Academic Resources and Partners

Explore these academic initiatives and organizations below to learn what is being done and what you can do.

Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center based at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) is a partnership organization supporting cancer related research efforts at CWRU, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, and Cleveland Clinic. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, the cancer center serves the cancer research and clinical needs of an urban manufacturing and rural agricultural region that contains over 4 million people across northern Ohio.
 
The cancer center provides a forum and academic network for cancer researchers across the northern Ohio community to accomplish more than they might individually. Through the cancer center, our medical institutions are linked in a stronger and more unified effort to both understand the causes and progression of cancer and also to use that understanding to develop treatments and reduce the likelihood that the region’s population will develop cancer and suffer from its consequences. 

The cancer center:

  • advocates for cancer research support across the all the involved institutions
  • provides funding for promising pilot grants, shared resource development, training programs, and recruitments 
  • catalyzes multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary cancer research across institutions, emphasizing innovative discovery that will have an impact on cancer patients

The mission of the cancer center is to:

  • improve the prevention, diagnosis and therapy of cancer through discovery, evaluation and dissemination
  • stimulate and support innovative, coordinated interdisciplinary clinical research on cancer diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control
  • develop clinical applications of discovery and make these available to Northern Ohio residents as quickly as possible through the integrated efforts of the major health systems in the region
  • develop cancer prevention and control activities that build on the expertise of the Center and result in a reduction of cancer morbidity and mortality in Northern Ohio and the nation

The research efforts of the cancer center members are organized into seven interdisciplinary scientific programs. The clinical research effort is supported by 12 Clinical Trials Disease Teams that develop and prioritize clinical trials, and a single Protocol Review and Monitoring System, Data Safety and Monitoring Plan integrate cancer research, cancer therapeutics, and prevention services at the partner institutions and throughout the region.

Research programs of the cancer center are also extending into community medical centers operated by University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic. Outreach programs for clinical practice-based prevention and screening initiatives, educational programs, minority recruitment, and facilitation of patient referrals are also supported by the partner institutions.

In addition to successfully competing for a Cancer Center Support Grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the center must meet specific criteria for:

  • breadth and depth of basic cancer research and clinical cancer research, as well as  prevention, control and population/behavioral sciences research in cancer
  • strength of interaction among these three major research areas

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of only 47 NCI designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation. Learn more about the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Centers program at cancercenters.cancer.gov.

Center for Health Care Research and Policy

The mission of the Center for Health Care Research and Policy is to improve our population’s health by conducting research that examines access to health care, increases the quality of health care services, and informs health policy and practice, including policies related to the social determinants of health, and lead educational programs that promote these goals.

The Center for Reducing Health Disparities

The Center for Reducing Health Disparities helps to direct the Community Research Partnership Core of the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative involving Case Western Reserve University, The MetroHealth System, University Hospitals of Cleveland, and Cleveland Clinic. The aims of this collaborative are to facilitate community based research among faculty, students, community organizations, and community residents.

Its mission is to reduce health disparities through:

  • research on root causes, mechanisms, and interventions
  • education of students, providers, and policy makers
  • partnership with community organizations and government agencies

The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development (The Poverty Center)

The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development (The Poverty Center) works to inform public policy and program planning through data and analysis to address urban poverty, its causes, and its impact on communities and their residents. It provides data, technology, and research that aids community development focused entities in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County in making well informed, data based policy and practice decisions.

Since its founding in 1988, their mission has broadened to understand and address poverty by delving into its human, social, and economic implications as experienced at the levels of the family and community.

The Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative of Cleveland

The Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative of Cleveland provides developmental, organizational, financial, and educational support to biomedical researchers as well as opportunities for community members to participate in meaningful and valuable research.

Case Western Reserve University is the site of a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) approved for funding by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through May 2017. The goal of the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) is to provide full service and integrated clinical translational research capability within the Cleveland community that will improve the health of patients in Northeast Ohio through patient based research. The CTSC also provides career development support for clinical investigators and offers research participant resources in support of technology intensive studies.

The Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative of Cleveland coordinates resources relevant to clinical research at Case Western Reserve University and its hospital affiliates, Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth Medical Center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, and the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Medical Center including three Clinical Research Unit (CRU) facilities, a successful multidisciplinary institutional KL2 program, substantial technological and statistical core facilities, and a MD-PhD program in clinical research. The infrastructure support provided will impact everyone who conducts clinical research in the partner institutions and community.

