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The Community Advisory Board for our project “Strengthening a community-engaged research partnership to promote diabetes management in Richmond” had its first meeting on June 20, 2016 at the Downtown YMCA. The Board consists of community members with diabetes (type 1 and 2), clinical experts (i.e., community health workers and clinicians), and members of community organizations outside the YMCA that address diabetes management, and representatives from insurers and employers.

Our next CAB meeting will be on June 27, 2017 from 6-8pm at the Downtown YMCA. This meeting will be a celebration of our one-year anniversary and a discussion of our experience presenting at the American Diabetes Association earlier in the month!


This project is supported by the VCU Council on Community Engagement.


Materials from past meetings:


Community Advisory Board group photo

Community Advisory Board group picture. (L-R) William Thornton, Jeannie Concha, Evanise Lexima, Brandy Rollins, Maria Jose Mejia Ruiz, Brian Grande, Briana Mezuk, Margaret Benson, Joshua Montgomery, Karen Bunn, Clarence Drew, Chanel Bea, Lauren Gray, and Linda Walker. Not pictured: Jana Smith, Cate Varney, Sallie Nayer, Michel Zajur, and Marylin Metzger.


The NIH has emphasized the role of Community Advisory Boards as an essential approach for improving health disparities research and building community trust. Community engagement in the research process is known to “improve the recruitment and retention of study participants and the development of culturally appropriate research” and ensures that the community voice is represented (NIH, 2011). For this project, the roles of the Board include (1) provide feedback on research instruments and protocols (e.g., to suggest additional items that address topics not already included in the survey, to adapt the wording of questions to be more relevant to the local community), (2) aide in the interpretation of preliminary results as the project progresses, and (3) inform and participate in our efforts to disseminate the findings within the Richmond community and beyond.


National Institutes of Health (2011). Principles of Community Engagement. Clinical and Translational Science Awards Consortium, Community Engagement Key Function Committee Task, Force on the Principles of Community Engagement.