For Community

ConduITS – the Institutes for Translational Sciences provides various resources for the research community including training, education, and development.

ConduITS’ approach has evolved toward a precision public health framework that integrates genomics with key public health domains such as environmental health, social determinants of health, and big-data team science to more effectively address health equity challenges. 

Our team has fostered a strong foundation of meaningful community engagement among diverse partners built over decades to create local capacity and durable, equitable relationships, as well as improve the local environment and policies to impact health. Many of our community and academic partners are regionally and nationally renowned for advancing community-partnered research.

Once a priority area is identified, we invite clinicians, funders, insurers, policymakers, and entrepreneurs, drawing from established and novel partnerships, to provide relevant expertise and resources to allow rapid and effective response to emerging health priorities.

Our goal is to drive community-centered strategies and solutions, leveraging innovations including geographical information systems (GIS) tools for participatory mapping and digital technologies that can facilitate engagement, characterize environmental exposures, and inform local planning and decision-making. 

Case Study 1: Community-partnered pilot project. Community members from Jamaica, Queens, approached our team with concerns about health impacts of a local waste transfer station. Upon request for a community science evaluation on local air quality, we developed anaccelerator, led by EJ/Community Engagement expert Luz Guel and Maida Galvez, MD, MHP and included attorneys, public school teachers and students, community boards, and local residents. This model creates novel medical-legal partnerships to ensure that communities are supported in collecting data and empowered to inform practices and policies that protect health.

image of construction

Case Study 2: Research to action benefits the local community in East Harlem. Disparities in access to fitness resources are a long-standing community concern and contributor to health disparities24. In partnership with the Trust for Public Land and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), we funded and installed a “fitness zone” to provide free outdoor exercise equipment to residents at NYCHA Carver Houses. Community input was integral to the project from inception to implementation. The Carver House Fitness Zone, the first such facility at a public housing site, opened in January 2020, exemplifying how a network of diverse community stakeholders and research partners can jointly move research to action.

Case Study 3: Recruiting Diverse Populations Into Research. Joining Harlem and South Bronx residents with communication and media experts, Crispin Goytia produced an animated video in English/Spanish about the importance of research participation that was disseminated via social media through our stakeholder partners, including regional CTSAs.

graphic of different individuals

The videos can be found here:

English: The need to engage diverse groups of people in research is well recognized by our stakeholder partners and has some real challenges. This video is a first step in helping ALL people take part in research projects. Not only participate but to be active collaborators in the research process. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dhWqbdmQKEM

Spanish: Es necesario incluir diversos grupos de personas en la investigación que nuestros socios interesados ​​se dieron cuenta de que existen algunos desafíos. Este video es un primer paso para ayudar a TODAS las personas a participar en proyectos de investigación. No solo participar sino ser colaboradores activos en el proceso de investigación. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eAnsNxRExGA

Case Study 4: Addressing Health Needs During the COVID Pandemic. The pandemic exemplified the power of well-established and sustained academic-community partnerships fostered over many years as we mounted a rapid response to COVID-19 in many BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities. The urgency accelerated innovations in community-engaged research, shifting engagement efforts into a virtual enterprise using tools such as Zoom, Open Space Technologies, and Jamboard to virtually crowdsource community generated research ideas. Nita Vangeepuram, MD, and Ms. Goytia, through the Mount Sinai Institute for Health Equity Research led by Carol Horowitz, MD, MPH, held a virtual Open Space Summit facilitated through research informatics. In this event, 75 community and academic stakeholder’s crowdsourced community-generated COVID-19 research ideas with subsequent virtual community-based participatory research (CBPR) capacity-building trainings, which were over-subscribed. Based on expressed needs, an online research concierge with community-vetted CBPR resources and consultation services for project support was developed.

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We aim to develop the capacity of community members and organizations to conduct research and to help researchers develop the knowledge and skills to work with community stakeholder partners in a way that meets the needs of all parties.

