Public health advocate Minkler speaks on community-based research

Public health advocate Meredith Minkler speaking at UB's Clinical and Translational Research Center on October 2nd.

Published October 14, 2013

UB and community sponsors including the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York presented a public lecture last week by pioneering public health advocate Meredith Minkler, professor of health and social behavior in the School of Public Health, Division of Community Health and Human Development, at the University of California, Berkeley.

Her talk, “Building Healthy Environments in Diverse Settings: The Value Added by Community-Engaged Research,” took place on Oct. 2 at UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center, 875 Ellicott St., Buffalo.

Minkler explored the value and challenges of scientific studies that engage communities in the research process, and the role this work plays in developing healthy environments, particularly for communities that often are overlooked. Among these are communities of disability, non-English speaking communities and environmental justice communities with the greatest need of protection from environmental and health hazards.

Following her talk, Minkler met with graduate students and faculty in the UB School of Public Health and Health Professions. She took part in a working dinner with faculty and community stakeholders to discuss funded research that includes community-based partnerships in the broad areas of public health, environmental health and justice, and public policy.

Minkler is a noted scholar and public health expert who co-authored the first major U.S. study on community-based participatory research in the health field. She has more than 30 years of experience in developing and implementing community partnerships, community organizing and community-based participatory research that engages with diverse community groups, including the low-income elderly, people with disabilities, youth and women of color.

The talk was sponsored by the Peter and Elizabeth Tower Foundation, the School of Public Health and Health Professions, UB Civic Engagement and Public Policy Research Initiative (which supports community-engaged research), UB schools of Nursing and Social Work, UB Department of Family Medicine, the Clinical and Translational Research Center and Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s Office of Cancer Health Disparities Research. Co-sponsors are the Partnership for the Public Good and the UB Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab.