A community engagement program offered through UC’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training (CCTST) is providing area community organizations with the training needed to seek support for their organizational missions and engage in community-based research.
The Community Leaders Institute (CLI) is a six-week program with competitive admission designed with the goal of improving community research capacity and addressing social, educational, environmental and physical health disparities in the Greater Cincinnati community.
Since it began in 2010, CLI has helped area community groups leverage more than $1.4 million in funding. In addition, CLI participants have submitted more than 100 proposals to granters and foundations.
Monica Mitchell, MD, co-director of the CCTST Community Engagement Core, notes that the CLI offers a unique opportunity for programs to broaden their skill set to ensure sustainability.
"Organizations who could benefit from training and technical assistance in the areas of grant writing, survey development, quality improvement, community research, program evaluation and data analysis are excellent candidates for the program.”
The CLI has had several success stories.
Achievement at Urban Appalachian Council
The Urban Appalachian Council (UAC), represented at the Community Leaders Institute by UAC associate director Phyliss Shelton, has received more than $36,000 in awards from grant submissions made following CLI training.
One of the awards was a CCTST Community Health Grant, which is allowing UAC to enter phase 2 of a diabetes project in Lower Price Hill. The group will visit approximately 150 households to provide outreach and information on diabetes, as well as support to people with diabetes and those most at risk for developing the disease.
Other grants received by UAC will allow them to provide emergency assistance services, financial literacy education and barrier reduction services to women, including transportation costs, GED cost assistance, help with tax preparation and support when applying for benefits.
"It (CLI) has been a great experience and relationship, starting with the training and our continued work with CCTST,” says Shelton.
"The support that we have received has been even more wonderful and appreciated. It has been great to have their expertise and support, especially as we planned and implemented the Lower Price Hill Diabetes Project.”
Success at Su Casa
Giovanna Alvarez, director of Su Casa Hispanic Center, a program of Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio, says the Community Leaders Institute provided her with the tools she needed to prepare 7 successful grant applications totaling $120,000 toward Su Casa’s mission of providing needed services to the area’s Hispanic/Latino community.
For example, a $75,000 grant from LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens)—with partnership from Procter & Gamble and Time Warner Cable—has allowed Su Casa Hispanic Center to improve its computer laboratory.
Now it has a state-of-the-art technology center and is able to offer more computer classes and can incorporate the technology component into its tutoring and summer camp programs.
This award, Alvarez says, was made possible by what she learned in CLI. She says programs like this are extremely important for creating and improving partnerships between the academic/research community and the community at large.
Ultimately, Alvarez says, "strong relationships between researchers and community organizations really help put research into practice within the community; it validates research.
"This program is great. I hope efforts like this are continued as they make the academic community more aware of the important issues relative to community based organizations”
CCTST is the academic home of the university’s institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA)—a $23 million National Institutes of Health grant awarded to UC and its health care affiliates 2009.
Get more information on the CCTST.
The CLI class of 2011 is completing training. Applications for the 2012 CLI class are due in January 2012, with the training beginning in March 2012.
Get additional information on CLI and check for application materials.