The rewards of community partnership

community partnership
The Emory Prevention Research Center was honored for engaging communities in cancer prevention research. Sharing the honor are (L-R) Johanna Hinman 98MPH, EPRC associate director of operations; J.K. Veluswammy, program coordinator of the Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition; Sandra Daniel, vice chair, and Darrell Saabs, chair of the Community Advisory Board; and Michelle Kegler, EPRC director.

A few years ago, the Emory Prevention Research Center (EPRC) and the Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition joined forces to reduce cancer rates in 31 rural counties. Last spring, the EPRC was honored for engaging those communities in cancer prevention research.

The EPRC is one of 11 Prevention Research Centers (PRCs) to receive the inaugural Community-Based Participatory Research Best Practice Award, presented by the National Community Committee. The group represents community partners of the 37 PRCs funded by the CDC in the United States. It created the award to recognize the role of community partners in designing, implementing, and disseminating research.

“To be honored by community leaders demonstrates that our efforts to engage community members are meaningful,” says EPRC Director Michelle Kegler. “This award is a tribute to our Community Advisory Board members, who have been so passionate about guiding us in designing research projects and programs that are relevant and address priority concerns in southwest Georgia.”

Established in 2004, the EPRC works with families and communities to encourage healthy eating and physical activity to address health problems such as obesity and to prevent cancer. The Community Advisory Board guides the work of the EPRC and partners such as the Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition, based in Albany.

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