Bringing leaders from across Arizona to assist with health equity research, mentoring and expertise
For the Southwest Health Equity Research Collaborative (SHERC), having an active group of collaborative, statewide leaders as part of their team is an integral ingredient to the initiative’s successful Community Expert Board.
SHERC assembled a broad spectrum of geographically diverse, multisectoral community-based organizations and community members from four major areas:
- Public health and healthcare delivery systems.
- Non-traditional public health sectors connected to the social determinants of health, such as the justice system, housing, education, cultural and natural resources.
- Grassroots leaders and community residents. Scholars and policymakers engaged in translational science, including dissemination and implementation.
According to Samantha Sabo, associate professor in the Center for Health Equity Research and NAU Department of Health Sciences and core lead for SHERC’s community engagement core, choosing people who would bring a wealth of diverse experience and knowledge was the key to finding a balanced and productive Community Expert Board.
“We believe learning from multisectoral leaders that represent, serve and advocate with and for the people and communities of Arizona experiencing social and structural inequality is an important way to advance health equity research capacity at NAU––and that’s what we have in our Community Expert Board––an incredible gift of diverse perspectives and passions willing to share their vision with us,” said Sabo.
Community Expert Board members and their expertise:
- Kalvina Belin, tribal liaison, First Things First Initiative: Family health, food systems, employment
- Amanda Guay, director of Community Health Programs and Services, North County HealthCare: Health systems, housing, transportation, education
- Geraldine Haskon, tribal liaison, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona: Health systems, culturally relevant services
- Jon Meyers, executive director, Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council: Social justice, education, social/cultural cohesion
- Floribella Redondo-Martinez, president and chief executive officer, Arizona Community Health Workers Association: Social/cultural cohesion, social justice, health systems
- Ana Rodriguez, board co-chair, Scholarships A-Z: Social justice, education, employment and wealth
- Beya Thayer, executive director, Yavapai Justice & Mental Health Coalition: Community safety, health systems, community design
- Jay Young, executive director, Southwest Fair Housing Council: Housing, employment, and wealth; community design
What will the Community Expert Board do?
Community Expert Board members provide expert guidance and consultation for the SHERC research center, which includes five SHERC cores (Administrative Core, Community Engagement Core, Research Capacity Core, Recruitment and Investigator Development Core), three funded research projects and two-year pilot research projects.
Guay said that through the Community Expert Board, she would like to see more valuable, geographically and culturally relevant health equity research, outcomes and recommendations.
“I was interested in participating in the SHERC Community Expert Board to support, boost, promote, and help to tailor the excellent efforts of SHERC to conduct meaningful health equity research in northern Arizona,” Guay said.
In addition to quarterly meetings, CEB members also plan for sustainable, community- and system-level changes through a community-based coalition called the Fairness First Network.
They will also serve as reviewers for pilot research projects and Dissemination Support Seed Grants and Partnership Development Seed Grants.
To learn more about the Community Expert Board, visit SHERC’s Community Expert Board’s webpage.
The Southwest Health Equity Research Collaborative at Northern Arizona University is supported by a National Institute on Minority Health Disparities center grant (U54MD012388).