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Your Environment. Your Health.

Northeastern University

Superfund Research Program

Community Engagement Core

Project Leader: Phil Brown
Co-Investigator: Carmen Milagros Velez Vega (University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus)
Grant Number: P42ES017198
Funding Period: 2014-2025
View this project in the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT)

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Project Summary (2014-2020)

PROTECT’s new Community Engagement Core leverages the infrastructure and relationships developed in the center’s first three years of funding through the Human Subjects and Sampling Core and its research projects to serve as the main vehicle for interaction with community stakeholders in Puerto Rico. PROTECT’s approach emphasizes bidirectional engagement with two groups of stakeholders: 1) women participating in the PROTECT study cohort (480 women as of March 2013); and 2) the broader group of residents in the areas where PROTECT’s groundwater study is being conducted. The Human Subjects and Sampling Core has established strong relationships with study participants as well as with service providers and a wide range of relevant community social actors, including staff and clinicians at community health centers and private clinics, social work and nursing staff, and community groups. Building on this foundation, the Community Engagement Core is developing a strong bidirectional communication strategy that will emphasize report-back of research findings to stakeholders, informed by stakeholders’ priorities, needs and concerns. The Core also focuses on capacity-building for participants and their community organizations, and the development of resources for early childhood development through intervention supports for preterm children born to the participants. The Core activities help provide appropriate ethical communication to participants via an innovative report-back process, enable participants to be more fully included in the research process, improve study recruitment and retention rates, offer lay perspectives and information, build capacity of participants and their community organizations, and lay the groundwork for additional community-based participatory research proposals.

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