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

Team Members

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

Core Groups

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

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.