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Keywords

Community advisory board, community-academic partnership, evaluation, community research, health disparities

Abstract

Background: The Community Advisory Board (CAB) was a vital component of the Center for Equal Health. The center addressed health disparities through community-based research and educational outreach initiatives. Objectives: To evaluate the perceived relationship of the CAB and Center, explore members’ perceptions of the CAB’s role, and elicit feedback on how to enhance the relationship between the Center and the CAB. Methods: Ten in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed with a focus on predetermined codes. Results: Main themes focused on perception of CAB roles and need for utilization of board members; overall center challenges; and board member knowledge and communication within the center. Conclusions: Lessons learned mainly focused on clarification of CAB roles as necessary for more effective and efficient communication. Based on feedback, communication channels between the board and center were developed, orientation packets clarifying center roles were provided, and annual retreats were completed. Additional lessons learned for conducting community-academic partnerships are provided.