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Office of Community Research and Engagement

The Community Based Research key function goal is to establish the Office of Community Research and Engagement (OCRE) within the PRCTRC to promote capacity building in community-based research and to link campus and community activities to increase interdisciplinary collaboration and translation of clinical research into practice.   We aim to be a resource for community organizations seeking help and technical assistance in addressing current and emerging health issues.

OCRE serves as a venue for mobilization, capacity building, and collaborative research involving a wide range of community partners and with PRCTRC key functions and investigators.

Activities take into consideration interests and needs from all participants involved, including:

  1. Institutions (clinical and translational research centers that are part of the CTSA network: UPR-Medical Sciences Campus, Ponce School of Medicine and Universidad Central del Caribe),
  2. CTSA network (e.g. The University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Yale University, University of California at San Francisco, and the University of Rochester Medical Center), and
  3. Community partners (local Community-based Organizations (CBOs), government agencies and existing partnerships).

OCRE has two main purposes.  First, to explore community-based organizations and research centers’ attitudes, knowledge and training needs in community-, evidence- and population-based research.  Second, to develop a capacity building and technical assistance program and serve as a venue for collaborative research involving the wide range of community partners mentioned above.

Since our focal point is to link campus and community activities to increase interdisciplinary collaboration and translation of clinical research into practice we will:

  • Recruit at least 3 CBOs from different health regions within Puerto Rico to become part of the Community Engagement Collaborative Group, matching all community partners with a university researcher.
  • Determine knowledge, perception and readiness to implement Evidence Based Practices (EBP) among community-based organizations and researchers- attitudes and concerns associated with community participatory research.
  • Develop capacity building, training and technical assistance programs in topics related to community-based research and evidence-based programs.
  • Translate, culturally adaptat and  disseminate guidelines to promote community-engagement research partnerships with the input of all partners and members of the research community among all institutions.
  • Link the researchers and the community leaders in activities to increase interdisciplinary collaboration and translation of clinical research into practice.

We expect these activities will:

  • promote collaborative clinical and community-based research efforts across programs, schools, and universities;
  • encourage and develop capacity among CBOs to implement EBPs;
  • develop an understanding of health disparity issues within communities; and
  • enhance/create healthy community-campus partnerships.
Funding

The project is supported by grant 8U54MD007587-03 (RCMI Clinical and Translational Research award, University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus) from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIMHD or NIH.

Consortium Institutions

The Puerto Rico Clinical and Translational Research Consortium is a collaborative project of the the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, Universidad Central del Caribe and Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

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