Mayo Clinic's Center for Health Equity and Community Engagement Research, now in its third year, is bustling with activity ― constantly innovating to promote health equity in all aspects of health care and research. The center was formed in 2019 by merging the Office of Health Disparities Research and the Office for Community Engagement in Research.
Monica Albertie, operations manager, acknowledges the many definitions of health equity, but says her favorite is one of the simplest. "Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity and freedom to 'be well,' whatever the definition of wellness means to them," Albertie says.
Chyke Doubeni, M.B.B.S., leads the center as director. "We've made great strides in cultivating research and programs to eliminate health disparities and enhance community capabilities," Dr. Doubeni says. "Our goal is to accelerate the impact of Mayo's resources and scientific discoveries in underresourced rural and urban communities through translational research. One of our most important objectives is to increase the inclusiveness of our clinical studies to expand the benefit of discoveries to as many patients as possible."
Inside the walls of Mayo, the center is executing strategies to recruit and train a diverse research workforce and provide critical infrastructure and expertise to support the advancement of health equity research.
In the communities Mayo Clinic serves, the center is advancing collaborative partnerships with community leaders and organizations to promote inclusive research participation and improve health outcomes.
Building Mayo's health equity research workforce
The Center for Health Equity and Community Engagement Research is a hub for a team of expert clinicians, scientists and program administrators. With operations at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Florida and Rochester, the center continues to build its team.
Through research, the center improves the health of communities and eliminates disparities in preventable illness and death.
Priority areas include:
The center's research activities are tied to the results of Mayo Clinic's Community Health Needs Assessments, which is conducted in the communities Mayo serves.
The Center for Health Equity and Community Engagement Research collaborates with community organizations to ensure that research addresses community health priorities. The center is working to strengthen partnerships to improve access to evidence-based interventions and enhance capacity for research with priority populations, including ongoing efforts to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The center participates in the national Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) against COVID-19 disparities, which is supported by the NIH.
Dr. Doubeni and other center leaders are working with stakeholders to develop and execute initiatives to increase community impact and create innovative solutions to health disparities.
The Center for Health Equity and Community Engagement Research, along with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS), developed Community Health Assets and Resilience Measures (CHARM), an initiative to identify key priorities and areas of programmatic focus. In addition, the program assesses key health indicators in the community and gathers the critical perspective of community members to guide Mayo Clinic in serving as a bridge to better health.
Visit the Center for Health Equity and Community Engagement Research website.