Shamblin Attends 2nd National Community Partner Forum

Sherry Shamblin attended the 2nd National Community Partner Forum on Community-Engaged Health Disparities Research held on December 5-7, 2012 in Washington D.C.

The purpose of the forum was to advance community-engaged research as a tool for eliminating health disparities by: deepening the knowledge and skills needed by community partners to successfully conduct community-engaged research; disseminating innovative work of community partners that others can learn from and build on; engaging in constructive dialogue between community partners and key stakeholders in academic, government and philanthropic sectors to foster mutual understanding and supportive action; and to advance a national network of community partners that facilitates professional development and has a significant voice in decisions about research practice and policy.

Participants were selected by Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) following an application process and selection was based on participants' knowledge and experience with Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR), with a focus on choosing individuals from areas where health disparities exist.

The forum was attended by 150 community leaders who were joined on the last day by 50 academic partners and representatives from federal funding agencies.

Sherri was among fifteen participants selected to do a poster presentation during the reception; the poster was co-authored by Jane Hamel-Lambert and Dawn Murray. The title of the poster was, "From Community Mental Health Practice to Community Based Participatory Research for Ohio's Southern Appalachian Region". The presentation described the participatory methods used to develop Tri-County Mental Healthcare's Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation program with support from IPAC and Ohio University.

Sherri believes that IPAC has a valuable role to play in addressing the health disparities in our Appalachian region, not only through grant funding for participating agencies and workforce development of local health and mental health providers, but by helping organizations conduct participatory evaluations which can enhance their services to clients and consumers. Through CBPR, IPAC can help organizations create effective programs, demonstrate that these programs work, and use resulting outcomes to encourage economic investment to sustain these programs.

Congratulations and a big thank you to Sherri for representing our region and communicating IPAC's successes in a national forum to show how models like IPAC's can impact policy and shape health care delivery through the dissemination of evidence based models to larger audiences.