The Community Engagement and Clinical Informatics Core, housed at and led by CDU investigators, aims to accelerate the impact of current HIV research for vulnerable populations within Los Angeles and diasporic communities across the world. This will be achieved by advancing innovative and collaborative HIV research between CFAR investigators and community partners in Los Angeles and abroad; and by providing advanced clinical informatics analytic support to public health and community providers and clinics in Los Angeles who are on the frontline of the epidemic. 

The Core will improve the quality of HIV research by increasing meaningful collaboration and multi-directional learning between academic researchers, community providers and population groups disproportionately impacted by HIV, and by increasing the utilization of clinical informatics to inform research. The Core will institute and oversee two CABs (Los Angeles and Global) to work to identify new areas of need, provide community input on studies, and to help shape research studies to advance HIV health equity.

The Core is led by Dr. Dilara K. Üsküp and Dr. Aziza Lucas-Wright. The Aims of this Core are:

  1. To provide training and technical assistance (TA) in Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) to support productive collaborations between CFAR investigators and community partners.
  2. To expand CBPR to populations disproportionately impacted by HIV in Los Angeles and globally through the strategic use of Community Advisory Boards (CABs) and a research registry (RSVP).
  3. To create infrastructure to conduct Clinical Informatics-supported research with community medical providers in Los Angeles to support analysis of EHR data and to inform best practices that are responsive to patients’ and providers’ changing needs.

Core Leadership and Key Staff

Meghal Gandhi

Meghal Gandhi

Community Engagement and Clinical Informatics Core
Shellye Jones

Shellye Jones

Community Engagement and Clinical Informatics Core
Aziza Lucas-Wright

Aziza Lucas-Wright

Community Engagement and Clinical Informatics Core
Leon Maultsby

Leon Maultsby

Community Engagement and Clinical Informatics Core
Dilara K. Üsküp, PhD

Dilara K. Üsküp, PhD

Community Engagement and Clinical Informatics Core

Services Offered by the Core

The Community Engagement and Clinical Informatics Core provides the following services:

  • Provide training and technical assistance (TA) in collaboration with the Clinical Science Core to academic investigators and community partners in areas such as establishing and  managing partnerships, cultural responsiveness, ensuring an equitable research budget, and how to effectively disseminate findings to communities with whom they conduct research.
  • Connect Early-Stage Investigators (ESI) and underrepresented racial minority (URM) investigators to identify funding opportunities with community partners, thereby increasing collaborative CBPR research proposals in HIV prevention and treatment research.
  • Provide access to and inform diverse participants about research studies using the HIV Research Study Volunteer Project (RSVP), in collaboration with the Clinical Science Core.
  • Provide clinical data extraction and retrieval, guidance on HIPAA-compliant data storage media, as well as data management training and support to community medical providers. 
  • Provide Clinical Informatics-supported research with community medical providers in Los Angeles to support analysis of EHR data.
  • Provides training program that offers opportunities for community-based providers to gain familiarity with acquisition, integration and analysis of data and information within community-engaged research, with exposure to key Clinical Informatics approaches, such as natural language processing, data models, and decision support. 
  • Access to the CDU Center for Biomedical Informatics, which focuses on informatics methods that address the needs of medically underserved communities, train providers in CBPR and a range of information technology approaches. 
  • The CDU informatics team can assist community providers in harnessing their patient data in order to analyze trends, perform predictive modeling/machine learning, support the latest evidence-based practices to achieve improvements in patient care outcomes. 
  • Clinical Informatics services will be offered free to ESI and midcareer investigators who have not yet been a PI of a funded R01 grant.

To request core services, please access form here.

Ongoing Events

    • “Meet and Greets” and HIV Community Health Research Forums

Quarterly “Meet and Greets” to provide networking opportunities for CFAR members and community partners with diverse research portfolios. 

      • These meetings are structured events designed to assist researchers and community partners to find shared research interests and identify new areas of research. 
      • Update on the latest CBPR research opportunities and CBPR projects in development.

For more information regarding the ‘Meet and Greets’, please contact Shellye Jones at shellyejones@cdrewu.edu.

 

    • Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Summer Institute

A free, annual, in-person Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Summer Institute at Charles R. Drew University for one week. 

      • Summer Institute topics include CBPR principles, methodologies and best practices, combined with essential topics in HIV prevention and treatment research. 
      • Knowledge and skills gained from this Institute will enable participants to establish equitable partnerships with CBOs, develop CBPR strategies, and write and submit innovative proposals that include CBPR methodologies. 

The next session will be held in 2023.  For more information, please contact Shellye Jones at shellyejones@cdrewu.edu

Contact the Core
Dilara K. Üsküp, PhD, PhD, Core Co-Director

Sign up to be added to the UCLA-CDU CFAR Listserv