CTSI inaugural community partnership development grant awarded

NAMHAC awardees.

Pictured, from left, Danielle Bernas, MSW, Western New York Center for Survivors of Torture, and Kim S. Griswold, MD, MPH, RN, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Published July 13, 2020

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By Megan Wilson-Crowley, MPA

The University at Buffalo’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) has announced the New American Mental Health Advisory Council (NAMHAC) as the first awardee for its Community Partnership Development Seed Grant Program. The goal of the NAMHAC is to develop innovative methods to increase engagement with local refugee and immigrant communities to gain a better understanding of culturally and ethnically diverse mental health treatments and/or interventions.

The CTSI Community Partnership Seed Grant Program provides funding to support the planning of community-based participatory research partnerships and engagement of communities in research. The awards aim to increase the number of community-academic partnerships that are prepared to collaborate on the design and implementation of research projects, specifically those that address health disparities and intend to improve health equity.

Grant funding is awarded to teams of researchers and community partners in which each partner has an essential role in the project.  

The NAMHAC will partner with local refugee and immigrant community support organizations, as well as other organizations and researchers focused on refugee and immigrant health. The council will allow for continued efforts toward quality and equitable trauma-informed mental health care delivery to these individuals through academic-community research partnerships.

Leading the NAMHAC team is Kim S. Griswold, MD, MPH, RN, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Danielle Bernas, MSW, Western New York Center for Survivors of Torture.

“We are so pleased to have Dr. Griswold and Ms. Barnes as the inaugural awardees of the small grants program,” says CTSI Community Engagement Core Director Laurene Tumiel-Berhalter, PhD, Director of Community Translational Research, Department of Family Medicine, Jacobs School. “The goal of this program is to support the development of academic-community research partnerships that together will advance knowledge through research that is meaningful to the community.”

The New American Mental Health Advisory Council team includes:

University Lead: Kim S. Griswold, MD, MPH, RN, Jacobs School

Community Lead: Danielle Bernas, MSW, Western New York Center for Survivors of Torture

Co-Investigators: Gregory Homish, PhD, School of Public Health and Health Professions; Megan Chambers, MPH, Jacobs School; Maria Coluccio, MS, third-year student, Jacobs School; Gary Iacobucci, PhD, first-year student, Jacobs School