Research Centers

Research Centers

CDU Community Research

Community partnered (and based) research is a key activity in many of the Centers, Programs, and Grants at CDU.  The following information provides highlights of Community partnered programs from CDU Centers.


Community Engagement
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The mission of the Community Engagement Function is to improve the quality of health and eliminate health disparities among underserved communities (locally, nationally, and internationally) from a community-focused approach. This community-focused approach will entail actively engaging multiple stakeholders, representing the community’s diversity, to guide the development of mutually respectful community-academia partnerships that produce community-informed and relevant research.

1. Improve the translation of advancing technology into “real world” setting by a commitment to the community-participatory partnership paradigm.
2. Establish a representative network of collaborative partnerships with community based organizations and community serving agencies locally, nationally, and internationally.
3. Expand the academic capacity by developing a cadre of faculty researchers with expertise in community-participatory partnership research.
4. Establish an academic appointment process for Community Faculty.
5. Create a Community Engagement Speakers Bureau, which will highlight expertise of Community Faculty members, as well as increase the capacity of CDU faculty in community-participatory research strategies.

Community Engagement is a crucial part of CDU’s translational research activities, and a unique program called the “Community Faculty” was implemented to increase research capacity through the collaborative integration of local expertise. The community faculty are made up of local organizers and leaders who are well tuned to the issues faced by their communities. Community Faculty members receive a faculty appointment at the university and are responsible for advancing a research agenda. They are not traditional academics, yet they possess an expertise crucial to the mission and success of the university. They also act as intermediaries between academic researchers and community members. Often, it is up to them to communicate a research project to their community in lay language, and allay participant fears regarding the conduct of research. The community faculty secure a stake in the research enterprise for the community.

CommunityPlease visit the Community Faculty Profiles at:

Our Location:
1748 E. 118th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90059
Phone: 323-249-5704



CDU/UCLA CANCER CENTER PARTNERSHIP Community Outreach Program For Cancer Control And Prevention  
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The Community Cancer Outreach, Prevention and Control Program conducts cancer prevention and control through community-partnered participatory research, bidirectional educational exchange, and capacity building with its community partners in underserved and/or socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, predominantly in the South Los Angeles Area. The Program has continued to conduct community-partnered research with support of pilot projects between community and academic faculty.

  1. Expand existing community partnerships to include a focus on cancer awareness, prevention and control
  2. Enhance community and university capacity and relationships to support cancer education, information dissemination and cancer prevention and control.
  3. Provide knowledge transfer activities to disseminate current evidence-based cancer control knowledge from academia to community and experience-based knowledge from community to academia.
  4. Design and implement culturally and linguistically appropriate pilot and full cancer control research projects while maintaining community participation during all phases of the research.











  • Community Academic Council (30 Members)
    • Application of replicable model of CBPR, sustained partnerships, shared products
  • Latino Community Academic Council (15 Members)
    • Spanish-Speaking CAC to facilitate CPPR
  • Prevention, Treatment and Control of Cancer in Our Community Conference Series
  • Pilot and Program Sponsored Research Projects
    • Faith Based and Community Partnered Research and Patient Navigation program


    • The Community Faculty Program, Division of Community Engagement at Charles Drew University (CDU): Collaborative manuscript preparation and partnered proposals with Program members.
    • INTERNAL Healthy African-American Families II: Originator of the Community Partnered Participatory Research Model, host of CAC meetings, and Co-sponsor of the Buildings Bridges Community Conference series: . Ms. Lorettta Jones is CEO of HAAF and a key community partner.
    • UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Cancer Prevention and Control Research Center: Providing research expertise on survey design, analysis, and manuscripts.
    • The Accelerating Excellence in Translational Science (AXIS) Center at CDU: Providing additional statistical and programming staff for quantitative studies, and co-sponsorship of conferences and pilots:
    • Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI): UCLA, CDU, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, UCLA Harbor Hospital/LA BioMed: Conference co-sponsorship and support for Health Policy center efforts:
    • UCLA Center of Health Policy: Provided summary statistics on cancer risk, prevalence, and mortality and participated in shared analyses with CAC members.
    • INTERNAL South LA Patient Navigation and Wellness Center (PNWC): A new partner is PNWC, an activity originally supported as a seed-grant by the U54 to Dr. Roberto Vargas, and his community partners/CDU community faculty (Ms. D’Ann Morris, Pastor Rhonda Santifer). This is the first navigation and wellness center in South Los Angeles and is housed within CDU and the adjoining MLK-MACC. To date, the navigators (all bilingual in Spanish) have been heavily engaged in the Partnership, including participation in Community Cancer Outreach conferences. PNWC is a local resource for the U54 to help patients overcome access/follow-up barriers to receiving care and participating in research activities if elected. Find more info:


