Forming Partnerships to Improve Population Health

Over 100 attendees shared their clinical research and community engagement program experiences during Day 1 of the Georgia Clinical and Translational Science Alliance (Georgia CTSA) 4th Biennial Community Engagement Research Program Forum. This year’s forum emphasized, “One Georgia: Building Bridges to Improve Quality Access for Optimal Health.” Experts across Georgia from academia, non-profits, foundations, and other community partners collaborated throughout the day to develop the linkages that lead to “One Georgia.”

Georgia CTSA Community Engagement Director Tabia Henry Akintobi, PhD, MPH, began by sharing the forum’s mission, “Moving the needle to advance population health”. Keynote moderator Dr. Rashad Richey, social and political strategist, followed by remarking, “Meaningful research solves problems.”

During the first keynote presentation, Keisha R. Callins, MD, MPH, Community Health Care Systems observed, “We need to put the ‘pop’ back into population health. We need to ask the right questions, connect patients to the appropriate resources, and equip our provider workforce and healthcare team with the knowledge and tools to meet individual needs as well as the collective needs of the populations we serve.”

While leading discussions with the audience of community leaders eager to share information and research, in addition to collaborating and building new bridges, keynote speaker, Richard A. Williams, MD, National Medical Association commented, “This [forum] is something that needs to be replicated all over the country.”

As the participants continued to exchange research, information and opportunities in multiple breakout sessions, they took advantage of the tools offered to develop and sustain strong community-university translational research partnerships to improve population health across Georgia and beyond. 

Georgia CTSA’s Community Engagement is a core component of a collaborative effort between Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), and University of Georgia (UGA). The program improves the way biomedical research is conducted and disseminated throughout Georgia and across the country. It works to unite existing academic-community research partnerships, facilitate community input into university research, and to increase health research in community settings that is both responsive and relevant to the health needs of the community.

The Georgia CTSA is a statewide partnership between Emory, Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia Tech, and UGA and is one of over 50 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.