Meharry Medical College-Community Health Centers Network
The Meharry Medical College Community Health Centers (CHCs) Community Networks Program (CNP) is a component of the Meharry Center for Optimal Health. Its purpose is to reduce cancer health disparities among African Americans by conducting community-based participatory research, education, and training in three urban communities in Tennessee (Nashville, Chattanooga, and Memphis). Overall program goals are to significantly improve access to and utilization of beneficial cancer interventions in these three CHC communities and provide a cadre of well-trained researchers who will continue to reduce disparities in these communities. The CNP will be implemented in three phases over 5 years. In Phase I (year 1), an umbrella coalition of organizations and individuals will be formed to begin making joint plans for community networking activities and to develop an infrastructure that facilitates research participation in the target population. Meharry will be the Coordinating Center; a Steering Committee will meet annually at Meharry, and Regional Committees representative of their communities will meet at the three sites on a monthly basis. These committees will be advised regularly by persons from the target population who are knowledgeable about the community and the problem of cancer. Furthermore, collaborations will be formed with academic, governmental, and other key organizations that can contribute to the development and implementation of quality research methods. A Logic Model has been developed to provide operational guidelines across all sites. Training in community-based and other methods will occur at all levels of personnel, including new, especially minority, investigators. In Phase II, program development will occur, using the Logic Model and community-based participatory guideline, as well as guidelines from other management and behavioral models. In Phase III, funding will be sought to sustain credible beneficial programs on a large scale.