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Public Health Rep. 2001 Nov-Dec; 116(6): 530–539.
PMCID: PMC1497380

Collaboration among community members, local health service providers, and researchers in an urban research center in Harlem, New York.


The Urban Research Center at the Center for Urban Epidemiologic Studies brings together community members and researchers working in Harlem, New York. A Community Advisory Board (CAB) composed of community members, service providers, public health professionals, and researchers was formed to assist the Center's research and interventions and to guide community partnerships. Through a collaborative process, the CAB identified three public health problems-substance use, infectious diseases, and asthma-as action priorities. To deal with substance use, the Center created a Web-based resource guide for service providers and a "survival guide" for substance users, designed to improve access to community services. To deal with infectious diseases, the Center is collaborating with local community-based organizations on an intervention that trains injection drug users to serve as peer mentors to motivate behavior change among other injection drug users. To deal with asthma, the Center is collaborating with community child care providers on an educational intervention to increase asthma awareness among day care teaching staff, enhance communication between staff and families, and improve the self-management skills of children with asthma. The Center's experience has demonstrated that active communities and responsive researchers can establish partnerships that improve community health.

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