In 2003, Kenneth Wells, a researcher from RAND and professor at UCLA took community health advocate, Loretta Jones, CEO of Healthy African American Families II to lunch to get advice about how to bring the benefits of good depression care to minority communities. His prior study, Partners in Care, showed that a team-based model to improve the quality of depression care in primary care improved depression in Latinos and African Americans about 5 times more than whites. At lunch, Loretta told Ken that you have to partner with the community at every stage of the research process to succeed. And they’ve been working together ever since with an ever growing team of partners to bring depression care to local communities. The lead community partners for the next phase of work are Healthy African American Families II and the County of Los Angeles Department of Mental Health. UCLA and the RAND Corporation are the lead academic partners.
Our team won the 2014 Team Science Award from the Association for Clinical and Translational Science, the first applied research team to win this award. Our model has had significant impact on local healthcare policy with the County of Los Angeles basing their new strategy for expanded Medicaid Behavioral Health Services, the Health Neighborhood Initiative, on the CPIC model. Our approach enhances community engagement at UCLA by showing that strong authentic community engagement can lead to high quality science that improves care delivery and outcomes for under-resourced minority communities while having significant policy impact.
Watch the CPIC/CPPRN Conference: “Next Steps in Partnered Research to Build Community Wellness” (May 25th, 2016):