COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT CORE
ABOUT THE CORE
The Community Engagement Core (CEC) works with the HEALTH Center for Addictions Research and Cancer Prevention at the University of Houston (UH) to address community-identified health challenges by rapidly disseminating scientific breakthroughs and data-driven best practices that leverage sustainable and equitable partnerships with community stakeholders.
The Community Advisory Board (CAB) and Community Research Advisory Board (CRAB) are groups within the CEC comprising community stakeholders. These groups work with the HEALTH Center for Addictions Research and Cancer Prevention to strategically guide its focus and scope; provide community contribution to the design, execution, and dissemination of our sponsored research; and ensure that all of our communities have information and access to resources to promote lifelong health. The overall goal of the CEC is to develop and maintain strong community relationships and to advance the inclusion of our diverse community members in cutting-edge health research to address addictions and cancer disparities.
Resources provided by the CEC are directed toward both community members and HEALTH Center for Addictions Research and Cancer Prevention affiliated investigators. Available services and resources are broadly categorized within: (1) Project Design Expertise; (2) Project Execution Expertise; (3) Dissemination Expertise; and (4) Community Outreach.
See our “CEC one-pager” below to learn more about the services we offer to affiliated investigators and community stakeholders.
ABOUT THE CAB and CRAB
The Community Advisory Board (CAB) consists of prominent community leaders across various sectors in the greater Houston area. The CAB works closely with the HEALTH Center for Addictions Research and Cancer Prevention Administrative Core for strategic planning to ensure we are well-positioned to meet our diverse communities' needs in the areas of addiction research and cancer prevention. Click here to learn more about the CAB.
The Community Research Advisory Board (CRAB) encompasses a diverse group of community stakeholders, who are addiction advocates, cancer survivors/caregivers, or otherwise passionate about addressing unique health challenges that disproportionately burden community members. CRAB members serve as "community scientists," providing affiliated investigators with feedback about their research projects from conception (research question) and design through disseminating results.
The CRAB members receive training from the CEC regarding research ethics, design, execution, and the importance of confidentiality regarding research projects. Thereafter, CRAB members provide their knowledge, experience, and insights in the review of research projects to:
ensure cultural appropriateness of the research questions, measures/assessments used;
confirm relevance of the protocol to the best interests of the targeted community or communities;
problem-solve issues and potential barriers pertaining to study design and implementation;
optimize participant recruitment strategies and materials;
optimize participant retention strategies; and/or
ensure results and their implications are disseminated back to the communities in an understandable way.
The CRAB convenes two times monthly to meet with investigators. See our "CRAB one-pager" below for more information and our CRAB Services Request Form for upcoming meeting dates and to receive CRAB services. Click here to learn more about the CRAB.
Interested in getting services from CEC?
Please review our CEC one-pager for more information; download and complete the CEC Services Request Form, located below, according to directions, and we will be in touch!
Interested in getting services from CRAB?
Please complete the CRAB Services Request Form, located below, according to directions, and we will be in touch!
Does your community or your agency have an upcoming event you would like us to attend? Are you seeking health promotion expertise and health screening services?
Please complete the CEC Services Request Form below with applicable information, and we will be in touch!
Does your community or your agency have specific training needs or need an expert speaker in addiction and cancer prevention?
Please complete the CEC Services Request Form below with more information about your needs and we will be in touch!
Do you have other general questions not covered here?
Please send us a message by clicking here
WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
Are you a student who wants to volunteer to gain research or community outreach experience?
Are you a community member who wants to volunteer for our community outreach activities?
Are you a community member or leader interested in serving on the CAB or CRAB?
Would you like to sign up to receive our newsletter to learn more about what we do?
CEC services request form
CRAB services request form
Dr. Lorraine R. Reitzel
Dr. Lorraine R. Reitzel is a professor in the Department of Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences and a licensed psychologist in Texas. Her research program focuses on better understanding the social determinants of cancer risk behaviors - and the specific biopsychosocial mechanisms that account for related health disparities - emphasizing generating highly translational results to inform policy and intervention. She is the co-founder of UH’s HEALTH Research Institute and currently chairs one of UH’s Institutional Review Boards. Dr. Reitzel’s work has been funded by the Center for Disease Control, Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas, and National Institutes of Health. Her current/recent work includes the Taking Texas Tobacco Free program and the UHAND CRCHD PACHE partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center. She has authored over 150 publications and is a fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior and the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. For this Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) at UH, Dr. Reitzel will leverage her community and dissemination and implementation expertise to direct the Community Engagement Core.
Isabel Martinez Leal, PhD
Program Coordinator (part-time)
Community Education and Outreach Coordinator
Community Education and Outreach Coordinator