Community Based Research

priscillapemuRevised 

Lead: Priscilla E. Pemu,M.B.B.S., M.S.C.R.,F.A.C.P.

The goal of Community Based Research is to formulate a multidisciplinary research team, inclusive of the Bioinformatics Unit, that will position community-based physicians to fashion collaborations, utilize cutting-edge technology through EMR, and build a community model for accomplishing research within the community that effect its health.

 

Community Based Research Aims

Aim 1: Transform Our Institution - Establish an organizational framework for conducting community based clinical/translational research that promotes multi-disciplinary approaches to addressing health disparities. This specific aim will be fulfilled by the integration and coordinated execution of several RCENTER key functions that will be implemented in the designated Key Function Units within the R-CENTER.

R-CENTER Key Function Units Implementing Community Based Research:

  • Multidisciplinary Mentored Research Training and Career Development Program (MiDr-CAREER) -This program holds promise for being transformative by its focus on creating multidisciplinary mentorship teams and collaborative research teams as part of its faculty development initiatives in clinical/translational science. A significant element of this framework is to link community-based investigators with other scientists as a means of extending a community-centric approach to clinical/translational research among our faculty and trainees.
  • Biomedical Informatics Unit -This key function element will deploy cross-cutting, enabling technologies that will facilitate the formation of collaborative multidisciplinary research teams. The extension of our informatics infrastructure into community-based practices will be transformative in helping to integrate a community-centered model into 'T2' translational science that affects health outcomes in communities.
  • Administrative Core and Governance - A major element of our community-centered model is to engage our community-based partners in the governance of our activities within the community. This is a longstanding model of community partnership at MSM that is maintained in our CDC-funded Prevention Research Center and Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Award. Accordingly, the R-CENTER governance structure includes a Community Advisory Board that functions in an analogous fashion to our External and Internal Advisory Committees composed of academicians. The community-based laypersons and civic leaders who participate on this board will play an important and active role in guiding the protocols and activities we conduct in our community-based research. In addition, the Federally Qualified Health Centers that are part of our collaborative partnership also have community advisory boards as part of their governance structure. In short, the active engagement of our community partners is an integral component of our conduct of R-CENTER community-based research.

Aim 2: Transform Our Research Environment - Establish a robust research infrastructure and vibrant training environment that fosters innovative, multidisciplinary community-based clinical/translational research. This specific aim will be fulfilled by the integration and coordinated execution of several R-CENTER key functions that will be implemented in the designated Key Function Units within the R-CENTER.

The Community Advisory Board is fully functional and they serve as a link between the public and the R-CENTER, thereby forging a bi-directional collaboration and interface with R-CENTER units and the community. In this capacity, the Board brings public perceptions and concerns about health studies to the attention of both trained community and academic investigators; thereby bridging community-based and translational research. They also make recommendations on ways of addressing public perceptions and concerns as it relates to community research, as well as expounding on the facility's present strengths, weaknesses, and long-term goals and potential.

Another important piece that will be vital in bridging R-CENTER with and training community physicians is The Morehouse-Rochester Research in Comparative Effectiveness Network (RICE). It is the first of its kind and working to establish sustainable infrastructure in community practices to support CER. Perhaps more importantly, this model establishes a foundation for future CER grant submissions in collaboration with the Community Physicians Network and will be working to further train physicians in the community of research. This will work intricately link community-based investigators with other scientists as a means of extending a community-centric approach to clinical/translational research among our faculty and trainees.