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Community Engagement and Research


  • 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

  • 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 Medical Officer


  • 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.

  • Rashmi Shetgiri, M.D., M.S.H.S., M.S.C.S.

    Rashmi Shetgiri, M.D., M.S.H.S., M.S.C.S.

    Health Assessment & Epidemiology

    Dept. of Public Health
    Los Angeles County


  • Juan Barron

    Juan Barron

    Research Associate

  • Rachelle Bross, Ph.D., R.D.

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


    CERP Trainer

  • Francesca Cameron

    Francesca Cameron


    Evaluation Project Manager, Whole Person Care

  • Savanna Carson, Ph.D.

    Savanna Carson, Ph.D.


    Associate Program Director

  • Michael Coffee

    Michael Coffee


    Administrative Analyst

  • Saron Goitom

    Saron Goitom



  • Sarmen Hakopian

    Sarmen Hakopian


    Research Associate

  • Jessica Jara

    Jessica Jara



  • Maria Morales

    Maria Morales


    Research Associate

  • D'Ann Morris, M.P.A.

    D'Ann Morris, M.P.A.


    Program Director, Community Outreach

  • Schetema Nealy, Ph.D.

    Schetema Nealy,

    Charles R. Drew University

    Research Coordinator

  • Ejiro Ntekume

    Ejiro Ntekume


    Program Analyst

  • Courtney Porter

    Courtney Porter

    Charles R. Drew University

    Research Associate

  • Stefanie Vassar, M.S.

    Stefanie Vassar, M.S.

    Program Director, CERP/HSR


The Community Engagement and Research Program (CERP) partners with community members, organizations, service providers, policymakers, academia, government, local health systems and researchers to identify and research public health priorities towards the goal of improving health equity in Los Angeles County.

Visit the Community Engagement portal to view all the services and projects supported by CERP. 

The portal includes information on:

  • Whole Person Care 
  • Care Connections Program 
  • Community-based Projects 
  • DHS-partnered Pilot Projects 
  • Team Science Training 
  • Dissemination, Improvement & Implementation Science 
  • News Series on Community Health 
  • Resources for Community-based Projects 
  • "How To" Series 
  • Workshops, Tools & Training for Community Partners and Researchers 
  • How to Partner with CERP: Information for Community Partners and Investigators 
  • How to Participate in a Clinical Trial 
  • Upcoming Events and Spotlights

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 aims and objectives of the Community Engagement and Research Program (CERP) are as follows:

  • Aim 1. Expand community partnerships and accelerate the science of community engagement
    • Objective 1. Design, develop, evaluate, and disseminate new models of engagement with safety-net health care systems to promote rigorous study of delivery innovations and improvements (Safety-Net Health Innovation).
    • 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 (Stakeholder Engagement).
  • Aim 2. Foster translational innovation through the promotion and understanding of team science 
    • Objective 1. Develop, conduct, evaluate, and disseminate team science training for interdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder teams to enhance the effectiveness of translational science teams.

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

    Download our flier

Juan Barron
Assistant to Dr. Brown

Savanna Carson, PhD
Associate Program Director
(310) 267-5511