Community Engagement

Community studies and input

Director: Belinda Reininger, DrPH

Co-Director: Maria E. Fernandez, PhD

Contact person: Christina Villareal 956-882-6677  

The Community Engagement Component translates information from the academic world to the community and back (T2 translation).  The component’s goals are to bring knowledge about current health research to the community (both lay and professional) and to identify the health concerns of the community and help meet them through the research and education programs of the CCTS. 

Community School-Based Programs

Through its school-based science education programs (HEADS-UP and CATCH) and podcasts of health-related programs of interest to both academic and community listeners, the Community Engagement Component brings CCTS programs and findings to the community.  The Component’s Community Advisory Board, in turn, helps the Component identify the Houston-area public’s concerns about health, so that the CCTS can target those areas for research.  A major concern the board identified is obesity.  

Community Practitioners’ Program

A goal of the CCTS is to extend clinical research from the Texas Medical Center to the community, incorporating the efforts of local community medical practitioners (physicians, nurses, dentists, etc.).  These community practitioners, who treat the bulk of the local population, can make invaluable contributions to medical research through their observations of patients and by recruiting patients for clinical studies.  In turn, participating in research can invigorate their practices and assure that their patients receive the best possible care.  The Community Engagement Component can match community practitioners and CCTS investigators with similar interests and provide training in how to conduct clinical studies. 

How can the Community Engagement Component help CCTS investigators?
• Call for advice on disseminating your work to the community
• Let us introduce you to community groups that could participate in your research
• Consult us to discuss how to include community health practitioners in your research

How can CCTS investigators help the Community Engagement Component?
• Share your cutting-edge research with K-16 teachers in our science teachers’ symposium
• Let us make a podcast on your research
• Participate in one of our community advisory boards
• Talk to us about including community practitioners in your clinical studies