The Center for Community Health (CCH) provides a home for a diverse array of academic investigators, community partners, and staff members, who are all dedicated to promoting health through the conduct and dissemination of community-engaged research. As a center with a presence in the both the IPHAM and NUCATS Institutes, CCH provides community and stakeholder engagement infrastructure across the research spectrum.
This work involves close partnerships with more than 55 different community-based organizations and 140 community healthcare practice sites distributed widely across the city of Chicago and the region of northern Illinois. Their focus areas cover a broad range, from faith/churches, to public policy, to advocacy for a variety of neighborhoods, ethnic groups, gender issues, disabilities support, and medical conditions. The CCH also supports partnerships collaborating in research across the age spectrum. These partnerships are built and supported primarily through two programs:
- The Practice-based Research (PBR) Program includes two large practice networks (REACH and PPRG), as well as collaboration with the Chicago Information Technology Regional Extension Center (CHITREC) and the Alliance of Chicago Community Health Services (Alliance). These groups engage community clinicians in research and efforts to improve the health of the community.
- The Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities (ARCC) focuses on community-based participatory research, and other forms of community-engagement with a broad range of community- and faith-based organizations and public agencies. Embodying the principles of engaged governance, ARCC is directed by a 23 member community-academic Steering Committee representing diverse communities and Northwestern faculty.
Across both programs and beyond, the CCH works proactively with investigators, stakeholders, and patients before, during, and after the award to ensure that the research is most thoughtfully designed, conducted, and disseminated in ways that maximize lasting positive impacts on health and healthcare. This is achieved by providing a set of services that supports the full research process and include:
- Education and community-academic team training: workshops and seminars, courses and lectures on related topics to community-engagement offered through NUs formal education curricula, and a robust online resource directory, publicly accessed through the CCH website.
- Resources and services for community and stakeholder engagement: partnership brokering and development, fiscal support, consultations and technical assistance and institutional support.
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