News Center for Community Health Partnership & Research

Center strengthens two community-academic partnerships by funding their projects  

Written by Kim Furlow, communications manager for the Institute for Public Health

Neighborhood Mural | Photo: Whitney Curtis WUSTL

The Center for Community Health Partnership and Research is pleased to announce that two community-academic partnerships have received funding through the Community Partnership Support and Pitch Partners² funding programs. Both programs help strengthen partnerships and support collaborative research and interventions stemming from these partnerships.

The following projects have received awards:

Project: St. Louis Queer+ Mental Health Coalition

Community Partner & Primary Investigator: theSt. Louis Queer+ Support Helpline and Julia López, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and

Project Summary:  Many LGBTQIA+ people face prejudice, harassment, violence, abuse, and family rejection. According to research, as a result, this community faces a 1.5 times higher risk for depression and anxiety disorders than heterosexual people. Transgender people are more than twice as likely as cisgender adults to be diagnosed with depressive disorders, and, 40% of trans adults have attempted suicide. In addition to an established and successful peer-support hotline, this project aims to strengthen networks of care for the St. Louis LGBTQIA+ population by reducing barriers to therapy and healing (including cost and stigma); creating safe channels to this community affirming mental and holistic healthcare; and strengthening peer referrals to trusted clinicians and practitioners.


Project: Developing a Safety Net Innovation Advisory Board to inform Structural Changes in Healthcare

Community Partner & Primary Investigator: The St. Louis Regional Health Commission and Kia Davis,ScD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Program Director of the Community Research Fellows Training at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Project Summary: Many healthcare workers report burnout. Physicians especially report work/life imbalance related to patient care all-day and note taking by night. The conversation about diversifying the workforce tends to focus on adding physician and nurse roles, but overlooks supportive roles (such as a medical scribe) that are more accessible to communities served at safety-net hospitals and behavioral health centers. This project aims to work toward diversifying the workforce and reducing physician burnout by developing a Safety Net Innovation Advisory Board to make structural changes to achieve health equity, conducting a needs assessment to understand community members’ training needs and incentives necessary to work in supportive health care roles, and understanding the barriers for underrepresented groups to access these jobs.