The Community Engagement program seeks to increase the pace of adoption of evidence-based programs and policies to promote health, prevent disease, and eliminate disparities. In alignment with community-identified needs and interests, we employ a combination of implementation science, policy research, and community partnerships. The program works to create mechanisms for high-quality engagement with community and policy stakeholders, partnering with collaborators to identify opportunities for accelerating population-level outcomes while providing robust research and training opportunities in community translation and increasing the pipeline of well-trained individuals interested in this field.
The program’s Community Advisory Board plays a critical role in representing community perspectives to guide program activity.
Key Areas of Focus
Improving Child Health
The Community Engagement Program helps to advance research that promotes evidence-based practices and policies around achieving healthy weight in children. To do this, we utilize dissemination and implementation science, while enhancing collaboration between academia and community. One example is a symposium we hosted on October 1, 2018, that brought together approximately 100 academic, clinical, educational, policy, and community stakeholders to share innovative models and ideas on supporting healthy child weight. In response to the feedback generated at this symposium, a funding opportunity was provided distributing resources for two pilots focused on promoting child healthy weight via early childcare programs and WIC.
Promoting Cancer Screening and Prevention
Working closely with our hospital and community partners, we identify ways to leverage quality metrics and patient/parent/provider education to increase cancer screening, promote healthy behavior linked to cancer prevention, and encourage cancer-related vaccination.
Identifying and Addressing Emerging Public Health Priorities
We work collaboratively with community and policy stakeholders, as well as partners, to identify the most pressing public health priorities facing residents of Boston and the broader Commonwealth. Through engagement with researchers and teams, we help define specific research questions that can be translated into effective evidence-based public health policy and programmatic solutions. Currently, this work focuses on addressing issues of homelessness as well as health inequities emerging from the COVID-19 epidemic.