Community Projects

Summary of Community-Partnered Projects

  • Evaluation of physical activity intervention in the New Haven Public School System
  • Evaluative study of the social determinants of health in New Haven
  • Adapting the National Diabetes Prevention Project to a Family Systems Approach at a FQHC
  • Conducted a Quality Improvement Study to better integrate two diabetes prevention programs 
  • Systematic review of dissemination practices in CBPR projects
  • Understanding youth gun violence in New Haven from the perspective of impacted youth
  • Gender differences in the experiences of youth violence
  • Evaluating the Street Outreach Worker Program to prevent youth violence in New Haven
  • Improve the health of new mothers through relevant health education 
  • Creating a new delivery mechanism to address the specialty care needs of New Haven uninsured
  • Study on the impact of not wearing motorcycle helmets
  • Understanding the awareness and attitudes of eights and ninth graders to the use of contraception
  • Comprehensive review of the work of the Mayor’s Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Council
  • Conducted a health impact study on the redevelopment of a throughway in the city
  • Assess the health and mental health needs of the New Haven Police force
  • Conducted a pilot project to increase vaccination rates for caregivers on newborns
  • Assessed the health needs of new refugees coming into New Haven
  • Conducted a study of the experiences of homeless individuals being discharged from the hospital
  • Facilitated and analyzed a neighborhood association led study of increasing access to healthy foods
  • Study to increase HIV/AIDS partner notification strategies for MSM’s
  • Study to better understand how to strengthen community-university research partnerships
  • Engaging youth in gaining research skills to address violence among youth in New Haven
  • Exploring how to integrate behavioral health and primary care in a youth guidance clinic
  • Working with providers and patients to increase understanding of the use of LARC methods
  • Piloting text messaging to increase adherence to breast feeding
  • Understanding the profiles of high and super high utilizers of emergency rooms for interventions
  • Developing a pilot project using respite care beds for the homeless to reduce hospitalization 
  • Understanding how social media can be used in STD and HIV prevention 
  • Improving community resiliency to address the trauma of violence in selected neighborhoods
  • Assess to primary care availability in New Haven for adults on Medicaid – access issues and barriers
  • Understanding attitudes and beliefs about organ donation among Native Americans
  • Evaluating the effects of community-based efforts to build social cohesion in neighborhoods with high levels of violence
  • Improving patient-centered care at a low-income health clinic 

Examples of Community-Partnered Research Projects

In the summer of 2008, the New Haven County Medical Association (NHCMA) approached the Scholars Program wanting to replicate a program that existed in other parts of the country called Project Access. Project Access recruits physicians willing to provide care, either primary care or specialty free of charge to the uninsured. With four primary care delivery sites available to the insured, the NHCMA wanted to focus on what they considered the most serious need, access to specialty care. They wanted to partner with one or more Scholars to help assess the need for this service and seek grant funding for the proposed program. Initially 5 Scholars from the 2008-2010 cohort expressed interest. An additional Scholar from the 2009-2011 cohort joined the project. For this to be a CBPR Project, the Scholars indicated the planning group needed to expand to include community-based organizations, a research plan for assessing the Program, and envisioning how this program might bring about systems change. A broader coalition of community partners was created. Scholars surveyed other Project Access programs as well as patient navigation; met with local, state, and national policy makers, local providers, and array of funders. They participated in the design of the program, helped secure funding, and developed a research protocol to track the experience of Project Access. They also met with the leadership of Yale-New Haven Hospital to launch a Project Access/Y-NHH pilot to divert Medicaid patients using the emergency room to a primary care provider. This project is chronicled in a report to the community and in an article by Erica Spatz and her colleagues, “Expanding the Safety Net of Specialty Care for the Uninsured: a Case Study,” in  Health Services Research ,Volume 47, No 1, Part II, February 2012.

Since 2006, 9 different Scholars from 4 different cohorts have partnered with the New Haven Family Alliance (NHFA) to reduce youth gun violence in New Haven. The first two projects, a Photovoice project with young people who were either victims or potential perpetrators of gun violence and an evaluation of the NHFA Street Outreach Worker Program were the foundational pieces to the series of community partnered projects that have evolved in New Haven to address youth gun violence. In the Photovoice project, young people were asked to identify the root causes of violence and then given cameras to photograph aspects of their neighborhood that reflected those root causes. This qualitative research project also used serial focus groups to delve into these root causes and identify possible interventions. A companion mixed methods two part project evaluated the Street Outreach Worker Program as it was being implemented to improve the quality and content. Also studied was how positive outcomes related to specific elements of the Program. Subsequently another Scholar partnering with key staff at NHFA took a closer look at the data from Photovoice as it related to gender with a special emphasis on girls. Several community products were developed from these projects—a Photovoice exhibit, summary reports shared with policy makers and funders and a curriculum for organizations work with girls to engage them in recognizing the downsides of youth violence. Manuscripts on two of these projects are under review. 

Building on this work, two current Scholars are partnering with several community and neighborhood organizations including NHFA to pilot a community resiliency program modeled after community mobilization projects in natural disasters. They also have worked with NHFA and CBPR faculty in an award NIH grant to create YouthHaven, a project to teach young people to do research on youth needs in New Haven and engage their peers in addressing youth violence in neighborhoods.