The Health Equity Research & Education (HERE) Center is dedicated to community partnered participatory research. The Center occupies half of CSUN’s first-ever 10,000-square-foot research building, Lilac Hall, built in part with initial BUILD PODER funds and augmented by a significant amount of university funds ($6 million+). Lilac Hall will house a group of faculty who were cluster hired to focus on health disparities (which is central for BUILD PODER) and another group of faculty in the materials science fields.
The layout for the Center includes four large offices for cluster hired faculty members, three large labs (over 400 square feet each), a large office for administration, four offices for research projects, as well as a student research support office. Six workspaces exist for students to have greater options for working with the Center's principal investigators (PIs) and cluster hired faculty members. Additionally, Lilac Hall contains shared spaces that include a conference room, and a small meeting area and kitchen. These as well as the open-concept floor plans for shared lab spaces and work areas were intentionally built to stimulate collaboration and projects that involve partnerships.
The mission of the Center is to improve health equity in the Los Angeles region through community-university partnerships in health disparities research.
We envision a center where:
- Critical perspectives support new ideas for health equity
- Community-university partnerships are non-hierarchical and implement true Community Based Participatory Research values and practices
- Community stakeholders, faculty, and students collectively interrogate and resolve local social problems that generate health disparities
- Community and student voices – research questions, methodological observations and interpretive frameworks – are recognized and integrated into research
- Top scholars collaborate across disciplines to develop research capacity and collaborations that increase productivity and quality of research at CSUN
- All biomedical students, especially transfer students, will be welcomed and trained to become top-notch researchers to feed a research center
- Information about the types of researchers – student and faculty – who are available to the community for consultation and collaborative research is provided to the campus and local communities
The overarching goals of the Center are to:
- Increase health equity in the San Fernando Valley and the broader Los Angeles region
- Increase community-university research collaborations around health equity using interdisciplinary, culturally humble methods including Community Based, Participatory Research (CBPR)
- Provide a focal point for biomedical research training by centralizing campus resources related to health equity for students, faculty, and community members
- Increase grant activity in the area of health equity
- Serve as a source of information and dissemination to all affected audiences, especially those communities that we study