New publication from CCHE on our Research Ambassador model

Building Sustainable Organizational and Community Capacity for Research Partnerships: A Decade of Experience” is published in the Winter 2021 issue of Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research Education and Action.

The purpose of this article is to share community partner perspectives of impact and lessons learned from a decade-long community-academic partnership between UW-CCHE and the United Community Center/Centro de la Comunidad Unida, a nonprofit community-based organization providing services to the Latino communities of Milwaukee. The partnership was established in 2010 to support bidirectional communication, trust building and mutual benefit through community engaged research and collaborative student teaching. Over the years, we have achieved a variety of successful outcomes on both sides of the partnership. For the community organization, the partnership has evolved to create substantial benefits through opportunities for new collaborations, service program development and grantsmanship. Several factors contributed to our success including sustained stable funding not tied to an individual research project and academic investment in community capacity.

Al Castro, MS, Health Research Program Director at UCC and co-CCHE Research Ambassador shared,

We recommend community organizations and academic universities review this article to learn more about how this innovative and collaborative approach can lead to valuable opportunities using research to better understand upstream factors in the health inequities we respond to on a daily basis, while establishing long term relationships between academic researchers and the community that promote bi-directional benefits and capacity to conduct research, as well as showing respect and commitment to the community-based organization’s reputation and mission to the community it serves.

Authors on this piece include Al Castro, Sarah Esmond, Shary Perez, Caitlin Scott, Tyson Jackson, and Susan R. Passmore. Mr. Castro, Ms. Perez, and Mr. Jackson are all current CCHE Research Ambassadors. We thank all our colleagues who have filled the position of the UCC/CCHE RA over the years, including Angelica Rendon Delgado, Magdalisse Henderson, Marcia Villa Walton, Militza Bonet Vasquez, and Mirtha Sosa Pacheco.

We’re so proud and grateful for our partnership with UCC and delighted to share this publication on what we’ve learned. Please share broadly and encourage others to adopt these strategies!