The Community Engagement (CE) program bridges researchers and local communities, building sustainable partnerships to ensure that research initiatives meet real community needs. Researchers benefit by focusing on timely, responsive, culturally relevant research questions, while community members can directly influence research choices and academic-community relations. Moreover, CE provides support that ensures researchers understand the health needs and research barriers of special populations and works to facilitate new academic-community partnerships. As such, CE has developed a range of novel strategies and approaches to engage diverse communities and facilitate meaningful academic-community partnerships.

Engaging communities from different backgrounds and cultures is important to ensure that medications and interventions are effective for different groups. Many of the available medications and therapies were developed based on clinical trials that included a vast majority of White/Caucasian research participants, in spite of the fact that minority groups such as African American and Latino communities bear the greatest burden across various diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and some cancers. While minority groups are continuing to grow and make up a large proportion of the U.S. population, they are considerably underrepresented in clinical trial participants.

This lack of participation in research may contribute to the many health disparities we see in our most vulnerable and underserved communities. Engaging these communities requires different approaches, including providing culturally relevant educational information, listening to and responding to the communities’ fears and concerns about research and the healthcare system more generally, and empowering them to be informed research participants.

This report details the accomplishments of the Community Engagement (CE) team at the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute (SC CTSI) in 2023. It highlights our dedication to advancing health equity through various initiatives. These initiatives include community outreach and education programs, capacity building opportunities for community health workers, and the development of collaborative partnerships focused on addressing health disparities.

The report showcases the impact of these efforts through success stories from our community partners and testimonials from community members who have benefited from our programs.

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In the links below
, we highlight some of the varying approaches our team has utilized when working with communities in order to help remove barriers to research participation. The work described here includes a variety of approaches to achieve these goals - community organizing, social marketing, integrating the research community into the lay community, and utilizing the power of entertainment to provide accurate and culturally appropriate messaging about health and research.

Current Initiatives:

Ongoing Initiatives:

Past Initiatives:

We will continue to develop, test, and deliver innovative approaches to community engagement that will lead to a reduction in health disparities and an increase in healthier communities across populations.

Learn more about the Community Engagement team:


Subscribe Now for Community Engagement Updates and Events
¡Suscríbase ahora para actualizaciones y eventos de participación comunitaria!
Community Newsletters  
Current Health Research Studies
Oportunidades para participar en estudios de investigación en salud

Follow Community Engagement on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook!


Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati Co-Director, Community Engagement Details
Michele Kipke Michele Kipke, PhD SC CTSI Co-Director/CE Director Details
Nicole Wolfe Nicole Wolfe, PhD Co-Director, Community Engagement Details

Team Members

Adriana Argaiz Adriana Argaiz, MSSP Associate Director, Community Engagement with the Southern California Center for Latino Health at CHLA Details
Rosalba Cain Rosalba Cain Community Outreach Coordinator, Community Engagement Details
Sara Calderon Sara Calderon Community Outreach Coordinator, Community Engagement Details
Andrea Diaz Andrea Diaz, BA Communications Lead Details
Brian Do-Golden Brian Do-Golden, MPH, CHES Research and Evaluation Analyst Details
Alma Garcia Alma Garcia Community Outreach Coordinator, Community Engagement Details
Esther Karpilow Esther Karpilow, BA Community Outreach Coordinator Details
Tyrone Nance Tyrone Nance, MA Lead Community Outreach Specialist, Community Engagement Details
Mayra Rubio-Diaz Mayra Rubio-Diaz Special Project Manager, Community Engagement Details
Natayla Seals Natayla Seals Community Outreach Coordinator, Community Engagement Details

Core Groups

Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design Details
Central Administration Details
Clinical Research Informatics Details
Clinical Research Support Details
Communications Details
Community Engagement Details
Evaluation & Improvement Details
Healthcare Delivery Science Details
Regulatory Knowledge & Support Details
Research Development Details
Workforce Development Details

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important - All publications resulting from the utilization of SC CTSI resources are required to credit the SC CTSI grant by including the NIH funding acknowledgment and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.