    • The American Cancer Society, South Los Angeles Leadership Council: Conference Co sponsorship.
    • Celebrate Life Cancer Ministry Cancer Survivor Network: Co-investigators on U54 pilot project and patient navigation and wellness center project: .
    • Coalition of (11) faith-based organizations: Developed as a result of Present Your Body pilot project
    • Coalition for a Safe Environment, Wilmington, CA; Commonwealth of California & the California Breast Cancer Research Program.
    • Martin Luther King Multispecialty Ambulatory Care Center (MLK-MACC); Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LADHS): Co-sponsor of patient navigation and wellness center project
    • The Los Angeles Urban League: Co-sponsor of patient navigation and wellness center project
    • Peoples Coordinated Services and Mixteco Indigenous Community Organization Project (MICOP): Proposal partnership in Community Capacity Building
    • City of Hope Hospital, Center of Community Alliance for Research & Education: Proposal partnerships on Latino Survivorship Care Panning and Multilevel analyses of Cultural and Social Determinants of Health.
    • California Community Foundation: Co-Sponsor patient navigation and wellness center project and other projects.



The CERP is the primary link to our diverse Los Angeles community. It builds community capacity to engage in research; communicates research findings; serves as a point of contact for community health care providers and facilitates opportunities for health services and comparative effectiveness research. Activities with CDU include:

      • Collaboration with the Weingart YMCA in South Los Angeles in development to establish a Lifestyle Intervention and Food Education (LIFE) Center.
      • CDU is one of 5 sites that has received collaborative funding from CTSI-LADHS to conduct an innovative program to deliver obesity services at DHS facilities.
      • UCLA has drafted a process to facilitate dissemination and sustainability strategies for the Community Faculty Track at CDU.

More Information:
For a list of CTSI Community Partners, please visit:

Community Outreach Core
African Americans and Latinos are less likely than whites to obtain important health information from health care providers or community resources. Similarly, these populations are less likely to receive evidence-based health care or to participate in research than are white Americans. Because of this, little information is available to guide health promotion efforts and appropriate provision of care for these populations. The Community Core seeks to address these disparities through developing and evaluating innovative strategies for disseminating state-of-the-art health information to community residents, such as through lay health workers or promotoras. The Core aims to develop stable, mutually beneficial relationships with community-serving agencies. These relationships will form the basis of trust necessary to recruit and retain community members in research. This research will be guided by community participatory principals and will grow directly out of identified health needs and goals of the community. In addition, health care information will be disseminated using principles of the collaborative care model to providers of health care for the community, and provide mentoring opportunities, tied to community participatory experiences, to enhance the likelihood of producing researchers eager to develop high quality health disparities research.
The Community Core has also partnered with a number of community agencies to facilitate studies within the entire Project EXPORT.

  • Specific Aim 1: To disseminate culturally sensitive, relevant health information to low-income African American and Latino communities in Los Angeles.
  • Specific Aim 2: To disseminate evidence-based health care information to providers in health care settings that serve low-income African American and Latino communities in Los Angeles.
  • Specific Aim 3: To partner with communities in collaborative research relationships which form the basis of trust necessary to engage community members in research.
  • Specific Aim 4: To provide mentoring to minority junior faculty in community-based, participatory research.

RECENT COMMUNITY OUTREACH CORE HIGHLIGHTS                                                                                   
Recently published details regarding the process and the preliminary work of our primary academic-community partnership project aimed at developing strategies to improve community research infrastructure. (E&D Volume 16, Number 1 Supplement 1: The Community Health Improvement Collaborative: Building Community-Academic Partnerships to Reduce Disparities). Witness for Wellness: The Witness for Wellness Project, a partnership between Healthy African American Families, Charles Drew University, the UCLA Health Services Research Center, and RAND, focuses on depression. The Building Wellness Pilot project tests the feasibility of an Internet-based toolkit for depression screening, education, and referral in social service agencies. One major step in improving outcomes for persons with mild to moderate depression involves getting people to treatment through referrals. Mild to moderate depression often goes undiagnosed, especially in underrepresented minority populations. This pilot project is the product of a community-academic partnered team that created a web-based toolkit for use in social service agencies. The goal of the project was to provide an accessible toolkit for use in social service agencies and to evaluate the feasibility of its implementation. The Community Advisory Board has become a highly integral part of Project EXPORT activities. They have participated actively in meetings providing feedback to junior faculty members regarding papers emerging from their projects, and participated formally in the review and selection of pilot grants, including identification of potential community mentors. The Board attended the Office of Minority Health Disparities Conference in January 2006 and their insights and perspectives were brought back to the Academic arm of our team. These innovative activities truly embrace the spirit of partnership, a core value of Project EXPORT.