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Get Community Champions On Board

Posted on August 4, 2014

Bring respected community members into your projects to boost recruitment, says Jordan F. Karp (bio).

 

A champion is somebody that has — that is also passionate about the problem and the possible solution. It's somebody who is respected by patients or people in the community, has some leverage and a good reputation in the community, and also somebody that has some buy-in or will benefit from the success of the research project. And that may be another professional colleague who I'm going to share some of the data with for them to present a poster or include them on an outcomes paper.

Or we pay them for sending people our way. So I think that there's different qualities that make a successful community champion. But we need them, and we really try to identify them and bring them into the project.

So PCP [primary care physician] colleagues in the community, directors of social service agencies like the area agency on aging has been helpful for us. They direct the Meals On Wheels program. And when we've given them a sense of ownership in the project and they understand why this is so important for their stakeholders, they've been very helpful. So for example, they've let us put fliers and brochures in the bags of food that go to people who receive Meals On Wheels. It's really — we try to make it a win-win situation.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher at the 2014 Career Development Institute for Psychiatry in Pittsburgh, PA.

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