Our Community, Our Health goes national

Nine Clinical and Translational Science Award institutions successfully piloted the first national Our Community, Our Health forum on April 9, bringing together 174 community members from 27 cities in 15 states for a conversation with health researchers.

Participants gathered in person and online. Many of the sites began with a local reception and update and then all joined the live-streaming presentations by experts from the University of Florida and Health Literacy Missouri on diabetes, high blood pressure and how to talk to health care providers. Presenters responded to 36 questions, which participants submitted in real time via innovative text messaging software.

To extend the event’s reach and engagement through social media, the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science live-tweeted and archived the event on Storify.

“This format has tremendous potential for catalyzing new opportunities for research teams to bring their stakeholders together across multiple sites for an open and meaningful dialogue as part of the translational research process, whether to inform the design of a study, engage participants or promote dissemination and implementation of a proven intervention,” said Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of HealthStreet, a community engagement program of the University of Florida’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute, College of Public Health and Health Professions, and College of Medicine. HealthStreet and the UF CTSI hosted the national pilot, which expanded on a concept begun at Washington University in St. Louis.

Pre- and post-tests were conducted at locations with guests on-site, which will yield valuable information on the content and the effectiveness of delivery. Feedback from participants will be used to improve the forum as it develops and expands. Additional events will be scheduled, and more sites are expected to join. To learn more or to become an Our Community, Our Health site, contact Dr. Linda Cottler at lbcottler@ufl.edu.

Other CTSAs participating in the April 9 forum included: