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:
- 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),
- 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
- 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.
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.