Community Engagement & Outreach (CEO) Core

Community engaged research (CEnR) is not a specific methodology; rather it is a value system that gives priority to the voice of the community and patient. CENR is a collaborative process between the researcher and community partners to create and disseminate knowledge in order to contribute to the discipline and strengthen the well-being of the community. The Community Engagement & Outreach (CEO) Core of the Delaware-CTR ACCEL Program (ACCEL) will make research more impactful and responsive to community needs by expanding the work of our initial funding and through the accomplishment of the following three specific aims.

Specific Aims

  1. Give voice and priority to the needs of our communities and patients. The CEO team will identify key questions and outcomes from the community, emphasizing the reduction of health disparities. We will expand our learning community, a group of both academic and community stakeholders functioning as learners around shared goals of discovery and/or knowledge generation. The CEO team will expand our effective Community Advisory Council as the building block of this learning community. Our needs assessment will be an iterative tool to expand and refine a shared vision and agenda, between ACCEL researchers, the community and policy makers.
  2. Integrate community engagement ubiquitously across all ACCEL components. Designated CEO leaders will liaison with each partner institution and each key component area of ACCEL. In conjunction with the Professional Development Core, the CEO will disseminate our successful, well-received and adaptable CEnR curriculum across all of ACCEL and specifically within the Junior Investigators Network, an ongoing community of junior researchers participating in regular professional development activities. CEO will work with Bioinformatics, Epidemiology and Research Design (BERD) to identify opportunities to measure outcomes that matter to patients and communities and to rein- force the integration of community priorities in BERD requests. Working with BERD, the CEO will ensure that ACCEL supported work is appropriately disseminated and implemented across our communities.
  3. Create and nurture teams that incorporate CEnR values. CEO will create and nurture new research teams and propel current teams to incorporate CEnR strategies into their research programs and to include outcomes that matter to patients, providers and communities in their work. Opportunities to develop new teams will be identified by the CEO team and the Community Advisory Council through continued quarterly meetings, by continued “speed-dating” events, through our highly successful annual meeting, the Community Research Exchange, and through our new Targeted workshop/Jump Start Grant mechanism. The CEO team will provide ongoing community-engagement consultation, including specific consultation around disparity science. The CEO will work with the Pilot Project Program component to identify and nurture at least one community-engaged pilot yearly and to allow a 2 year spending period for the CEnR teams. CEO will provide highly-tailored mentoring, education and other needed support for these CEnR teams.

Engaging patients and diverse communities in research improves research impact by using the unique local knowledge of the target community to identify key questions and desired outcomes from the perspective of the patient and community. Community engagement has the power to link the critical process of research to the creative process of dissemination, implementation and policy. This ACCEL CEO team has the experience, knowledge, skills, commitment, and relationships to support a culture shift and prioritize community engaged research that addresses community priorities across ACCEL and our communities.

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