From LAB to Community: Portrait of a Symposium by Eduardo Lamadrid Aguilar, J.D., M.A.C
From LAB to Community: Portrait of a Symposium
By Eduardo Lamadrid Aguilar, J.D., M.A.C.
Member Community Engagement Coalition Team
The communities are diverse, as is the research carried out in them. Hence the importance of the recent symposium held by the Community Engagement Core (CEC) of the Center for Collaborative Research on Health Disparities (CCRHD), entitled “From the laboratory to the community: Community engagement efforts in research on health disparities in Puerto Rico”.
This online symposium was held during the mornings of two consecutive days, beginning with a discussion on the main topic of the day, followed by a couple of panels where projects that serve as practical examples of that same topic were presented.
The topic of the first day's discussion was “Community engagement in research projects”, presented by the leaders of the community component, Dr. Carmen Milagros Vélez Vega, Dr. Irene Lafarga Prévidi, and Dr. Ana Cecilia Guzzi Vasques. The first panel consisted of "Experiences of students or research assistants in clinical studies", with the participation of the researchers, Dr. Pablo Vivas and Dr. Jorge Duconge, along with members of their work teams: Ricardo Noriega, Mariela Rivera, and Mariangely Moneró. A second panel on “Community Outreach Efforts” included the participation of Robert Rabelo, and Ednalisse Santiago.
The main theme of the second day was "The return of results to participants", presented by Héctor Torres, who creatively summarized the ways of communicating to the communities those research findings that can positively impact the population’s quality of life.
The first panel "Experiences of students or research assistants in intervention studies" had the participation of the researcher, Dr. Maribel Campos, together with Yari Valle, and Génesis Alvelo. The second panel, corresponding to “Community Outreach Efforts”, also featured contributions from Milane Medina, Nancy Cardona, and an interesting, recorded interview with community leader Carmen Villanueva.
As an interesting fact, each morning session began with breathing exercises for the relaxation and concentration of the participants, and concluded with interactive question and answer sessions, some to underline the importance of the topics discussed, and others to promote a greater sense of belonging among the group of researchers, assistants, and members of the Community Engagement Core.
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