Project Summary

Background/Problem: Disparities in health care are pervasive and communities experiencing health disparities are less likely to have access to quality information for healthcare decision making. Most health research is disseminated through peer-reviewed medical journals and sometimes mainstream media. These are not effective ways to share research findings with communities because they are not accessible (e.g., English language only, high literacy/numeracy, cost, etc.).

Solution: Community and ethnic media (CEM) outlets are effective in reaching communities experiencing health disparities (including African Americans and limited English proficient patients, caregivers, and community service providers). This project will engage communities experiencing health disparities, CEM, and researchers to develop a framework that supports the dissemination of research findings to communities through CEM. This framework doesn’t currently exist.

Objectives: Long term, the project’s goal is sustained and targeted dissemination to communities of research findings that address health disparities. This will improve access to quality information to inform health decision making. In the short term, the project aims to:

  • Build the capacity of communities, CEM, and researchers to meaningfully connect and understand each other’s perspectives, assets, and needs.
  • Develop and share a dissemination framework that supports the sharing of research findings more directly to communities experiencing health disparities through CEM.


  • Equitable project leadership from a community-academic partnership. 
  • A stakeholder task force of eight to 12 community stakeholders, CEM, and researchers will have eight meetings over two years to co-learn foundational knowledge about CEM, community priorities, and research.
  • Three core stakeholder listening sessions will be held with broader groups of stakeholders (50-75) to get collaborative input on possible resources and build capacity and connections.


  • Working partnership among communities, CEM, and researchers.
  • CEM dissemination framework and supportive resources to enable the meaningful dissemination of research findings to communities for improved health decision making.

Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: The project will be directed by a multi-stakeholder task force of community stakeholders (patients, caregivers, and community service providers), community and ethnic media, and PCORI-funded researchers.

Project Collaborators: This is a collaboratively designed capacity-building project co-led by two established networks, each with a history of supporting engaged approaches to improving communities and equity. Northwestern University’s Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities (ARCC) promotes and supports engaged community-academic research partnerships. Public Narrative (PN) focuses on elevating community voices through storytelling and supports more than 200 community and ethnic news outlets across Chicago.

Project Information

Jen Brown, MPH
Jhmira Alexander, MPA
Northwestern University/Public Narrative

Key Dates

August 2021


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: April 8, 2024