The Atlanta Clinical & Translational Science Institute’s (ACTSI) Community Engagement Research Program (CERP) is a core component of a collaborative effort between Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Georgia Institute of Technology. ACTSI’s CERP aims to improve the way biomedical research is conducted and disseminated throughout the city and across the country, building community capacity to conduct health research that is both responsive and relevant to the health needs of the community.
CERP’s 2015-2016 grant program seeks to support pilot studies catalyzed by community leaders in partnership with ACTSI institutional partners or increase awareness of research findings from community-based studies through the provision of crucial resources for health activities and projects focused on addressing identified health needs or disparities and disseminating research findings.
The current ACTSI Community Engagement Research Program Pilot Studies recipients are:
Academic Partner: David Levine, MD, FAAP, professor of Pediatrics and division chief of Predoctoral Education, Morehouse School of Medicine
Aniz, Inc., was awarded this pilot grant for “Acknowledging the Silence: Addressing the Health Disparities Access Issues for Bisexual Population.” Founded in 1996, this institution is dedicated to providing therapeutic education and support services for children and families from disadvantaged multicultural communities infected with and/or affected by HIV/AIDS. It promotes emotional and physical wellness by providing mental health and substance abuse counseling, support services, and sexual health education, with the overarching objective of reducing risk behaviors in individuals and families affected by sexual health disparities. Aniz, Inc.’s staff is comprised of professionals and para-professionals representing over 75 years of combined specialty experience in HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, and mental health.
Truly Living Well, Inc. Center for Natural Urban Agriculture
Academic Partner: Jennifer Rooke, MD, MPH, FACOEM, FACPM, assistant professor, Department of Community Health and Preventative Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine
Truly Living Well (TLW), Inc. Center for National Urban Agriculture was awarded this grant to “Quantify the Impact of Youth Participation in and Exposure to Our Young Grower Urban Farming Training Program on Healthy Eating and Exercise Behavior.” This institute is focused on growing better communities by connecting people and the land through education, training, and demonstration of economic success in natural urban agriculture. They strive to demonstrate sustainable and economically viable solutions for helping people to eat and live better. Since its founding in 2006, TLW has served the Atlanta community by using natural, GMO-free food production as a catalyst to create jobs, healthier adults, and children, while simultaneously building a safe inner city oasis for families and community to gather. National urban agriculture is a social design centered on natural food production in the city, and this specifically empowers communities with food self-sufficiency, builds economic capacity, and maintains stewardship over the local environment. TLW employs natural and sustainable production methods that deliver quality food, while enhancing the environment.
The current ACTSI Community Engagement Research Program Dissemination Pilot Study Recipient is:
Environmental Community Action, Inc. (ECO-Action)
Academic Partner: Sabriya Linton, PhD, MPH, research assistant professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University’s Rollins School of Health through
Environmental Community Action, Inc., started in 1989, was awarded this dissemination grant to “Inform Proctor Creek-area Residents of Correlations between the Presence of Indoor Moisture and Mold, and Health Conditions such as Asthma and Allergies.” Their understanding is that environmental problems that threaten the health and quality of life of many communities are symptoms of larger problems rooted in political and economic inequalities. They believe that people who work collectively to organize, make change, share resources, and solve problems will make a positive impact on their community’s health, environment, and prosperity. Those at ECO-Action help empower people to make a difference, providing them the ability to research and communicate issues, motivate their neighbors to take action, build alliances, understand the processes and options, and create effective strategies. This will, in turn, help communities to confront environmental health threats, as well as strengthen and facilitate participation of communities in preventing and resolving such threats. They are focused predominantly on rural residents, people with limited formal education, those with few resources, women, and people of color, with their work is based on the intersection of – threats to human health, environmental degradation, and social injustice.
ACTSI is a city-wide partnership between Emory, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Georgia Tech and is one of over 60 in a national consortium striving to improve the way biomedical research is conducted across the country. The consortium, funded through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards, shares a common vision to translate laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients, engage communities in clinical research efforts, and train the next generation of clinical investigators.