CTSC resources are easily accessed online and/or in person through the Office of the Research Concierge Service, and assure prospective input into proposals by statistics and design experts, ethicists and regulatory experts, and any other expertise that the project requires including research participant resources. The CTSC Research Participant Resources span the range of support for technology intensive studies that require the resources of the Academic Medical Centers, to local practices, and to the Cleveland community itself. These participant resources are supported by technologic cores, methodological development, community partnership resources, bioethics and regulatory experts, an office for comparative effectiveness research (CER), and an infrastructure to provide biomedical informatics.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health is a partner in many community health, educational, and research endeavors. They serve as the backbone organization for HIP-Cuyahoga. CHI faculty member Heidi Gullett serves as the Population Health Liaison to the Board of Health, and is embedded there for part of her work. We are working with the Board of Health in a partnership that has many of the components of an Academic Health Department while developing a health partnership of shared learning and action to improve community health—working to resolve problems such as obesity, violence, chronic disease and disparity by focusing on their related determinants, including: inequitable opportunity, fragmented systems, and unhealthy social, behavioral, and physical environments. 

This health partnership aims to advance community health through:

  • research and demonstration projects
  • developing capacity for evaluation of collective impact
  • coordinated educational initiatives
  • bringing academic resources to public health, and public health resources to academia
  • joint policy and advocacy for collective impact for community health
  • publication and creative, interactive communication

Greater University Community Health Initiative (GUCCHI) 

GUCCHI was a partnership of the seven Greater University Circle Neighborhoods―Glenville, East Cleveland, Little Italy, Hough, Fairfax, Central, Buckeye/Shaker―Neighborhood Connections and the University Circle Anchor Institutions including Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic to improve community health. This partnership developed relationships, brought together relevant information, and created intentional space. Its initiatives took on the root causes of problems in health through resident led collaborative action while also piloting interventions that potentially could be scaled up. 

The two major current projects involved collaborative efforts to reduce harm from lead poisoning (focused on the Glenville neighborhood with evaluation of scaling options through a pay for success approach), and reducing disparities in infant mortality (focused on the Hough Neighborhood, and scaled up through work by Birthing Better Communities, and by collaboration with First Year Cleveland.

Health Improvement Partnership-Cuyahoga (HIP-Cuyahoga)

Health Improvement Partnership-Cuyahoga (HIP-Cuyahoga) understands that some people are born and live in places where it is difficult to be healthy. The conditions in which people live and the opportunities they have form the foundation for health. Without a healthy foundation, people are more likely to live shorter, sicker lives. That is why more than 100 community partners have come together as the HIP-Cuyahoga Consortium to build opportunities for everyone in Cuyahoga County to have a fair chance to be healthy. When healthy living is easier, we all live longer lives.
 
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in investing dedicated efforts to the consortium by supporting CHI faculty member Heidi Gullett, MD, MPH embedded as the Population Health Liaison with the Cuyahoga Board of Health that serves as the backbone organization to the HIP-Cuyahoga Consortium.
 
HIP-Cuyahoga Key Priorities:

  • eliminating structural racism
  • healthy eating & active living
  • chronic disease management
  • linking clinical and public health

The Cuyahoga County Community Health Needs Assessment Steering Committee is excited to share an update on the status of the report and selected priorities that will guide our collaborative work for 2020-2022. The true value of this joint health assessment process is having community residents, stakeholders and other institutions come together at the same table to plan for collaborative action. The 2019 CHNA is a helpful framework for collaborative, multi-stakeholder action planning.

Together with the Steering Committee's input as well as the input of community residents and other stakeholder organizations, the following health priorities were chosen:

1.     Eliminating structural racism

Structural racism is defined as racial bias across and within society. It’s the cumulative and compounded effects of a range of factors such as public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms that work in various, often reinforcing ways to maintain racial inequity.

2.     Enhancing trust and trustworthiness across sectors, people, communities

  • between Hospital/Public Health Systems and Residents
  • between Clinicians and Patients
  • between Social Service Agencies / Community Stakeholders and Hospitals

3.     Addressing community conditions, such as reducing poverty and its effects, including transportation and homicides / violence / safety

4.     Enhancing mental health and reducing substance abuse

5.     Reducing chronic illness and its effects

To view the full report (publicly released on October 22, 2019), please visit this webpage. We welcome your input, feedback and questions.

Human Health & Evolutionary Medicine, Cleveland Museum of Natural History 

The Department of Human Health & Evolutionary Medicine is focused on the relationship between human health and natural history. With a focus on the health of modern Clevelanders, the department works to inform and empower people about their own health. It also works closely with the Museum’s Education Division to create and support hands-on health workshops and school programs that encourage education and study about health-related issues.

