UT Southwestern is committed to improving the health of communities in North Texas through community-academic partnerships that foster trust, bidirectional communication, and shared leadership. We offer resources and opportunities for both researchers and community members to participate in research that leads to greater health equity.
Office of Community Health & Research Engagement
The Office of Community Health & Research Engagement (OCHRE) is committed to developing and sustaining community-academic partnerships to improve the health of communities in North Texas. Learn more about our resources for building community-engaged research.
Community Engagement Highlights
Culinary Medicine: A Fresh Outlook on Food and Medicine
Jaclyn Albin, M.D., founding director of UTSW’s Culinary Medicine Program, seeks to design intersectional programs that integrate food as medicine interventions in education, research, clinical care, and community promotion of health equity.
Preventive Medicine grant support furthers UTSW diabetes screening effort
Michael E. Bowen, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.C.S., leads a program to more accurately identify at-risk patients with prediabetes and steer them into proactive community programs designed to delay or prevent the transition from prediabetes to diabetes through lifestyle change and addressing social determinants of health.
Food pantry clients say pandemic increased food insecurity, psychological stress
Sandi Pruitt, Ph.D., M.P.H., has a long-standing community-academic partnership with Crossroads Community Services, the largest distributor of food to low-income families in Dallas. Her research is focused on food assistance as a key social determinant of health and explores how neighborhood-based food pantries can optimize health among food-insecure populations.
Working collaboratively with community stakeholders is integral to the translational research process. Health research and practice increasingly emphasize the importance of employing community-engaged research to address health issues and disparities and effectively disseminate scientific discoveries into real-world practice.
By building trust, facilitating transparent communication, and enlisting new resources and allies, community-engaged research has the potential to improve overall health outcomes as successful projects evolve into lasting collaborations.
Research Project Support and Services
Community engagement is an essential part of each phase of a successful research project. Learn about resources available to help you connect with the community:
Patient and Community Member Resources
UT Southwestern has a variety of opportunities for patients and community members to actively engage in research projects and/or to participate in ongoing research studies.
Participate in Clinical Research
Taking part in a clinical study helps researchers develop new treatments and learn more about different diseases to aid in diagnosis, management, and care. Your participation is an important contribution to advancing our knowledge and ensuring we provide leading-edge services for our patients.
Community Engagement Directory Coming Soon
Our Community Engagement Directory plans to offer an interactive database of past and present community-engaged research projects with profiles of relevant community partners and investigators to inform future collaborations and projects. The CED will provide community organizations and investigators with a shared space to connect and discuss collaborative opportunities. By signing up, you can indicate your interest in partnering with researchers and research projects and receive information about community events and educational opportunities.
Attend Community Events
UT Southwestern’s community events seek not only to inform and serve, but also to inspire the scientist inside each of us to marvel, discover, and stretch our understanding of the human body and the world around us.
Science Café offers casual, interactive, and fun science-informed discussions in an online biweekly format.
medIDEAS fun, family-friendly, UT Southwestern community festivals engage our community with hands-on activities, demonstrations, food trucks, and more!
UT Southwestern Medical Center is eager to share our knowledge and treatments with the community. Fill out a request to learn more.
Community Advisory Panel
Diverse, integrated perspectives – UTSW’s Community Advisory Panel (CAP) is an important resource that helps campus researchers integrate the perspectives of patient and community stakeholders into their projects. We are seeking diverse community members across race, culture, age, and health care access willing to advise researchers about community needs and priorities.
CAP discussions can assume several formats depending on the researcher’s needs and objectives. For example, CAP members might provide input on the design of a study, including feedback on a particular intervention or treatment or ideas to increase participant recruitment. If you would like to learn more about getting involved with the CAP, please OCHRE@UTSouthwestern.edu OCHRE.
Translational Advisory Board
Multisector, strategic engagement – The CTSA Program’s Translational Advisory Board (TAB) comprises multisector leaders from faith-based and community health organizations. The Board advises CTSA Program leadership on opportunities to address the most pressing community needs and identify strategies to engage communities in research.
TAB members are leaders of organizations that represent diverse health priority areas (such as mental health, food security, and exercise), regions (including the city of Dallas, Fort Worth, and Rockwall County), and populations (underinsured and uninsured). This diversity of representation ensures that UT Southwestern is well-informed and intentional in its commitment to improving population health.
Interested in Community-Academic Partnerships?
The Office of Community Health and Research Engagement offers resources for establishing new or strengthening existing community-academic partnerships.