The Advancing Health Program, funded by the California Endowment, convenes an advisory committee to create a framework for greater community engagement and capacity building in future research initiatives in San Diego that will ultimately impact refugee health. The committee is made up of a variety of ethnic community-based organization leaders who come together in order to collectively integrate voices of individual refugee communities in research-based initiatives in San Diego.

The January meeting marked a year of working together toward the shared goal of creating a community collaborative to increase representation and improve existing practices in research and refugee and immigrant health. At this meeting, the partners identified priority goals and needs for creating the group, with the aim of improving transparency, cohesion within communities, and creating a framework that would allow for greater efficiency of resource sharing as a result of the partnership.

During the meeting, representatives brainstormed a logic model recognizing the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities that this work will bring to their communities. One of the core strengths that was recognized is the diversity of each organization, as well as the deep connections each representative has to his or her community. Representatives are familiar to the unique needs of their own communities, and their struggles as refugees and immigrants, and can help ensure that these issues are recognized and respected through future research initiatives.

Through this meeting, the group was able to clarify intentions to continue working together toward the same goals, and to discuss the logistics of moving forward as a collaborative.

We would like to give special thanks to all the presenters, facilitators and partners that were a part of the process of convening this group, including Ana Navarro, Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at UCSD, Valerie Nash of Nash & Associates, Ramon Hernandez, Section Chief at the UC San Diego Center for Community Health, and Ramona Perez, Chair of the Institutional Review Board for San Diego State University.



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