There are well-documented and widely publicized health disparities among residents living in greater Cleveland, highlighted by a recently released life expectancy map of Greater Cleveland area showing a life expectancy of 82 years in Lyndhurst but only 70 years in Glenville. The Glenville neighborhood, a predominantly low income African American community immediately adjacent to University Circle, also reports astonishingly high rates of infant mortality (18.9/per 1,000) and neonatal mortality (14.8/per 1,000) which are nearly 3 times the rates reported for the state and national averages. Furthermore, the percentage of children in Glenville with elevated blood lead level is 23.3%, far higher than for the state (3%), the county (9%), the city of Cleveland (12.9%) and the national average (0.6%). Environmental factors at the personal, neighborhood and community levels have been increasingly recognized as important determinants of health disparities. A full understanding of how these factors may drive these stark health disparities in Glenville is critical for implementing evidence based and effective interventions to reduce the observed disparities.

MyGlenville Project  

The MyGlenville Community and Environmental Health Assessment project iwa jointly conceptualized by the Mary Ann Swetland Center for Environmental Health at Case Western Reserve University, the Coniglio Construction Company, the Famicos Foundation, and the Sears-Swetland Family Foundation based on a shared vision of environmental justice and health for all. This community based participatory project aimed to build a long term partnership with the Glenville community and to comprehensively and longitudinally assess the living, environment, and health of a cohort of 500 residents representative of the Glenville community. This project hoped to provide a foundation for community wide efforts to advance the community and environmental health of the people of Glenville, Cleveland, as well as communities across the country.

Multimethod Cancer Outcomes Research Shared Resource

Multimethod Cancer Outcomes Research Shared Resource delivers services to conduct population based cancer outcomes research, using population based databases, including but not limited to the Ohio Cancer Incidence Surveillance System (OCISS), Medicare, Medicaid, death certificates, the U.S. Census, national survey data, and the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). 

Multimethod Cancer Outcomes Research Shared Resource has the expertise to provide assistance to researchers on appropriate research design and data source(s). They can address research questions of interest, access the appropriate database(s), and obtain the necessary data users’ agreement and IRB approvals. They also provide the analytic support to carry out a study and assist with the preparation of manuscript(s) and/or grant application.  

Multimethod Cancer Outcomes Research Shared Resource assists investigators with cutting edge methodologies for large database analysis, including:

  • integrating different data sources
  • mapping and conducting spatial analysis
  • using state-of-the-art statistical methods, including multilevel analysis, data mining, and predictive analytics

Key Services:

  • consultation on study design
    • preparation for a grant application
    • analysis of existing data
  • determine data source(s) that are most appropriate for the study
  • prepare data users agreement and obtain IRB approvals
  • obtain access to the relevant data sets
  • integrate data from different sources, as needed
  • conduct statistical analyses
  • assist investigators with preparing grant application and/or manuscript(s)

Capabilities & Expertise:

  • Multimethod Cancer Outcomes Research Shared Resource designs and performs studies on demand, including proof-of-concept studies for grant applications, or to test hypotheses related to cancer epidemiology, spatial distributions, health services research, and/or disparities
  • A data library that currently includes data from the Ohio Cancer Incidence Surveillance System (OCISS), state specific and national Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), as well as publicly available national survey data
  • additional data (e.g., Medicare and Medicaid data) can be obtained as needed to carry out the research questions at hand
  • the research team is well versed in:
    • understanding the strengths and weaknesses of existing data sources
    • procedures to secure data users agreement to obtain access to research identifiable files from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and other entities
    • integrating data from different sources to enhance existing data sources
    • conducting state of the art statistical techniques to carry out the analysis

The Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods (PRCHN)

The Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods (PRCHN) was formed in 2009 to address chronic health issues faced in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the greater Cleveland area.

The mission of the PRCHN is to foster partnerships within low resource urban neighborhoods to develop, test, and implement effective and sustainable strategies and interventions to prevent and reduce the burden of chronic disease. This is undertaken by collaborating with neighborhood residents, leaders, and community organizations in greater Cleveland to address the significant environmental and lifestyle issues that serve as barriers to good health.
 
Some of the initiatives taking place within the PRCHN:

Promoting Health Across Boundaries (PHAB) 

Promoting Health Across Boundaries (PHAB) works to advance the knowledge and practice of boundary spanning activities that enable health. PHAB focuses particularly on promoting understanding at the boundaries between:

  • individuals and families
  • primary health care
  • health care system
  • communities