The Shared Resources and Methods Core
Shared Resources and Methods Core Specific Aims and Recent Highlights
The Research Methodology Core provides rigorous basic and advanced methodological support in biostatistics and other technical domains to both center investigators and faculty and students at Drew and UCLA. This core works closely with EXPORT pilot investigators at Drew and UCLA in developing and improving study design, planning of data analysis and understanding unique approaches to problem solving in a community setting. The core has utilized its expertise in health-related geographic information systems to perform community asset mapping, and for the assessment of geographic variations in health disparities and their causes in collaboration with Drew, UCLA and RAND investigators. The Research Methodology Core provides consultation to community partners and community-based organizations in conducting program development and scientific program evaluation, and grantsmanship training of community to assist them in developing infrastructure and self-sufficiency.
The work of the Research Methodology Core is highly significant. The core provides support to both faculty and community to ensure the methodological rigor and appropriateness of design for proposed projects is crucial to ensure the future success of both academic users and community partners.
The specific aims of the EXPORT Shared Resources and
Methodology Core are as follows:
Specific Aim 1: To provide rigorous basic and advanced methodological support in biostatistics and other technical domains to University investigators addressing health disparities.
Specific Aim 2: To utilize health related geographic information systems for performing community asset mapping and for the assessment of geographic variations in health disparities and their causes.
Specific Aim 3: To provide limited consultation to community partners and community-based organizations in conducting program development and scientific program evaluation.
Charles Drew Medical GIS Lab (CDMGIS)
The CDMGIS is a shared resource of the RCMI Biometry Core, RCMI Informatics Core, and Project EXPORT Shared Resources and Methods Core. The CDMGIS is a “dry lab” which is designed to facilitate the integration into medical research of the optimal tools and methods for understanding the spatial expressions and implications of disease and health. The CDMGIS supports research projects both for internal RCMI projects as well as for collaborative projects with investigators from other Drew departments as well as with outside entities, including UCLA and RAND. Investigators interested in incorporating spatial theories, spatial data and spatial methodologies into their research projects consult with Dr. Paul Robinson who received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California with a focus on urban geography and the application of geographical information systems and related spatial technologies in addressing urban issues.
Recent Shared Resources and Methods Core Highlights
The Core has been active on three fronts: support for research and pilot studies, general educational efforts in the EXPORT institutions, and educational support in the community. Specific activities include:
- Continued growth and development of the Charles Drew Medical Geographic Information Systems Lab (CDMGIS) adding a core resource and expertise to Drew, a primary mission of Project EXPORT. CDMGIS is now utilized in over eight extramural grants involving EXPORT investigators. CDMGIS software available to researchers includes ArcGIS 9.1, Arcview GIS 3.2, and a collection of ESRI GIS extensions, such as ArcGIS Geostatistical analyst, ArcGIS Network Analyst, ArcGIS 3D Analyst, and ArcGIS Spatial Analyst, and ArcPublisher, which has allowed dissemination of some of the GIS database through the Project EXPORT webpage.
- Dr. Mohsen Bazargan provided consultations and assistance in evaluation and assessment of two funded community-based interventions focusing in teen pregnancy and risky behaviors (Teen Mom program at Drew Foundation and Teen Awareness Program funded by Administration for Children and Families).
- Dr. Naihua Duan provided training in analytic design and analysis to Healthy African American Families (HAAF), a community-based organization that works on various public health promotion programs.
- Dr. Honghu Liu provided statistical consultation to community research organizations such as AIDS Research at Los Angeles.
- Dr. Magda Shaheen collaborated with Dr. Ralph Frerichs (UCLA School of Public Health) to enhance a rapid survey methodology that resulted in three published abstracts, presentations at national conferences, workshop, and a publication in preparation. A rapid survey workshop followed in May 2006.
- The Core co-sponsors a monthly methodology seminar at UCLA and Drew, jointly with UCLA Center for Community Health and the UCLA Health Services Research Center, hosted by Dr. Duan. This seminar series is video-conferenced between UCLA and Drew, to facilitate the participation of faculty, investigators, and students at both institutions, and recorded on videotapes to facilitate viewing by those who were unable to attend the seminars in person.