SC Clinical & Translational Science Institute, Office of Community Engagement 


News You Can Use!





Volume 1, Issue 3                                                                                                                            November 2011

In This Issue 

What is the Peer Health Navigator Pilot Project? 


Why was it needed?


Where was it conducted?


How many consumers participated?


What did they learn?


These and other questions will be answered in the

future editions

of ...



News you can use!


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What is Community Engaged Research (CEnR)?


Community Engaged Research is a process where groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest, or similar situations collaborate with an academic researcher to apply their ideas to an identified problem. In CEnR, research ideas from the community are incorporated into an academic faculty or other researcher's proposal. Ideally, the researcher and the community members work together to create the research question, develop the research plan, apply for funding, and work side by side to complete the research project and disseminate the findings in ways that impact the health of the community.


Why is this important?


Traditionally research has been conducted in the "ivory tower" at an academic institution. These research projects are created according to the interests of the academic researchers, who are often isolated within their academic institutions with little knowledge of actual community needs. Some projects are conducted for "knowledge alone", with little thought of how this knowledge will be helpful to individuals in the community. 


Once research is completed, researchers typically communicate their results to other researchers through conference presentations and peer-reviewed journals. It can take many years (often 10-20 years) for findings from research to become common practice in community settings. For example, despite evidence supporting the efficacy of a variety of interventions for geriatric mental health disorders, few are utilized in community settings. Specific evidence-based depression screening practices by primary care physicians have been shown to increase identification of depression within the primary health care system, but the use of this simple 2-question screening tool remains limited.  








To address this need, participatory models of research, such as CEnR, have become central to the national prevention research agenda to serve as a bridge between researchers and the community. These models have been promoted by the National Institutes of Health (the funding source for the 60 CTSAs around the country), the Institute of Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Research! America, Partnership for Prevention, the Public Health Foundation and others. Collaborative research projects where researchers and the community come together to share their knowledge, skills and resources can have a great impact on the health improvement of communities. With this approach, the mental health community can play an important role in research by identifying mental health problems, helping to develop research tools that work well within their local communities and cultures and assisting researchers to better understand and apply the information to help solve specific problems facing the mental health community. 


The CTSI and one of our partners, Kaiser Permanente Southern California are hosting a conference on December 16th to highlight current research and explore possibilities for new research projects. If you're interested in becoming a part of a mental health research project, please join us.














Registration is now open!

Sponsored by
Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research and Evaluation
The Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Target Audience:
People who are currently conducting research in clinical
and translational science with the Southern California Clinical
and Translational Science Institute and its partner institutions,
and those who are interested in building partnerships for research-that's you!!.


If you'd like to learn more about the research we're doing, and/or are interested in helping develop a research project with one of our partners, please click on the link below to learn more and register for the conference.

Submitted by Holly Kiger, RN, MN, CNS, Research Navigator, SC CTSI, Office of Community Engagement