My name is Tyler, and my endeavor as a Wisconsin Population Health Service Fellow just started in July 2011. The time I have in the fellowship is split between the City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) and the Lindsay Heights Neighborhood Health Alliance (LHNHA). My task in this post is to share with you a little bit about one of the projects I am currently working. Although I would love to share everything that is happening, I’m going to stay focused on how a majority of my time at the LHNHA is dedicated to the growth of the new Community Research Council (CRC).
The LHNHA’s mission is to, “reduce health disparities and create a deep and sustained culture of health and community sufficiency in our families and in our neighborhoods.” When the mission speaks of “our families and our neighborhoods,” it refers to the Lindsay Heights neighborhood that lives between Locust Street to Walnut Street and I-43 to 20th Street in North Milwaukee. Over the years there have been a number of research initiatives that have been put in place for the purpose of driving this mission forward, and now there is a decision making group within the neighborhood that will help ensure that these initiatives are developed and conducted in a manner that is both useful and meaningful, for the Lindsay Heights community residents.
The CRC is intended to be a decision making body within the Lindsay Heights community that can guide, inform, and direct ongoing and future research initiatives. Funding from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Cultures and Communities Program has allowed the CRC to get moving. Just having its first meeting in October 2011, the CRC launched with four members from the academic-research community and six residents within the Lindsay Heights Neighborhood. Some CRC members have research experience and some don’t. However, everyone does have a valuable life experience and are experts in their own right.
The first goal was achieved; bring a variety of people together from a variety of backgrounds, with a majority being from Lindsay Heights, to start discussions that engage in research. Now the next step is find a collective voice within CRC to create the synergy required of impactful research processes and outcomes for the Lindsay Heights neighborhood.
There are a number of directions that the CRC can take in order to inform and engage researchers and research initiatives. This could be in the form of required policies that researchers must follow or guidelines for implementation. It is important to note that the CRC is currently in the sharing stage of model included in this post. Consequently, no decisions have been made, but the wheels are turning and the CRC is in motion.