In the 1st issue LACDMH's partnership with USC's Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute (SC CTSI) was described. This issue will focus on the work of the Office of Community Engagement (OCE).
What is the Office of Community Engagement?
The OCE is one of eight centers within the SC CTSI. The main focus of the OCE is to be the bridge between the CTSI (academia) and our community partners. Other Centers focus on training new translational research scholars, assisting with the management of data, support for the testing of new drugs, devices and therapeutic strategies for adults and children, offering pilot grants for new research projects, and providing assistance with ethical and regulatory issues. The ultimate goal of the SC CTSI is to promote health, reduce disparities, and increase access to care resulting in improved quality of care being delivered in Los Angeles County.
|What is a Research Navigator?
Research Navigators serve as links between the OCE and their respective entities. They act as liaisons linking the OCE's partner organizations' research agendas and needs with the academic researchers' agendas. Research Navigators engage OCE partner organizations in dialogues about (1) current and past research at the organization; (2) research readiness and related training and education needed/wanted at OCE partner organizations (3) establishing research processes and priorities within the organization; (4) matching the research priorities of the organization with research priorities of potential researchers; (5) assisting with the conceptualization of research proposals; (6) assisting with identifying potential funding sources for research projects and (7) developing dissemination strategies to help translate research findings into meaningful applications in healthcare practice, policy and intervention development.
As the Mental Health Research Navigator, Holly Kiger, RN, MN, CNS has been meeting with DMH and contract agency staff and attending SAAC, network, system of care and other meetings to inform the mental health community about the OCE and to assess the mental health research needs and interests of the Department, consumers, providers and family members. She will use this information to help create new community partnerships and research teams, based on the mental health community's research priorities/opportunities.This will include helping the department evaluate their current programs and working with the CTSI staff to provide education and training, workshops and seminars related to Community Engaged Research (more about this in future issues). Ms. Kiger coordinates her work with other OCE Research Navigators who work within Kaiser Permanente Southern California and the Community Clinics Association of Los Angeles County and a Community Liaison who works to create collaborative research projects with community based organizations.