Our Team

Community Engagement Core Director: Maida P. Galvez, MD, MPH

Community Engagement and Children's Health Lead: Nita Vangeepuram MD, MPH

Community Engagement and Life Course Approaches Lead: Sarah Evans, PhD, MPH

Community Engagement Program Manager: Crispin Goytia

Director, Anti-Racism Initiatives & Environmental Justice Partnerships, Educator and Mentor Lead. Luz Guel

 

Our goal is to foster relationships with diverse community stakeholders in order to ensure inclusion of diverse perspectives, concerns, and priorities in research.

In response to our partners’ needs, we specialize in forming topic-specific accelerators to address community-identified priorities, including greater focus on environmental justice.

Our team has extensive experience in creating engagement research models and in health disparities research pertaining to a variety of areas, such as child health, environmental health, and life-course approaches to understanding chronic diseases, to name a few. 

We work together with researchers and stakeholders to learn from and collaborate with each other across the research continuum—selecting the research questions, designing studies and methods, evaluating results, and communicating and translating results back to communities and into changes in health behaviors, practices, and policies.

ConduITS engagement model

Full Article: Accelerators: Sparking Innovation and Transdisciplinary Team Science in Disparities Research

Research Accelerator Model

Our research-to-action and outcomes-driven engagement model is built upon a team-science framework. We bring together key voices across the continuum of translational science to foster collaboration and efficient, effective responses to research opportunities and critical needs in health.

This framework fosters communication, collaboration, a shared vision, and rapid generation of novel solutions and transformative translational research across scientific and non-scientific divides. By breaking down silos, collaborations form to enhance community integration into academia and vice versa, with all leaving their comfort zones to contribute in new areas and learn new skills. Thus, teams are ever-expanding in their expertise, capacity and portfolios.

Examples of Community Partnered Pilot Projects

Consultations: How Can We Help You?

Our team can help develop research ideas and teams that focus on specific projects or provide services related to career development goals, as well as assist with preparation and applications for grants and National Institutes of Health (NIH) training awards.

We work to ensure inclusive participation that encourages mutual respect of values, strategies, and actions for authentic partnership between clinicians and community partners to address issues affecting the well-being of all communities.

The Centers for Community and Academic Research Partnerships (CCARP) Consultation group

We provide consultations to Mount Sinai scientists, trainees, staff, students, and local and national partners to improve their ability to develop and conduct community-engaged research, and effectively utilize resources.

The Centers for Community and Academic Research Partnerships (CCARP) Consultation group

A Consultation can:

  • Provide information and support on best practices in a range of community-engaged research methods, including community-based participatory research.
  • Suggest activities to promote formal and informal interactions between community partners and academic researchers that increase the value of your project and your understanding of communities.
  • Connect you with both academic and community experts in community-engaged research, health disparities, and/or community outreach and education.
  • Connect you with experts in the fields of data management, population health, community-engaged research, ethical issues, and research design.
  • Provide feedback regarding the development of research projects and/or protocols.
  • Give researchers a way to present a project to stakeholders to gain further insight.
  • Assist with the creation of accelerator research groups to help generate novel research ideas and advise researchers and community partners on how to further their research goals.
  • Advise on how to develop and maintain a subject-specific accelerator at your institution.
  • Connect you to programs to foster the career development of researchers with diverse backgrounds and ensure strong foundations in community engagement and team science.

How to Request Consultations:

Send an email request with the information required below for either Faculty/Investigators or Community Stakeholders to Crispin Goytia at crispin.goytia@mountsinai.org.

For Faculty/Investigators/Trainees

Please provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Department/Affiliation
  • E-mail address
  • Nature of request

We provide support to researchers interested in learning how to engage communities or populations in the research process.

When requesting a consultation, please keep the following questions in mind:

  • Are you requesting a consultation on a new or existing project?

If it is an existing project, please provide the following information:

  • Research project title
  • Research project award (grant) number
  • Grant type (e.g., RO1, K12, etc.)
  • Name of funder and grant period
  • Grants and contracts number
  • Describe specifics of request

If this is not an existing project, are you requesting a consultation to develop an idea that will involve working with specific communities or populations? Please describe what your research question or idea is.

  • Are you requesting a consultation regarding career development and mentoring?
    Yes/No
  • Describe specifics of request.

