Assessment of Academic-Community Partnerships in Translational Research

Irene Lafarga-Previdi, Carmen M. Velez-Vega, Edda I. Santiago-Rodriguez, Yolanda Lasalle


Objective: The Community Engagement Core (CEC) of the Center of Collaborative Research in Health Disparities focuses on developing and implementing strategies to increase academic-community collaborations and partnerships, enhance the recruitment and retention of study participants, disseminate research findings to a broader audience, and mitigate health disparities in Puerto Rico. Methods: In order to assess the current state of academic-community relationships and also collect ideas for their improvement, a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis was conducted. Participants for the SWOT analysis activity were drawn from a pool of stakeholders at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus and a group of community representatives. Results: The areas identified by the group for the CEC to focus on were weaknesses such as 1) a lack of interaction and involvement with community leaders, 2) limited numbers of advocacy groups in several health areas, and 3) few research consortia. Opportunities identified included the possibilities of 1) creating alliances between academia and industry, municipalities, and community-based organizations, 2) advocating integration in research proposals, and 3) establishing a network of researchers and community leaders. Conclusion: The SWOT analysis activity served to foster relationships with diverse community stakeholders and select members for a community advisory board to collaborate in developing educational activities for our researchers and communities. These findings will also help the CEC establish a strategic plan that should be able to supply a strong community-based participatory research approach that would help mitigate health disparities in Puerto Rico, as well as define the strategies to implement such recommendations.


community engagement; SWOT Analysis; translational research

Full Text:


Published by the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus
Founded in 1982