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Community Engagement

For general inquiries about Community Engagement, please contact:

Human health research cannot exist without the support and input of the community whose lives it seeks to improve. The Wright Center serves as a critical component of VCU's efforts to engage the community in its research, bringing academic and community partners together to improve the health and well-being of all people. The center mobilizes existing strengths in collaboration and Team Science to engage stakeholder communities at every phase of research and form partnerships between scientists and the public. Working alongside the university’s Center for Community Engagement and Impact, Wright Center researchers coordinate VCU-led community-engaged research activities to support community members and develop lasting partnerships.

The Greater Richmond Community Advisory Board brings together researchers and community members to engage, understand and support one another. The board assists with the development of community and academic partnerships and ensures that VCU research is meeting the needs of our communities.

The Wright Center funds community projects that are small in scale and short-term. Mini-grants are open to initiatives and programs related to clinical or community-engaged research that will build communities and bring partner organizations and VCU researchers together to address a need or issue of concern.

The Virginia Ambulatory Care Outcomes Research Network, or ACORN, is a partnership between primary care practices and a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the VCU Department of Family Medicine and Population Health. ACORN’s mission is to improve health and transform care delivery through primary care research and implementation. Several ACORN leaders are supported by the Wright Center.

Engaging Richmond is a partnership between community members and VCU researchers. Since the project’s inception in 2011, members of the Engaging Richmond team have used mixed-methods research to explore the social and environmental factors that influence health. Engaging Richmond is supported by the Wright Center in collaboration with the Center on Society and Health.

The Community Engaged Research Seminar Series is a three-part series geared toward researchers interested in integrating community-centric principles into their human health research. Researchers can watch the series at its Kaltura channel. For upcoming events, subscribe to the center’s regular newsletter.

Help the Wright Center create a database of compiled reports for users to access a cataloged repository of statewide and local needs assessments.

The Wright Center is helping researchers and community partners visualize demographic, healthcare, workforce, socio-ecological and outcomes data for every community in Virginia with maps, graphs, trend charts and data downloads. Users can map multiple variables in one map or view maps side-by-side.

This project uses an oral history methodology, paired with spatial visualizations of data, to help show how community advocates are positively impacting communities. Hear and see the work that advocates are doing throughout Richmond.

Community Engagement Consulting

The Wright Center offers community-engaged research consulting services to researchers and community partners. Consultants help with strategic planning, community engagement, research models and participant recruitment. Contact Leah Gregory if you would like to request a consultation.

All Payer Claims Data

Researchers and community partners may request data from the Virginia All Payer Claims Data. The data includes longitudinal claims since 2016 that can be linked to community metrics on socio-ecological factors. It is useful for understanding the delivery of care in Virginia and its impact on community health. Analytic support to use the data is also available. If you are interested in requesting data, please submit a ticket here.

This book by Emily Zimmerman, Ph.D., is the definitive community-engaged research methods book. It highlights work from the Wright Center and clinical and translational science institutes across the country.