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Improving the Health of the Community: Duke's Experience with Community Engagement

Michener, J Lloyd MD; Yaggy, Susan MPA; Lyn, Michelle MBA, MHA; Warburton, Samuel MD; Champagne, Mary PhD, RN; Black, MaryAnn MSW, LCSW; Cuffe, Michael MD; Califf, Robert MD; Gilliss, Catherine DNSc, RN; Williams, R Sanders MD; Dzau, Victor J. MD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181668450
Population Health Education

Evidence is accumulating that the United States is falling behind in its potential to translate biomedical advances into practical applications for the population. Societal forces, increased awareness of health disparities, and the direction of clinical and translational research are producing a compelling case for AHCs to bridge the gaps between scientific knowledge and medical advancement and between medical advancement and health. The Duke University Health System, the city and county of Durham, North Carolina, and multiple local nonprofit and civic organizations are actively engaged in addressing this need. More than a decade ago, Duke and its community partners began collaborating on projects to meet specific, locally defined community health needs. In 2005, Duke and Durham jointly developed a set of Principles of Community Engagement reflecting the key elements of the partnership and crafted an educational infrastructure to train health professionals in the principles and practice of community engagement. And, most recently, Duke has worked to establish the Duke Translational Medicine Institute, funded in part by a National Institutes of Health Clinical Translational Science Award, to improve health through innovative behavioral, social, and medical knowledge, matched with community engagement and the information sciences.

Dr. Michener is professor and chairman, Department of Community and Family Medicine, and director, Duke Center for Community Research, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.

Ms. Yaggy is associate professor and chief, Division of Community Health, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.

Ms. Lyn is assistant professor and associate division director, Division of Community Health, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. Warburton is professor and chief, Division of Family Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. Champagne is professor and past dean, Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, North Carolina.

Ms. Black is associate vice president, Office of Community Relations, Duke University Health System, Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. Cuffe is vice president and chief medical officer, Duke University Health System, Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. Califf is director, Duke Translational Medicine Institute, and vice chancellor for clinical research, Duke University Health System, Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. Gilliss is professor, dean, and vice chancellor, Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. Williams is senior vice chancellor, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. Dzau is chancellor for health affairs, Duke University, and president and CEO, Duke University Health System, Durham, North Carolina.

Please see the end of this article for information about the authors.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Michener, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, 319 Hanes House, Box 2914 Medical Center, Durham, NC, 27710; telephone: (919) 681-3178; fax: (919) 681-5785; e-mail: (lloyd.michener@duke.edu)

© 2008 Association of American Medical Colleges