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Developing the Capacity for Community-Driven Research to Eliminate Health Disparities
Blue Ribbon Award Semi-Finalist
Local health and human service organizations are increasingly challenged to plan, implement and monitor progress with federal and state legislative mandates for culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS). The ultimate goal of CLAS is to eliminate disparities due to differences in culture and language.
Leaders of a major network of federally qualified health centers and San Diego State University faculty partners have nurtured a community-driven research collaboration in Merced, California, to address health and health-care disparities in one of the nation’s largest agricultural regions. The collaboration began with assessing organizational performance for CLAS. Now it is creating both small research projects improving language access and chronic care, and longer-term, systemwide experimental studies.
The community organization and faculty jointly developed new competencies and resources throughout the project, producing training both for community members and for research staff that included students at two CSU campuses who eventually returned to the community organization as staff.
Collaborative research projects over seven years have improved the quality of CLAS in the area. Additionally, the partners identified practical recommendations for others seeking to launch similar projects in underserved communities and among culturally diverse populations.
Stergios Roussos, Public Health
San Diego State University
Felicia Batts & Christine Noguera, Golden Valley Health Centers
Key words: language, health/health education/health disparities, community collaboratives/research teams/advisory boards, Central Valley