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Community Engagement and Research


  • Carol Eisen, M.D., M.S.

    Carol Eisen, M.D., M.S.

    Regional Med. Director, Quality Improvement
    Dept. of Mental Health
    Los Angeles County

  • Clemens Hong, M.D., M.P.H.

    Clemens Hong, M.D., M.P.H.

    Director, Complex Care Program
    Dept. of Health Services
    Los Angeles County

  • Loretta Jones, Th.D., M.A.

    Loretta Jones, Th.D., M.A.

    Executive Director

    Health African American Families

  • Tony Kuo, M.D., M.S.H.S.

    Tony Kuo, M.D., M.S.H.S.

    Chronic Disease & Injury Prevention

    Dept. of Public Health
    Los Angeles County

  • Aziza Lucas-Wright M.Ed.

    Aziza Lucas-Wright M.Ed.

    Community Engagement Specialist
    Healthy African American Families

  • Anish Mahajan, M.D.

    Anish Mahajan, M.D.

    Chief of Data Analytics

    Dept. of Health Services
    Los Angeles County

  • Norma Mtume

    Norma Mtume


    SHIELDS for Families

  • June Pouesi

    June Pouesi

    Executive Director

    Office of Samoan Affairs

  • Mari Riddle

    Mari Riddle

    Community Stakeholder

  • Ami Shah, M.P.H.

    Ami Shah, M.P.H.


    South Asian Public Health Assn.


  • Juan Barron

    Juan Barron

    Administrative Specialist

  • Rachelle Bross, Ph.D., R.D.

    Rachelle Bross, Ph.D., R.D.

    LA BioMed

    CERP Trainer

  • D'Ann Morris, M.P.A.

    D'Ann Morris, M.P.A.

    Program Director, Community Outreach

    LA Urban League

  • Courtney Porter

    Courtney Porter

    Charles R. Drew University

    Research Associate

  • Ibrahima Sankare, M.H.A.

    Ibrahima Sankare, M.H.A.


    Research Associate

  • Stefanie D. Vassar, M.S.

    Stephanie Vassar, M.S.

    Program Director, CERP/HSR


Program Description

The Community Engagement and Research Program develops, implements, and refines models of community engagement and community capacity building, and facilitates research collaborations between academics and community partners.  This includes (1) designing and developing new models of engagement with public and private health systems, (2) advancing the use of local health and social data by community stakeholders, and (3) expanding patient and community participation in a broad range of scholarly activities and studying the impact of this enhanced participation on translational research.

Program Aim

The aim of the Community Engagement and Research Program (CERP) is to expand community partnerships and accelerate the science of community engagement. To accomplish this aim, CERP has established two main objectives:

  • Objective 1. Design, develop, evaluate, and disseminate new models of engagement with public and private health care systems to promote rigorous study of health delivery innovations and improvements.
  • Objective 2. Facilitate and study stakeholder participation, through equitable partnerships, in every phase of research, including the identification and prioritization of research questions, the design and implementation of interventions, and the adoption and dissemination of innovations.

Program Services

1. Dissemination of research results

  • Generation of community-requested geographic, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomically stratified data
  • Materials for use in community settings

2. Advice on study design and implementation

  • Community outreach assistance from multilingual staff members
  • Support for analysis of community-partner data
  • Assistance with recruitment and data collection

3. Connecting investigators and community

  • Symposia for community organizations to develop collaborations
  • Networking opportunities between and among community partners and academic investigators
  • Partnership opportunities with capacity-building projects receiving Community Engagement and Research support
  • Opportunities to partner with Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and Department of Public Health

4. Grant preparation and training

  • Incorporating community-engaged research or health services research into grant proposals
  • Access to resources for community-partnered research
  • Trainings and workshops to promote academic-community collaborations

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Ibrahima Sankare
Community Liaison
(310) 794-8648

Juan Barron
Assistant to Dr. Brown

Stefanie Vassar, M.S.
Program Director
(310) 794-3919