CDU Community-Based Research

CDU Community-Based Research

The Research mission has accelerated in response to the persisting the high morbidity and excess mortality in the community surrounding CDU. The Research activities have benefited from long-standing and expanding relationships with local medical schools, research institutions, community-based organizations (CBOs), and community servicing agencies (CSAs).

Over the past decade, there has been a progressive evolution and restructuring of the relationship between CDU and many CBOs. Much of this is built upon a participatory model which has allowed the establishment of ongoing dialog between the Research Enterprises at CDU and the community at large. This is facilitated primarily through meetings among CBOs, the Department of Health Services (DHS) Local Area Health Office, and CDU. This has led to a template for the review of health related issues that is further refined through feedback from participants at local working groups and conferences supported by the Research Enterprises in collaboration with the community. The infusion of greater community involvement into the research process improves the translation of advancing technology into “real-world” settings.

Community members actively participate in research design, implementation, educational and outreach strategies, and scholarly activities. More recently, this process has expanded to include additional academic partners such as UCLA, RAND, Cedars Sinai Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente in community activities as we seek to create a more unified and inclusive model for the approach to health care issues in Los Angeles. 

This process resulted in a platform of community advisory groups that help guide the design of participatory/collaborative research and academic approaches addressing specific diseases that both community and academia see as important to address, in the context of the broader health care system and the local community environment. In other words, community organizations contribute to the research being conducted to help improve patient outcomes by adding insight beyond the scope of academic medical centers.

Several collaborations that serve as a bridge between CDU and community’s needs include:
  • South Central Multipurpose Senior Citizen Center (SCMSCC)—a non-profit service delivery system that provides services and programs to seniors in Los Angeles, with a specific focus on the South Central community.
  • T.H.E. Clinic—the only non-profit community healthcare clinic located in Southwest Los Angeles , which provides special outreach programs for African Americans, Latinos, and Asians, The clinic serves as the primary care home for community members with a full range of health needs.  T.H.E. Clinic is able to provide support in eleven languages.
  • Healthy African American Families (HAAF)—a non-profit, community-serving agency whose mission is to improve the health outcomes of the African American and Latino communities in Los Angeles County by enhancing the quality of care and by advancing social progress through education, training, and collaborative partnering with community, academia, researchers and government.
  • Service Planning Area 6 (SPA 6)—a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors-designated community representing the cultural and business heart of the Los Angeles African American community. SPA 6 includes parent representatives, caregivers, community based organizations, county departments, school administrations, community businesses, advocacy groups, youth and concerned community members. The collaborative group is comprised of more than 500 member organizations and meets monthly to help identify and fill gaps in services, share information about issues facing SPA 6 communities and constituents, and networks. Many CDU Clinical Research programs interact closely with the SPA 6 community and are active members of working committees.
  • Bienestar—a non-profit committed to enhancing the health and well-being of the Latino and other underserved communities. Bienestar—which originated as a result of neglect and non-existent HIV/AIDS services for the Latino community—provides community education, prevention, intervention, mobilization, advocacy, and direct social support services.

View the September 14, 2007, presentation on Collaborative Community-Based Clinical and Translational Research entitled:
Academia-Community Partnered Participatory Research: Considerations for Navigating the "Road Less Traveled" by Loretta Jones, M.A., Founder and Executive Director, Healthy African American Families and Keith Norris, M.D., Executive Vice President for Research and Health Affairs, Charles Drew University.

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