The success of translational science hinges on the effective engagement of the community the research intends to serve. Community engagement is a necessary component of the research model to influence systems and serve as a catalyst for changing policies, programs and health practices. Potential community partners include organized groups, agencies, institutions, or individuals engaged in health promotion, research or policymaking. UCLA CTSI is working with such a select group, called the Community Advisory Board.
A community can be defined in a variety of ways such as people who live in the same area or those who share a specific trait such as age, sex, race, religion or the diagnosis of a specific disease. This diversity dictates that approaches to community engagement be equally diverse.
One approach is to assess the various parts of a community to determine where improvements can be made to health practices. Another approach considers individual perspectives and evaluates the opinions of groups and the methods they use to distribute and obtain health information. In contrast, employing social media with its pre-established groups and faster methods of communication can speed the process of translational science.
These approaches are exemplified in CTSI's featured projects. Community projects allow researchers, doctors and community advisors to collaborate with individuals to help educate and empower them to take an active role in their healthcare, while collecting and analyzing sample population data that may be beneficial to a larger group.
Translational scientists are bridging the gap with patients by actively seeking out the feedback necessary to arrive at scientific discovery that genuinely addresses community concerns and improves public health.
If you are interested in participating in a study, please browse the CTSI clinical trials.
The Council assists in identifying key community priority areas for community-engaged research. Academic and community members encourage equitable, bi-directional partnerships in all phases of translational and clinical research. The CAP promotes studies of multiple determinants of health and disease in Los Angeles County.