Health Education and Community Core
The PHACS Health Education and Community Core (HECC) supports the engagement of our participants in all stages of the research process and health communication work in order to support our common goal of understanding the long-term effectiveness and safety of population-based interventions to prevent perinatal HIV transmission and HIV progression and inform HIV remission/cure strategies.
The HECC a cross-disciplinary Core whose membership includes people living with or affected by HIV, health educators, study nurses, psychologists, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, researchers, and representatives from the National Institutes of Health. The HECC’s approach is to gather as many different perspectives as possible to make our work responsive – both to the needs of various target audiences and also to the environments they’ll be used in.
HECC Director: Claire Berman, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
HECC Associate Director: Megan Reznick, Westat
Since 2006, community involvement in the PHACS Network has led to critical input that has created new study questions, improved study procedures, and created more effective and innovative ways to disseminate findings. This existing critical feedback loop model has been expanded and formalized through the Health Education and Community Core (HECC) to inform research at all stages, supporting the Program Research Projects, Emerging Research Pilots, and Cores.
Our Specific Aims are to:
1. Advance and formalize the integration of a “feedback loop” of community involvement in PHACS research proposals, study procedures, retention efforts, and health education projects.
2. Identify and address information gaps across Research Projects, Cores, and Emerging Research Pilots via communication services and support.
3. Support bi-directional dialogue, mentorship, and education among Community Advisory Board (CAB) members, Young Adult CAB members, staff, and researchers.
4. Serve as an “innovation incubator” for novel, community-driven efforts to communicate and raise awareness about perinatal HIV, stigma, and other relevant topics with key audiences, including participants, researchers, staff, and the general public.
5. Contribute to general knowledge about innovative models of community engagement and health education efforts in research through publishing, presentations at academic conferences, and in other communities of interest.