Women in a meeting room

Four University-community grantee teams will address local health equity

The Community Engagement to Advance Research and Community Health (CEARCH) office welcomes four new collaborative teams as recipients of the Community Health Collaborative Pilot grant. 

The Community Health Collaborative Pilot grant annually supports teams of Minnesota-based community organizations and University of Minnesota faculty researchers who are working to improve the health of all Minnesota communities. Grantees will receive up to $50,000 in funding over the course of the grant, as well as consultation support from CEARCH and CTSI on data collection and analysis.

Congratulations to our new grantees!


Title: Perspectives on pediatric palliative care from parents of children with serious illness in the Somali, Latino/a/x, Hmong, and Native American communities

  • Community leads, SoLaHmo Partnership for Health and Wellness: Rodolfo Batres, MD, Shannon Pergament, MPH, MSW, Beverly Bushyhead, Pilar de la Parra, Fathi Ahmed, Yeng Moua
  • University lead: Jennifer Needle, MD, PhD, Department of Pediatrics

This project will use community-based participatory research to explore perspectives of parents of children with serious illness from the Somali, Latinx, Hmong, and Native American communities about pediatric palliative care (PPC). PPC is a specialized area of medicine that assists children with serious illness and their families in making medical decisions that are consistent with their goals, values, and preferences. By exploring the cultural, social, and structural barriers in healthcare for families with children with serious illness, this project seeks to understand the cultural context in these communities and support families as they make emotional and difficult decisions about the care of a sick child. The research team will strive to improve the quality of PPC services by developing a communication toolkit for pediatric providers and a cultural broker program for hospitalized families, with a long-term goal of reducing existing health disparities related to the quality of serious illness care.

Title: Transitioning Together: A community partnership promoting a culturally responsive and family centered approach to transition planning for families of youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities

  • Community lead: Maren Christenson, Multicultural Autism Action Network (MAAN)
  • Community collaborators, PACER Center: Gretchen Godfrey, Barb Ziemke
  • Community collaborators, Multicultural Autism Action Network (MAAN): Rufo Jiro, Fatima Molas
  • University lead: Rebekah Hudock, PhD, Medical School Dept. of Pediatrics
  • University collaborators: Chimei Lee, PhD, Medical School, Sally Sexton MEd, Institute on Community Integration, Joshua Chapman, MD

This project aims to increase and improve healthcare support for rural and BIPOC families of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) as they transition to adulthood. Through focus groups with parents and caregivers, the research team aims to amplify the unique voices and needs of rural and BIPOC communities in order to create culturally and linguistically appropriate solutions. They will co-develop and disseminate resources that better respond to the self-identified needs of families as their adolescents with IDD transition into adulthood.

Title: A participatory action research collaboration addressing racial disparities in maltreatment reporting, child protection involvement, and outcomes: Identifying community perspectives on mechanisms and solutions in Hennepin County

  • Community lead: Lisa P. Bayley, MA, Hennepin County Health & Human Services
  • University lead: Kristine N. Piescher, PhD, School of Social Work
  • University collaborators: Maura Shramko, PhD, Traci LaLiberte, PhD, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

This project will use participatory action research (PAR) to explore the health effects of the disproportionate reporting of child maltreatment of American Indian, Black, and Multiracial children. The disparity between these populations and white children in the same system contributes to structural and institutional racism through increased involvement of Child Protective Services (CPS) and subsequent long-term health repercussions. The research team will work with communities directly impacted to bring their voices into the CPS decision-making system and reach collaborative health and wellbeing solutions. This project also has the potential to have broad state level impacts since it could be replicated in other counties in Minnesota. 

Title: Fulfilling the needs of Black bereaved dementia caregivers

  • Community lead: Warren Wolfe and Sheryl Fairbanks, Roseville Alzheimer's and Dementia Community Action Team 
  • University lead: Zachary Baker, MA, Ph.D, Robert L. Kane Post-Doctoral Fellow
  • University collaborators: Ashley Millenbah, MPH, Robert L. Kane Endowed Chair Research Coordinator, Robin Frazier, UMN Center for Healthy Aging and Innovation

This project seeks to understand the needs of Black bereaved dementia caregivers in order to co-create better support systems for their unique situations. The research team will use focus groups and a group support model to explore met and unmet needs to increase support for caregivers. They will also assess and adapt a caregiver model to better support caregivers, while directly improving current support systems for Black bereaved dementia caregivers and sharing their findings state-wide and beyond.