For Community Stakeholders

If you are a community stakeholder or organization requesting a consultation, please provide the following information:

  • Name of person to contact
  • Name of organization
  • Email address, mailing address and phone number
  • Nature of request:

We provide support to community partners and organizations interested in learning how to partner with academic and clinical researchers in order to achieve goals related to health disparities, program evaluation, funding, and education.

When requesting a consultation, please keep the following questions in mind:

  • Are you requesting a consultation for a new or existing project idea?
  • Are you in need of partnering with a faculty member?

If so, please provide details about project

  • Research project title
  • Name of funder and grant period
  • Grants and contracts number
  • Describe specifics of request

Are you requesting a consultation to develop an idea that will involve working with specific communities or populations? Please describe what your research question or idea is.

  • Are you interested in partnering with an academic researcher?
  • Describe specifics of request.

Hauser, D., Obeng, A.O., Fei, K., Ramos, M.A. & Horowitz, C.R. Views of primary care providers on testing patients for genetic risks for common chronic diseases. Health Affairs37 793-800 (2018).

Galvez, M.P., Collins, G., Amler, R.W., Dozor, A., Kaplan-Liss, E., Forman, J., Laraque-Arena, D., Lawrence, R., Miller, R., Miller, K., Sheffield, P., Zajac, L., & Landrigan, P.J. Building New York State Centers of Excellence in Children's Environmental Health: A Replicable Model in a Time of Uncertainty. Am J Public Health, 29 (2018). PMID: 30496005.

Sheon, A.R., Van Winkle, B., Solad, Y., & Atreja, A. An Algorithm for Digital Medicine Testing: A NODE. Health Perspective Intended to Help Emerging Technology Companies and Healthcare Systems Navigate the Trial and Testing Period prior to Full-Scale Adoption. Digital Biomarkers, 2 139-54 (2018).

Kaplan, B., Ferryman, K., Robinson, M., Richardson, L.D., Caddle-Steele, C., Goytia, C., Hauser, D., Chisolm, G., Esmond, W.A., Gertner, M., & Horowitz, C.R.Culture of understanding: Reflections and suggestions from a genomics research community board. Prog Community Health Partnersh, 11 161-165 (2017) PMC5830277.

Vedanthan ,R., Kamano, J.H., Lee, H., Andama, B., Bloomfield, G.S., DeLong, A.K., Edelman, D., Finkelstein, E.A., Hogan, J.W., Horowitz, C.R., Manyara, S., Menya, D., Naanyu, V., Pastakia, S.D., Valente, T.W., Wanyonyi, C.C., & Fuster, V. Bridging Income Generation with Group Integrated Care for Cardiovascular risk reduction: Rationale and design of the BIGPIC study. Am Heart J, 188 (2017) PMC5491075.

Horowitz, C.R., Ferryman, K., Negron, R., Sabin, T., Rodriguez, M., Zinberg, R.F., Böttinger, E. &  Robinson, M. Race, genomics and chronic disease: What patients with African ancestry have to say. Journal of health care for the poor and underserved28 248 (2017).

Horowitz, C.R., Shameer, K., Gabrilove, J., Atreja, A., Shepard, P., Goytia, C.N., Smith, G.W., Dudley, J., Manning, R., Bickell, N.A., & Galvez , M.P. Accelerators: Sparking innovation and transdisciplinary team science in disparities research.J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 14 225 (2017) PMC5369061.

Galvez, M.P. & Balk, S. Environmental Risks to Children: Prioritizing Health Messages in Pediatric Practice. Peds in Review, 38 2630-279 (2017). 

Sperber, N.R., Carpenter, J.S., Cavallari, L.H., Damschroder, L.J., Cooper-DeHoff, R.M., Denny, J.C., Ginsburg, G.S., Guan, Y., Horowitz, C.R., Levy, K.D. and Levy, M.A., 2017. Challenges and strategies for implementing genomic services in diverse settings: experiences from the Implementing GeNomics In pracTicE (IGNITE) network. BMC medical genomics, 1035 (2017).