The IIMS Community Engagement Team provides infrastructure support for research to enhance community responsiveness, research relevance, scientific value, and public health impact. Our team is comprised of several partners, each who specialize in working collaboratively with researchers as well as community members, local agencies and health providers. Together, we translate research findings from basic science, to clinical practice, to public health benefit while providing community input to researchers to assure relevance to our populations.
The mission of IIMS Community Engagement is to enhance the Health Science Center’s value and responsiveness to the community. To do so, our team will work with our community partners to:
- Increase the relevance and effectiveness of the UTHSCSA for our citizen and practitioner communities
- Increase the impact of UTHSCSA research
- Connect researchers and community partners
- Provide technical assistance to communities wishing to explore local health problems
- Maintain practice-based research networks for studying health problems in community-based practice settings
- Make small grants available to launch collaborations between the UTHSCSA and the community for research, education, or service
Why engage communities?
Translational research is a multidisciplinary form of science used to “translate and move” knowledge from basic bench science, to patient-based applications, and then out into clinical practice for the enhancement of population health and well-being. People often refer to “T1,” “T2,” “T3,” and “T4” when talking about translating science findings. Each of these “T’s” or transitioning steps, is part of an important process as seen below. Community Engagement is vital for increasing the reach, effectiveness, uptake, implementation, and maintenance of clinical and translational research.
Engaging communities enhances research by:
- Increasing knowledge and awareness
- Allowing for the development of more effective solutions to address health concerns
- Empowering communities to make decisions and implement change