On November 15, the Community Engaged Research Initiative (CERI) hosted the first Population Health Improvement Awards Community Research Forum at the Community Family Life and Recreation Center at Lyon Park. The event recognized pilot award recipients and the research milestones they’ve been able to accomplish as a result of the award funding.
The forum featured a keynote address from Dr. Luke Smith, executive director of El Futuro, a mental health clinic for Spanish-speaking community members in Durham. Dr. Smith addressed the need for researchers to listen to and collaborate with community members to conduct more effective and relevant research for the benefit of the community.
Grant presentations were moderated by CERI Co-Directors Drs. Leonor Corsino, Rosa Gonzalez-Guarda, and Jennifer Gierisch. The presentations focused on issues impacting the Durham community, including smoking cessation programs, mental and physical health as a result of eviction from public housing, and opportunities for disease prevention in emerging adulthood.
An afternoon panel of community investigators spoke about some of the benefits and challenges of partnering with a large academic institution like Duke. Dr. Kelley Massengale, Director of Research with the Diaper Bank of North Carolina, said that one of the reasons that her organization chooses to partner with Duke is because the research insights help tell the story in a compelling and understandable way.
“We really wanted to bring the community and academic research partners together to share the results of their work with the broader Durham community and with each other,” said Eve Marion, CERI Research Program Leader and Program Officer for the awards. “Our PHI Awardees are doing amazing work and it’s important that they have opportunities like this to share results, hear from stakeholders, and network with each other.”