and How Academic Health Centers Can Successfully Engage With Communities to Improve Health

Michener, Lloyd and Cook, Jennifer and Ahmed, Syed and Yonas, Michael A. and Coyne-Beasley, Tamera and Aguilar-Gaxiola, Sergio (2012) Aligning the Goals of Community-Engaged Research: Why and How Academic Health Centers Can Successfully Engage With Communities to Improve Health. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 87 (3). pp. 285-291. ISSN 1040-2446

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Abstract

Community engagement (CE) and community-engaged research (CEnR) are increasingly viewed as the keystone to translational medicine and improving the health of the nation. In this article, the authors seek to assist academic health centers (AHCs) in learning how to better engage with their communities and build a CEnR agenda by suggesting five steps: defining community and identifying partners, learning the etiquette of CE, building a sustainable network of CEnR researchers, recognizing that CEnR will require the development of new methodologies, and improving translation and dissemination plans. Health disparities that lead to uneven access to and quality of care as well as high costs will persist without a CEnR agenda that finds answers to both medical and public health questions. One of the biggest barriers toward a national CEnR agenda, however, are the historical structures and processes of an AHC—including the complexities of how institutional review boards operate, accounting practices and indirect funding policies, and tenure and promotion paths. Changing institutional culture starts with the leadership and commitment of top decision makers in an institution. By aligning the motivations and goals of their researchers, clinicians, and community members into a vision of a healthier population, AHC leadership will not just improve their own institutions but also improve the health of the nation—starting with improving the health of their local communities, one community at a time.


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Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is available at the publisher’s Web site. Access to the full text is subject to the publisher’s access restrictions.
Subjects: Practice > outreach
Research
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    Depositing User: Users 4259 not found.
    Date Deposited: 09 May 2012 23:57
    Last Modified: 09 May 2012 23:57
    Link to this item (URI): http://health-equity.pitt.edu/id/eprint/3899

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