Lessons learned from building an infrastructure for community-engaged research


C. Roberts, R. Browne, T. Wilson, K. Henry, N. Primus, R. Shaw, H. Brown, F. Zizi, G. Jean-Louis, C. Brown, M. Fraser-White


Before community-based participatory research (CBPR) can commence an infrastructure needs to be established whereby both academic researchers and community members can participate in CBPR as equitable partners throughout the research process.


We describe the key principles of the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center (BHDC), a community-academic-government partnership, to guide the development for an infrastructure to support, increase, and sustain the capacity of academics and community members to engage in CBPR to address cardiovascular health disparities in Brooklyn, New York.


The guiding principles of the BHDC consist of 1) promoting equitable and collaborative partnerships 2) enhancing research capacity and 3) building/sustaining trust. Delphi survey, youth summer internship programs, and workshops were among the tools utilized in enhancing community capacity.


Several lessons were gleaned: design programs that are capable of building trust, skills, capacity, and interest of community members concomitantly; be flexible in terms of the priorities and objectives that the partners seek to focus on as these may change over time; and build a groundswell of local advocates to embrace the research and policy agenda of the BHDC.

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