Community Engagement

Community Engagement

Community Engagement in the Deep South

The Community Engagement Core of the Forge AHEAD Center seeks to promote health equity and reduce the burden of cardiometabolic diseases across the Deep South by developing engaged, active, and sustained partnerships with diverse regional stakeholders.

Our Goal:

Facilitate bi-directional communication and authentic partnerships between Center members and diverse regional stakeholders and disseminate relevant and actionable strategies to address the persistent chronic disease burden.

Specific Aims:

Expand and maintain partnerships with diverse non-academic partners

Facilitate co-learning and bi-directional communication between the Center’s Research and Pilot Project investigators and community stakeholders

Develop and disseminate findings from the Center to diverse audiences (e.g., community residents, policymakers, educators, public health practitioners, and other academic researchers)

Community Advisory Board

The Forge Ahead Center established a 12-person Community Advisory Board (CAB) with four representatives from each state in our regional partnership (AL, MS, LA). The CAB will specifically focus on advising the Community Engagement Core and Center leaders, research and pilot project investigators, and engaging in long-term strategic planning to achieve health equity.

  • Provide feedback to investigators with the goal of continuous process improvement through project proposal reviews
  • Advocate for study participants, community partners, and other stakeholders to help further the Forge AHEAD Center shared mission.
  • Be the “voice” of community priorities represented by the regional partnership
  • Identify assets, needs, strengths, and capacity of community partnerships
  • Share ownership and accountability with the Forge AHEAD Center and our program partners

Community Coalition

The Community Coalition will bring together non-academic and academic partners to explore and develop innovative partnerships that address regional health disparities and further the translational research goals of the Forge AHEAD Center.

In addition to potential interactions during regularly scheduled Community Coalition meetings, community stakeholders or investigators may partake in StakeHolder Advisory PanEls (SHAPES). The purpose of SHAPES is to encourage focused, in-depth, bidirectional discourse regarding potential projects and partnerships that are identified for follow-up during regularly scheduled Coalition meetings.

Community Coalition Partners may Include:

Community-based organizations
Faith-based institutions
Public health agencies
Local and state governments
Tribal governments and public health offices
Small businesses

Community Coalition Membership:

Members represent organizations and potential organizational resources
Meetings are scheduled on an ad hoc basis
Members can participate in StakeHolder Advisory PanEls (SHAPES) meetings
Members may develop or participate in research programs

Join the Forge AHEAD Center Community Today!