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On this page, you'll find news about Community Science – our latest publications, press releases and staff announcements. We're expanding so keep checking back!

Changing Environments to Prevent Substance Abuse

Community Science brings an environmental approach to substance prevention. We understand that successful environmental prevention efforts must include policy change, address differences in culture and race, equity, and focus on efforts that change systems and structures that impede health and promote unsafe behaviors. Too often, efforts to address substance abuse prevention focus solely, or predominately, on changing individual behavior and attitudes.

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Check out our new blog! Community Curbs Injustice

FBI Director James Comey: "A tragedy of American life — one that most citizens are able to drive around because it doesn’t touch them — is that young people in 'those neighborhoods' too often inherit from that dysfunction a legacy of crime and prison. And with that inheritance, they become part of a police officer’s life, and shape the way that officer — whether white or black — sees the world."

CLICK HERE to read our thoughts on Comey’s remarks and how building strong inclusive communities and the capacity to care for each other can help fix relationships that lead to violence between policy and the people they are supposed to protect and serve.

Changing College Environments to Prevent and Treat Tobacco Use

Community Science has started work with the Legacy Foundation on projects related to tobacco prevention and cessation on college campuses throughout the U.S. Through a multi-organizational collaborative consisting of Legacy and nine partner organizations, the Tobacco Free Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Initiative seeks to support HBCUs in developing and implementing comprehensive policies for tobacco-free campuses. Community Science will evaluate this initiative by 1) providing a culturally responsive evaluation for the Tobacco Free HBCU Initiative that will consider the unique features of historically Black colleges; and 2) using culturally appropriate assessment tools to evaluate the unique characteristics of HBCUs.

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Community Matters: A Series About Building and Strengthening Community

Community Science has developed the series, Community Matters: Action Principles, Frameworks, and Strategies, to share what decades of research and practice have taught us about building and strengthening community. David Chavis, CEO, and Joy Amulya authored the first publication of the series, Emerging Principles for Designing and Planning Community Change

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Community Science Staff Present at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust

On February 13, 2015, Kien Lee, Ph.D., Principal Associate/Vice President, and Brandon Coffee-Borden, M.P.P., Associate, delivered a presentation at the offices of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust (the Trust) for 12 members of the Trust and implementation team of Project Lazarus, a project of Community Care of North Carolina. The Trust engaged Community Science to study aspects of Project Lazarus, an initiative designed to address the ongoing challenge of prescription opioid misuse, abuse, and overdose in the state of North Carolina. Community Science used cross-case study methodology to identify patterns and lessons learned across six counties where the initiative is being implemented. The evaluation team conducted site visits and telephone interviews with stakeholders in each county to understand how the initiative is unfolding, and to identify challenges, successes, and lessons learned. 

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Staff Profile: Julia Lee, Ph.D.

Julia Lee, Ph.D., Managing Associate, has experience in research, evaluation, and health promotion in community settings. She has provided technical support for several health and social science research projects on health disparities, intimate partner violence, and community development. Dr. Lee has also worked extensively with community organizations and coalitions as well as local schools on program evaluation and evaluation capacity building by providing technical assistance, education, and training on monitoring and evaluation, measurement, data collection, and reporting. 

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One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Understand the Differences and the Similarities in Communities

Funders, policymakers, and practitioners often see “the community” as a single entity. The community is everyone who lives or works in a place. At best, community members are thought of in terms of sectors (e.g., residents, businesses, law enforcement, human services, etc.).  Yet to be more successful in our work, we need to take a granular look at the place where people live and work, and understand the actual community; social relations; sense of belonging, influence, and trust; and emotional ties that people have.  Whether it is about community building, prevention services, or policy advocacy, certain institutions (formal and informal) play key roles as access points for members of that community. These include faith institutions, professional or trade associations, community centers, schools, sororities and fraternities, and civic groups. Such organizations form the social support structure for members of a group or community; however, they may have different functions in different cultures.

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Knowing the Community Is Key to Delivering Effective ACA Outreach and Education

The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March 2010 marked an important change in the course of healthcare regulation and reform in the U.S. The law aims to cut the uninsured rate in the nation and expand public and private insurance coverage options through the introduction of new requirements and provisions such as the state Health Insurance Marketplaces.

Community Science, in partnership with other organizations involved in the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA), worked to document the outreach and education activities conducted by a select number of members of the NPA’s Regional Health Equity Councils in various states, including Michigan, Georgia, Tennessee, and Ohio.  The events were designed specifically to inform vulnerable populations on the ACA and its enrollment process. Analyses of data collected by outreach and education event organizers showed that outreach events that were most effective were held in locations that were convenient to the target population (i.e., easy to get to, familiar, comfortable, and safe). These locations included places of worship, education settings, community health centers, and health fairs.

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Community Science Managing Associate Julia Lee, Ph.D., Presents Financial Coaching Field Scan Findings at Annie E. Casey Foundation

The Annie E. Casey Foundation brought a small group of national, regional, and community-based grantmakers together to present the findings from research of financial coaching practices. At the meeting, Dr. Lee, along with former Community Science Principal Associate Scott Hebert, presented findings from a financial coaching field scan, which included a discussion of current practices, outcomes, and recommendations for the field.

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Staff Profile: Meg Hargreaves, Ph.D., Joins Community Science

Public health expert Margaret B. Hargreaves, Ph.D., joined Community Science as Principal Associate on February 4, 2015.  In her new role, Dr. Hargreaves will contribute to Community Science’s long and established track record in leading community change, business development, and project direction, providing valuable mentorship to early-career professionals.

“Meg’s rigor, deep thinking, and passion for community and systems change will strengthen our ability to assist our clients to build community capacity,” said Community Science Principal Associate and CEO David Chavis, Ph.D. “Meg has been a kindred spirit, and now she will be part of our community. Her national experience working with public and private funders, providing valuable thought leadership, guidance, and evaluation services, is a great addition to our company.”

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Community Science Annual Charitable Giving Campaign Provides Support to 21 Organizations

This year, Community Science invited clients and other colleagues to participate in our annual tradition of charitable giving. We identified six organizations that align with our mission "to strengthen the science and practice of community change in order to build healthy, just, and equitable communities," and asked everyone to choose an organization they’d like for us to support with a $5 donation on their behalf:

A Wider Circle
Feeding America
Identity, Inc
Jobs With Justice
One DC
The Wounded Warrier Project

Our community expressed appreciation for the opportunity to support these organizations as well as enthusiasm for the creative approach to promote engagement. One of our clients said, “This is not only a generous act, but a great idea!” We are grateful to all who responded to our invitation.

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Community Science Associate Jessika Bottiani, Ph.D., M.P.H., Presents at the Room to Grow: Journey to Cultural Competency Mini-Conference

On December 2, 2014, Community Science Associate Jessika Bottiani, Ph.D., M.P.H., gave a talk at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for the Room to Grow:  Journey to Cultural Competency Mini-Conference, sponsored by Kennedy Krieger Institute, the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities, and the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions.  Her talk was entitled, “Schools as Developmental Contexts:  Implications of Racial Inequity in Adolescents’ School Experiences.” 

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