What is the need?
Despite the many research studies that have been conducted to better understand how to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities, many of the findings have not been translated into action/practice or may not be relevant to our local communities that historically struggle with many disparities. There is a need for research that can be more easily translated and used to promote the health of our local communities. Community-engaged research at the outset brings together researchers and community partners to identify questions, design studies, and conduct actionable and meaningful research in a collaborative process that acknowledges the key strengths that each partner brings to the table.
About Project ACCCES: A Collaboration to develop Capacity to Conduct Community Engaged Research in Springfield
Project ACCCES is funded through the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute and lead by Baystate Medical Center, Partners for a Healthier Community, and Springfield Department of Health and Human Services. Project ACCCES aims to build capacity for community engaged research by fostering multi-stakeholder research partnerships through a series of workshops and research action group meetings. Workshops were held in September and October of 2016 and centered on building community-researcher partnerships in Springfield. Workshop participants and other interested individuals are now working to form research action groups that will identify areas of research that will address patients’ and community members’ most pressing health and healthcare needs, culturally appropriate interventions to address the needs identified, and to compare the effectiveness of these interventions. To be effective and relevant, our Project ACCCES activities are informed by a diverse Advisory Board composed of a broad range of stakeholders.
Research Interest Areas
Although a community-engaged research approach can be used to formulate and answer questions of many different topics across many different fields, we focused on four health research areas that already have a bit of momentum. These include:
- Perinatal/Maternal-Child Health
- Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder
- Respiratory Health
- Chronic Disease/Nutrition
Community members, community organization representatives, researchers, academics, and health care providers are currently collaborating to consider possible research questions and studies that fall in these four categories.