The overarching goal of CCHE is to forge lasting partnerships between communities and the University of Wisconsin to advance health equity. CCHE sees itself as a resource to create and sustain these partnerships. We have worked in tribal, refugee, and diverse racial and ethnic minority communities, from urban Milwaukee to rural communities in northern Wisconsin.
Our aim is to ensure that community needs are understood and addressed while UW resources, including technical knowledge and innovations to address health inequities, are shared and being put to work in communities across the state. Our community-academic partnerships have resulted in collaborative teaching, student service learning opportunities, research to address a specific community need, and programs to advance the health of underserved communities.
In CCHE, community-engaged projects…
■ are initiated in partnership with a community;
■ ensure the community has a voice in the design of the project, its implementation in the community, and the dissemination of the project results;
■ value and engage the knowledge, experiences, strengths and resources within a community;
■ rely upon partnerships that balance power, responsibilities, and share resources among all partners;
■ all partners gain valuable and transferable benefits (e.g. knowledge, new skill sets, resources/technologies that can be used in the community, economic development/jobs, etc.)
■ are designed to take action and improve health and wellness in your community
CCHE Community Partner input
In our continuing efforts to support health equity and health disparities research with diverse racial/ethnic communities – and promoting collaborations between campus- and community-based partners – we undertook a process for gathering input from our partners to identify approaches for strengthening our community engagement efforts. Interviews were conducted with staff from seven of our community partner organizations. The input received was invaluable in helping us to understand the perspectives of our partners, what we are doing well and what we could improve upon in our collaborative efforts.
We appreciate the time that individuals took to provide feedback and as this Report on Community Partner Input Regarding Partnerships with the Collaborative Center for Health Equity (PDF) from Fall 2014 outlines, there were many positive comments as well as suggestions for improvements that we have been working to incorporate into the structure and functioning of CCHE.
Tribal Community advisory boards
In partnership with the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, and the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, CCHE staff have successfully established and participated on Community Advisory Boards (CABs) to prioritize and advance health and wellness initiatives thru action plans to improve health outcomes. These CABs have implemented a number of projects: childhood obesity prevention, teen pregnancy reduction using culturally-specific curricula, community gardening for health, improving playground space for children, constructing safe walking and biking trails for families.
This September 2014 article, ‘Using Community Advisory Boards to Reduce Environmental Barriers to Health in AI Communities, Wisconsin, 2007-2012‘ (PDF) published in Preventing Chronic Disease by Adams et al., describes how CABS can be an effective and sustainable intervention to reduce environmental barriers to healthy lifestyles.
Lindsay Heights Community Research Council
Grounded in community engagement and distributive leadership, the Community Research Council (CRC) advances neighborhood research using the values and priorities of the Lindsay Heights community. Utilizing CBPR and the integration of 11 community members and 3 academic members from local and regional universities on the Council, the monthly CRC meetings at Walnut Way Conservation Corp provide opportunities for members to learn from each other’s experience and knowledge. Two CTSAs – UW-Madison (Collaborative Center for Health Equity) and the Medical College of Wisconsin – have been actively involved over the years in the Council through council membership. For more information about the CRC, please contact Tyler Weber: Tyler@walnutway.org