Earlier this year, the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science published on “Community engagement during COVID: A field report from seven CTSAs.”
To gain a general understanding of how sites with Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) conducted community engagement (CE) activities and community engaged research (CEnR) during the COVID pandemic, the authors invited seven CTSA CE leaders to provide brief field reports of their activities during the pandemic.
The findings showed that despite numerous challenges, all seven CTSAs CE groups were able to successfully carry out CE and CEnR. They also found that the fundamental principles of meaningful and authentic stakeholder engagement were of paramount importance during the pandemic. Through virtual approaches, all sites had considerable success in maintaining CE in during the COVID pandemic. They also leveraged existing bi-directional community partnerships to carry out meaningful and impactful research. This included both new COVID CEnR and also innovative approaches to sustain prior non-COVID research.
These findings suggest that academic-community partnerships must be fostered and sustained over many years so that when such crises emerge, all partners can build on existing trust and mutual respect.
Kudos to our community engaged colleagues continuing their valuable work across these CTSAs! Your modified approaches, new tools, and lessons learned will be invaluable for all in addressing any future public health emergencies.
The CTSA sites involved with this report were University of Miami (UM) Clinical and Translational Science Institute; University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science (UK CCTS); Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR), University of Michigan; The Rockefeller University (RU) Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS); North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NCTraCS) Institute, University of North Carolina (UNC); University of Utah Center for Clinical and Translational Science; Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute, Oregon Health & Science University.