SC Clinical & Translational Science Institute, Office of Community Engagement 


News You Can Use!





Volume 1, Issue 8                                                                                                                                              July 2012

In This Issue 

Fall 2012 Pilot Award Cycle


Promotora and Community Health Conference


New report on California Reducing Disparities Project


Who are the Mental Health Scholars?


These and other questions will be answered in the

future editions

of ...



News you can use!


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  Spring 2012 Cycle CTSI Pilot Project Awards Announced


For the Spring 2012 Pilots, 178 pilot grants were reviewed, with 22 projects funded.  We are pleased to announce that two of those funded are community based mental health projects.


  Academic Community Partnership Pilot, "Validation of Two Child Welfare Mental Health Screening Tools" funded by CTSI



Dorian Traube, PHD

Assistant Professor

USC, School of Social Work





Congratulations to Dorian Traube, PhD, who was awarded $30,000 for a pilot entitled "Validation of Two Child Welfare Mental Health Screening Tools (MHST)".  In collaboration with Greg Lecklitner, District Chief, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, and Adrienne Olson, Division Chief, Child Welfare Mental Health Services, Bureau of the Medical Director, LA County Department of Children and Family Services, Dr. Traube  states that "the needs of youth in foster care are complex, often including extensive emotional disabilities and disruptive behaviors requiring clinical therapeutic and psychopharmacological intervention. Despite the increasing availability and demand for well-validated assessments and interventions, it is estimated that 90% of public systems do not deliver services that have an evidence-base to support them.  To date there are no evidence-based rapid assessment tools for screening child welfare involved youth for mental health need." The overall goal of this Academic-Community Partnership Pilot for Community-based Health Interventions is to facilitate collaboration between the USC School of Social Work, LACDMH, and LACDCFS to link and then analyze client assessment, treatment, and service records to develop an evidence based assessment protocol for identifying child welfare involved youth in need of mental health care. The aims of this study include:


1) Testing the psychometric properties of two Mental Health Screening Tools (MHST) currently used by LACDMH and LACDCFS;


2) Testing whether reliable screening can occur when the MHST is administered by non-mental health clinicians when;


3) Determining if the MHST would be appropriate for inclusion in the California Evidence Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC) Screening and Assessment Tools."



Academic Community Partnership Pilot, "Recovery Oriented Care Collaborative" funded by CTSI




John Brekke, PhD

Frances G. Larsen Professor of 

Social Work Research

USC, School of Social Work 









Matthew Meyer, PhD

Vice President of Best Practices

Didi Hirsch Mental Health



Congratulations also to Co-PIs John Brekke, PhD and Matthew Meyer, PhD and Co-Investigator Lyndee Knox, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, L.A. Net who were awarded $30,000 for their Academic Community Partnership Pilot, "Recovery Oriented Care Collaborative". Dr. Brekke is a co-director of CTSI's Community Engagement and Dr. Meyer is a member of the Community Engagement's Council of Community Health Care Providers.  According to Dr. Meyer his project's goal is to "establish a Practice Based Research Network (PBRN) of Community Mental Health providers, to be known as the Recovery Oriented Care Collaborative, who are committed to developing effective models for delivering integrated physical and mental health care for individuals who experience severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI).  There will be three outcomes of this study.  The Network will:

1. take one provider generated question from inception through study to publication;

2. create a set of provider questions and priorities that will form the foundation for further funded research studies; and

3. establish the infrastructure for a PBRN of Community Mental Health Providers.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) defines PBRNs as a group of community based healthcare providers who have come together to study questions directly impacting their practice and improve the quality of services delivered in their clinics. These networks link community based clinicians with experienced health science/service researchers in the common pursuit of answering questions and addressing topics generated by the practicing clinicians. PBRNs were first developed in primary care clinics during the 1970s. These networks of community providers have had great success in improving the quality of care, implementing the Chronic Care Model and creating an avenue for the generation and dissemination of clinical research to community practice settings. In 40 years PBRNs have grown from 1 to 153 networks throughout North America. While mental health is a topic of interest, there are only a handful of these networks that include mental health providers. None of the existing mental health PBRNs are focused on the health disparities faced by people with SPMI. This project will apply and adapt the PBRN model to community mental health providers with an explicit focus on addressing the integration of primary care and community mental health treatment."

UpcomingPilotAwardsUpcoming Fall 2012 Pilot Award Cycle 

For more information visit our website.





The 10th Annual Promortoras and Community Health Worker Conference is the perfect venue to reach those in the community in most need of health information.  Vision y Compromiso invites you to submit a proposal to present at their Los Angeles, December conference. Visión y Compromiso is a statewide organization that is dedicated to improving outcomes associated with underrepresented communities through the support, enhancement, and advocacy for the Promotoras and Community Health Workers (P/CHW) Network.  A promotor is a trained community leader that serves his/her community by providing health information and increase access to local resources through one-on-one and family support and group workshops.  The conference serves as an opportunity for promotores to build their capacity.  Approximately, 1,000 promotores and CHWs from all over California attend annually. This year's conference is looking for presenters in the following categories:

  •  Formative/educational: this type of workshop will facilitate an educational or formative process that incorporates critical thinking activities about the subject matter.
  • Skill Building: this type of workshop will include the application of information that is practical, experiential; interactive that uses strategies and methods
  • Participatory Research:  this type of workshop will include research information that is relevant to promotores, or has promotores participants, or will show promotores how to become involved in research opportunities.
  • Best practices: this type of workshop will focus on sharing methods, examples, effective and innovative strategies that are creating change.

Workshops are to be developed completely in Spanish, interactive and encourage discussion and networking among the participants.  See attachment for more conference information, specific workshop topics and the presenter proposal form.  Conference proposals are due August 1, 2012. If you have any questions or need consultation on how to prepare a presentation for a promotor audience please contact Marisela Robles (, Community Liaison, Community Engagement program at the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute. 


For more information and/or to submit your abstract proposal, click on the link below:


10th Annual Promotoras & Community Health Workers Conference

MentalHealthReportNew report on California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP)


The California Department of Mental Health (CDMH) recently released the research results of the California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP): Latino Strategic Planning Workgroup (SPW).

This Executive Summary offers a brief background of the CRDP Project, followed by an overview of the research purpose, mental health status of Latinos, key findings, community-identified strategies for improving mental health treatment, and strategic directions and recommendations for reducing health disparities in Latinos.


This project examined mental health disparities for the Latino population. The aim was to develop and implement the appropriate process for identifying community-defined, strength-based promising practices, models, resources, and approaches that may be used as strategies to reduce disparities in mental health. To accomplish this goal, a set of topics was adopted from the California Department of Mental Health (2009). They also adopted the community-based participatory research (CBPR) framework from Minkler and Wallerstein (2008) to ensure a continuum of community involvement that over time builds and strengthens partnerships to achieve greater community engagement (McCloskey et al., 2011).


The overall findings suggest that racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. fare far worse than their white counterparts across a range of health indicators (Smedley, Stith, and Nelson, 2003). Non-white racial and ethnic groups now constitute more than one third of the population in the United States (Humes, Jones, and Ramirez, 2011), and as the nationʼs population continues to become increasingly diverse, the passing of the health care reform law (Andrulis, Siddiquui, Purtle and Duchon, 2010) becomes a critical piece of legislation in advancing health equity for racially, ethnically, and sexually diverse populations. We suggest you download this important report for future reference.

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