BRIDGE (Building Research Infrastructure for Dissemination, Goals, and Education) builds on the partnership between the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health at the University of Colorado Denver and a Tribal Health Administration to further develop the research infrastructure within the tribe and to create more effective mechanisms for research training and dissemination within the community.
The partnership addresses 4 specific aims:
- To bring together community and academic partners to review public health priorities and expand on and elaborate a health research agenda.
- To develop bidirectional mechanisms for training the research workforce in skills necessary to pursue the research agenda.
- To cultivate effective dissemination methods for returning research findings to the local community, to provide the tribe, other researchers, service providers, and policy makers with the best available information about health.
- To systematize procedures developed here to provide templates for building sustainable research infrastructure in Native and other communities.
BRIDGE is helping to prepare the tribe to become a more equal partner in the research process and further enhance skills and expertise within the tribe to acquire important funding for prevention and other program development and implementation. This funding has allowed the tribe to hire a full-time research coordinator and a full-time research assistant. Discussions are ongoing with a variety of community members regarding critical next steps in advancing the community’s health research agenda. Extensive and targeted training is being developed, both to enhance the cultural competence of university researchers coming into the reservation community and to enhance the research skills of community members working in research. A tribal research conference will be inaugurated in the summer of 2011, providing an opportunity for community members to directly hear reports of findings from researchers working on the reservation.