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Community Engagement and Outreach Core

kathleen kennedy

Kathleen Kennedy, PhD
CEO Core Director
Xavier University

Stephanie Broyles

Stephanie Broyles, PhD
CEO Core Co-Director
Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Margarita Echeverri

Margarita Echeverri, PhD
CEO Associate Director
Xavier University 

Tynesia Fields

Tynesia Fields, MPA
CEO Coordinator
Xavier University 




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About This Core

The vision of the Community Engagement and Outreach (CEO) Core as part of the LA CaTS Center is to build upon currently used effective community outreach approaches employed at several participating Louisiana academic institutions to include the use of core principles of community-based participatory research (CBPR) to foster community engagement with communities to identify mutually beneficial research collaborations. The core principles of CBPR are bi-directional communication, joint problem solving, decision-making, and product sharing between the communities and academic, clinical, or research institutions. In addition, the CEO Core will play an important role in supporting participant recruitment in traditional studies, and providing technical assistance to Community Advisory Boards in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, the various LA CaTS Cores and investigators, and the community. Specifically, the CEO Core will provide tailored technical support to investigators at active COBRE and INBRE programs. Provision of technical assistance regarding the use of community-based participatory principles will improve quality and maintenance of effective training and capacity building, community involvement in designing interventions, and partnerships with the diverse populations throughout the state. The CEO Core will work closely with cores to situate joint achievement of objectives for each respective resource. Specifically, the CEO Core will work with the Health Literacy Core to disseminate language-, age-, and reading-level appropriate health information; Cyberinfrastructure Enhancement to disseminate information; and the Clinical Research Resources in recruiting participants in research studies.

The objective of the CEO Core is to:

  • Establish an integrated community-academic research network to support community outreach to enhance recruitment and community engagement for community-based participatory research.
  • Build capacity (knowledge and skills) among research investigators participating as part of the COBREs and INBREs, community members, health systems, and potential research participants to conduct innovative and transformative research projects to address community health needs.
  • Support recruitment goals by assisting the LA CaTS Cores, COBRE/INBRE investigators and communities to integrate community engagement principles into adopted community outreach efforts.

The Community Engagement and Outreach Core is well positioned within the LA CaTS Center structure to direct and to increase the level of involvement of our communities in setting research priorities. Considerable expertise in all aspects of effective communication with the differing populations in the state exists among the LA CaTS partners. Crucially coupled with the other cores, Community Engagement and Outreach expertise will be employed to maximize the ability of LA CaTS investigators to obtain the confidence of communities, communicate research needs and best health practices, obtain community priorities, and partner with communities to implement programs aimed at reducing priority health disparities.

This effort will represent the first time in Louisiana that a statewide cooperative of academic institutions will engage in a true participatory process to integrate their respective community partnerships into meaningful community advisory boards, and as such, is highly innovative.