Project Summary

Background: Despite numerous national and local health initiatives to end racial and ethnic disparities in health care and health outcomes, racial and ethnic minorities continue to experience the highest chronic disease burdens and lowest life expectancy. Their underrepresentation in all research phases is a persistent challenge, one that slows the development, translation, dissemination, and uptake of research findings that have the potential to mitigate racial and ethnic health disparities. Currently, there are few opportunities to focus on engaging racial and ethnic minorities in all research phases.

Proposed Solution to the Problem: The Meharry-Vanderbilt Community Engaged Research Core (CERC) is a collaboration between Meharry Medical College (MMC) and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville, Tennessee that brings together academic and community stakeholders to conduct research aimed at eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health and health outcomes. In 2009, CERC developed the Community Engagement Studio (CE Studio) model as a disease-agnostic, structured, consultative approach that facilitates meaningful engagement of community and patient/patient stakeholders in all research phases. The model is effective in increasing the person-centeredness of research. Of the >600 community members and patient/patient stakeholders that have provided feedback during the CE Studios, 55 percent are members of racial and/or ethnic minority groups.

Objective: Convene a 1.5-day CE Studio Summit to accelerate the transfer of knowledge surrounding CE Studios and prepare research teams, patients, communities, and clinicians to meaningfully engage racial and ethnic minorities in research.


  • Convene a diverse group of researchers, patient/community stakeholders and clinicians to share lessons learned on the CE Studio model and provide practical skills training to implement CE Studios. Institutions and organizations that prioritize or seek to initiate research focused on eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health care and health outcomes will be invited to the CE Studio Summit. Participants will primarily be identified through networks of institutions and organizations, including those that have research centers in minority institutions and clinical and translational science awards.
  • Engage researchers, patient/community stakeholders, and clinicians in planning and implementation of the CE Studio Summit. This will be accomplished by: establishing a CE Studio Summit Committee to plan and implement the summit; implementing a Demonstration CE Studio on a health topic that disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities; and featuring a panel of speakers that have CE Studio experience. Representatives from each stakeholder group will serve on the planning committee, assist with training around recruiting CE Studio participants and facilitation of the Demonstration CE Studio, and will share their CE Studio experiences.
  • Evaluate the transference of knowledge of CE Studios and disseminate the results. This will be accomplished by administering pre- and post-CE Studio Summit surveys and disseminating results via networks of institutions and organizations.

Outputs: Proceedings, videos, and lay summary.

Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: Researchers, patient/community stakeholders, and clinicians that have CE Studio experience will be members of the CE Studio Committee and engaged in all summit activities, including planning, implementation, and dissemination of summit findings.

Project Collaborators: Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Project Information

Stephania Miller-Hughes, PhD, MS, MSCI
Meharry Medical College

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