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Robert Joseph McGranaghan, MPH

Director, Community-Campus Partnership/Senior Instructor



Mail Stop F496, ​Academic Office 1

12631 East 17th Avenue

Aurora, CO 80045


734-358-0648 Mobile


Prior to moving to Denver in 2012, I lived in Ann Arbor, MI since 1995, and in that year was a co-founder, and served as the Manager of the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center (Detroit URC), and was based at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. The Detroit URC is a community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnership conducting research and interventions to reduce and ultimately eliminate health inequities in the city of Detroit (​). Prior to living in Ann Arbor, I lived in the San Francisco Bay area for eight years, during which time I directed an NCI-funded smoking cessation study, based at Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California Division of Research, and which was one of 11 sites of an intervention trial involving communities across North America. I have a bachelor's degree in marketing from Penn State University, and a masters in public health in community health education from Temple University in Philadelphia. Following the completion of my MPH degree, I was Director of Field Services for a non-profit health promotion organization funded by the PA Department of Health to conduct hypertension screening, education, referral and follow-up programs. I was born and raised in the Philadelphia suburb of Bucks County, PA. My interests include travel, literature, classical music, theatre, opera, distance running, hiking, baking and gardening.


I am primarily interested in intervention research that addresses the social determinants of health (e.g., poverty, education, housing, environmental health, food security), and that seeks to reduce health inequities. Within that framework, I believe that community-based participatory research, and using the ecological model of public health, is the most effective approach to ensure that: the research is relevant to local communities; mutually beneficial to research participants, the broader communities in which they reside, and the institutional and community researchers involved with the studies, and the research results in progressive changes in policies and leads to sustainable, health-promoting changes in behaviors.


I have developed, implemented, evaluated, and disseminated community and worksite-based health education interventions and CBPR partnership activities for over 30 years and have served as project director on several major interdisciplinary grants sponsored by federal and state agencies and foundations, and involving individuals from multiple disciplines and diverse communities in Philadelphia, PA, the California Bay Area and Detroit, MI. I have a particular interest in, and nearly 20 years experience with CBPR and in developing and sustaining community and academic partnerships for health. I was actively involved in the CDC/ASPH-funded national project “Examining Community-Institutional Partnerships for Prevention Research” from 2003-2007, during which I provided leadership in the development of an evidence-based training curriculum on CBPR and subsequently presented the curriculum at professional meetings and learning institutes across the country. I am also a co-author of the instructional CD-ROM “Community-Based Participatory Research: A Partnership Approach for Public Health, ” produced in 2010. 

In addition to the numerous CBPR projects I was involved with as part of the Detroit URC, from 2007-12 I managed the Detroit URC’s “Neighborhoods Working in Partnership” project, in which local residents received training from our staff in using policy and advocacy strategies in their communities to address social determinants of health. I also served as an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Public Health where I taught a course on budgeting for health education programs for the graduate students in the department of health behavior and health education.

My initial role at the University of Colorado | Anschutz Medical Campus was with the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI), for which I served as a Community Liaison, and was responsible for developing collaborative relationships between the University and the local communities surrounding Anschutz Medical Campus to promote community-academic research partnerships. Since the summer of 2012, in addition to working with the CCTSI, I assumed a leadership role within the CU School of Medicine/Department of Family Medicine to develop a new “Community-Campus Partnership” initiative. The initiative was officially sanctioned by the CU Chancellor and Anschutz Medical Campus Vice Chancellor in August 2013 and funding for an initial three years was provided for infrastructure support and developing collaborative projects with community partners. I continue to maintain an affiliation with the CCTSI’s Community Engagement Core, and serve on several of its committees (Ethics, Education and Training and Scientific Staff).


In 1999-2000, I was a co-founder of the Community-Based Public Health Caucus of the American Public Health Association, which was officially sanctioned by the APHA leadership as a Caucus in 2001. From that time until 2007 I provided coordination support to the Caucus’ Policy Work Group, and played a leadership role in crafting a policy for APHA regarding support for CBPR throughout the organization. The policy was officially passed by APHA’s Governance Council at the 2007 annual meeting. I am currently serving as the Caucus’ Treasurer on the Executive Committee.


Israel, B.A., Coombe, C.M., McGranaghan, R.J. et al. Community-Based Participatory Research: A partnership approach to public health (an interactive instructional CD-ROM (2010)

Israel, B.A., Coombe, C.M., Cheezum, R.R., Schulz, A.J., McGranaghan, R.J., et al. Community-based participatory research: A capacity building approach for policy advocacy aimed at eliminating health disparities. American Journal of Public Health, 100(11):2094-2102. (2010) PMID: 20864728

Examining Community-Institutional Partnerships for Prevention Research Project (with Israel, B.A., Lantz, P.M., Maciak, B.J., McGranaghan, R.J., Parker, E.A., Schulz, A.J., Spencer, M., et al.) Building and sustaining community-institutional partnerships for prevention research: Findings from a national collaborative. Journal of Urban Health, 83:989-1003. (2006) PMID: 17082993

Israel BA, Krieger JW, Vlahov D, et al. Challenges and facilitating factors in sustaining community-based participatory research partnerships: Lessons learned from the Detroit, New York City, and Seattle Urban Research Centers. Journal of Urban Health, 83:1022-1040 (2006). PMID: 17139552

Israel, B.A., Lantz ,P.M,. McGranaghan R.J., Kerr, D., Guzman, J.R. Documentation and evaluation of community-based participatory research partnerships: The use of in-depth interviews and closed-ended questionnaires. In: Israel BA, Eng E, Schulz AJ, Parker E, editors. Methods in Community-Based Participatory Research for Health. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. (2005)

Chavez, V., Israel, B. A., Allen, A., Lichtenstein, R., DeCarlo, M., Schulz, A. J., McGranaghan, R.J., Bayer, I. A bridge between communities: Video-making using principles of community-based participatory research. Health Promotion Practice, 5 (4), 395-403. (2004)

Israel, B.A., Lichtenstein, R., Lantz, P., McGranaghan, R.J., Allen, A., Guzman, J.R., Softley, D., Maciak, B.J. The Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center: Development, implementation and evaluation. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 7(5), 1-20. (2001) PMID: 11680026