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Community Engagement & Outreach

The WVCTSI has unique and nationally-recognized community-university partnerships for heath that reach deep into West Virginia's communities. Yet, West Virginia has the highest percentage of citizens with chronic diseases and chronic disease risk factors in the US. The Institute’s Community Engagement and Outreach (CEO) Program eliminates the "disconnect" between our state's health disparities and the assets available to address. It serves as “the go to place” for conducting, and rapidly translating community-relevant research to improve the health and well-being of WV and beyond. The CDC-funded Prevention Research Center and Injury Control Research Center, and the NIH-funded Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA) form the CEO. The Program underscores the significance of interactions among community members, healthcare providers, and researchers, and provides a single organizational structure for all constituents to access for guidance, support, and technical assistance for community engaged research.

The CEO vision is simple - research outcomes that improve real-life conditions. We achieve this through the following community-driven aims:

Table 1: Core Aims Mapped to WVCTSI IDeA-CTR Overall Aims

CEO Core Aims WVCTSI IDeA-CTR Overall Aims
Specific Aim #1 – Develop a centralized infrastructure for community-engaged research. Overall Aim #1 - Grow the WVCTSI as an academic home and a catalyst for clinical and translational research that will target cancer, cardiovascular-stroke, and obesity related diseases.
Specific Aim #2 - Sustain ongoing mechanisms to ensure that community-identified health priorities shape and inform research agendas.

Overall Aim #2 - Establish cross cutting research partnerships among the WVCTSI partnered institutions and collaborating CTSAs at UK, OSU and IU to increase our research capacity.

Overall Aim #3 - Utilize innovative recruitment, training, and mentoring strategies to develop clinical and translational scientists at each of the WVCTSI institutions.

Specific Aim #3 - Develop effective knowledge translation and dissemination strategies. Overall Aim #1 - Grow the WVCTSI as an academic home and a catalyst for clinical and translational research that will target cancer, cardiovascular-stroke, and obesity related diseases.


Data Sharing: Creating Agreements in support of community-academic partnerships


Community Intervention Trials Unit Services
CEO Services
  • Work with project teams to develop trial design/protocols acceptable and feasible for community- and practice-based research
  • Develop customized interventions
  • Provide survey and measurement selection and development
  • Generate epidemiological questions that have policy and practice relevance for community-identified health priorities and disparities
  • Develop and conduct health behavior assessment (e.g., tobacco use, physical activity, nutrition)
  • Develop educational materials
  • Provide grant/manuscript reviews related to community engagement & CBPR
  • Conduct CBPR and cultural sensitivity training for communities, healthcare providers, and researchers
  • Provide relevant funding sources for scientists and students
  • Provide CBPR methodology expertise and mentoring
  • Provide opportunities for bi-directional communication among community members, healthcare providers, and researchers for pilot projects
  • Work with project teams to develop community-based/practice-based pilot project proposals and selection
  • Engage partners in community-and practice-based research projects involving existing databases, such as CARDIAC, COHRA, N-O-T
  • Develop strategies for data entry and database development suitable for community- and practice-based projects
  • Provide guidance on electronic communication and data management systems for community-engaged research
  • Provide guidance on partner engagement strategies
  • Assess community readiness to change
  • Recruit sites for participant enrollment
  • Assist with participant recruitment and study follow up
  • Connect researchers with provider and lay partners for community-engaged research
  • Develop and disseminate suitable data collection strategies and resources per type of data (from “pen and paper” to bio-specimens) in community and practice settings
  • Use culturally competent methods for participant recruitment
  • Conduct data collection in community and practice-based sites
  • Develop study-specific, tailored recruitment methods and materials
  • Provide advice on clinical research ethics issues with specific populations
  • Organize local forums, town hall, etc. to assess community needs
  • Direct to accurate sources of regulatory requirements
  • Guidance on IRB submission per requirements for CBPR, community-based trials
  • Preparation of HIPAA compliance documents and authorizations relevant to community trials
  • Informed consent guidance for community trials
  • Assistance with trial registry (