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Scholars build on their own talents, as well as those of their mentors and diverse community partners, in order to become change agentsforimproving health and health care.  Scholars are expected to complete graduate-level research projects in an area of their interest and to learn the methods of community based participatory research. Community-based participatory research is a research method anchored in collaboration with communities.  Scholars will learn to collaborate with communities to: 1) define a research issue; 2) develop a research strategy; 3) design research instruments; and 4) work with the community to recruit subjects and collect data, 5) disseminate their findings so as to provide ongoing feedback to the community.  To date, scholars have conducted studies in diverse health-related fields, such as problems of health care delivery and financing, clinical decision-making, biomedical ethics, medical history and health care policy.  

The UCLA Clinical Scholars Program core community partners currently include (Click on header for partner website):

Behavioral Health Services, Inc.
Behavioral Health Services (BHS) is a community-based organization that provides Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services to Los Angeles County. BHS primarily serves those who do not have access to services elsewhere, most often minority, working poor, indigent and/or uninsured. The agency offers a continuum of services ranging from medical detoxification, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment and sober living. Our goal for each individual is recovery and abstinence. Treatment strategies are based on a combination of behavioral, cognitive and educational models which focus on recovery, community support (12 steps), relapse prevention and family participation. Our goals include reduction of substance abuse/dependency, stabilization of mental and physical health conditions, reducing the complications of dysfunctional family life, dealing with conditions associated with aging and regaining control of one’s own life.
The organization’s current development includes two federally funded projects designed to improve coordination and provision of mental health services within substance abuse facilities, one for residential and one for outpatient. BHS is interested in projects that will improve retention and efficacy for the individuals such as reduction of tobacco use for clients in substance abuse treatment (especially pregnant women).

The Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Through innovative basic science, clinical and translational research, the Charles R. Drew University conducts education, patient care and research programs, training physicians and allied health professionals to provide care to under served populations. The University strives to improve the health status of under served communities through innovative biomedical research, and progressive health policies.  By maintaining and expanding relationships with local medical schools, research institutions and community-based organizations, Drew is focused on eliminating the health disparities by providing access to and delivery of healthcare services to underserved populations.

Healthy African American Families
Healthy African American Families II (HAAF) is a non-profit, community-serving agency whose mission is to improve the health outcomes of the African American and Latino communities in Los Angeles County by enhancing the quality of care and advancing social progress through education, training and collaborative partnering with community stakeholders, academia, researchers, and government.  HAAF services all of South Los Angeles and Service Planning Area 6 in particular. HAAF is widely regarded in the community as an advocate voice, and source of education and training around disparities and research, for the local community.  HAAF regularly disseminates research to community in its major yearly events. HAAF’s partners include Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, UCLA, RAND, and over 150 community based organizations. HAAF' s current projects include:  the Pre-term Delivery Project, Building Bridges to Optimum Health (Diabetes), Witness4Wellness Depression Project, the Male Involvement Project, "100 Acts of Kindness to a Pregnant Woman," "100 Acts of Kindness to a New Mother," and "100 Acts of Kindness to Oneself."

Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, Southern California
Kaiser Permanente (KP)’s eight research centers across the country partner on epidemiological studies and health services research with more than 40 prominent academic research institutions, including: Case Western Reserve University, Emory University Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Oregon Health Sciences University, Stanford University, University of Colorado, University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, San Francisco.  KP research centers collaborate on studies with federal agencies such as the: National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  KP physicians and researchers conduct clinical trials of new drugs, medical devices, and other therapies through several organized clinical trials centers and independently. Put together, Kaiser Permanente's research centers and scientists comprise one of the largest nonacademic research programs in the United States.  Research centers and partners across the country conduct research on many different subjects, including depression, disease management, gerontology, and specialty care (cardiac rehabilitation, clinical trials for HIV and hypertension).  Specifically, the Department of Research and Evaluation in Pasadena, California was established in 1978 and is involved in research areas such as cancer clinical trials, birth defects prevention, cognitive impairment/aging, cancer screening, diabetes management programs, chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular diseases, vaccine safety, and obesity prevention.

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LACDHS) serves as the major provider of healthcare for the nearly two million county residents without health insurance and provides the majority of all uncompensated medical care in the county. LACDHS runs four hospitals: LAC+USC Medical Center, Harbor/UCLA Medical Center, Olive View/UCLA Medical Center, and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. The department also runs a multi-disciplinary ambulatory care center - High Desert Health System in the Antelope Valley, six comprehensive health centers, and numerous smaller health centers.

The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health
The mission of California's mental health system is to enable persons, experiencing severe and disabling mental illnesses and children, with serious emotional disturbances, to access treatment and support services. LADMH has extensive computerized datasets and collaborates with the UCLA/RAND NIMH Health Services Research Center. LADMH is currently developing an Evidence-Based Practice Center. Recent examples of Scholar research include, improving mental health services delivery to adolescents and children in the criminal justice system and evaluating needs for improving mental health services for children in foster care. The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LADMH) offers an extensive network of mental health hospitals, facilities, programs and interventions across the county, for adults and children with severe and disabling mental illness.
Specific recent examples of Scholar research include improving mental health services delivery to adolescents and children in the criminal justice system, and evaluating needs for improving mental health services for children in foster care. LAC-DMH is developing an Evidence-Based Practice Center. LAC-DMH has extensive computerized datasets and collaborates with the UCLA/RAND NIMH Health Services Research Center.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health works with the UCLA School of Public Health and the School of Medicine. They have worked together to establish a comprehensive and integrated relationship for technical assistance, training, and other services. The CSP faculty collaborates with LADPH to conduct an annual health survey of the underserved and is actively involved in developing programs and research, such as prevention of HIV infection and TB.

Scholars may analyze existing databases, collaborate on ongoing projects and surveys, and conduct projects on bio-terrorism, disease surveillance, population health assessment, or assist with quality improvement programs for chronic disease or health promotion programs in various clinics and hospitals.

The Los Angeles Unified School District
School Mental Health Services: The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is comprised of 722,000 students, many of whom are at increased risk for exposure to violence and other traumatic events due to increasing community violence and poverty. It is one of only two school districts in the country that has supported a child mental health service unit (since 1933) and district crisis intervention services for traumatized children (since 1984). A staff of 160 psychiatric clinical social workers, clinical psychologists, child psychiatrists, and community workers; 250 District crisis team members; and Early Behavior Intervention Counselors at 175 elementary and middle schools provide a range of professional mental health services for students who evidence social, emotional, behavioral and trauma related problems, which often inhibits their ability to learn. The mental health staff itself is culturally diverse with 45% of the clinicians having bilingual capabilities in Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Chinese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Armenian, Russian, and American Sign Language.

Student Health and Human Services
:  The LAUSD Division of Student Health and Human Services provides direct medical, mental health and counseling services to the district's 700,000-plus students. The division includes a workforce of several thousand school health and human service professionals, from nurses and doctors, to social workers and counselors. Besides the provision of direct services, the Student Health and Human Services division coordinates partnerships with city, county and community-based agencies to integrate school-based and community-based efforts for improved child, youth and family outcomes. Examples of this include multiple school-based clinic partnerships; collaboration with hospitals, local coalitions and professional societies to combat childhood obesity, asthma, and dental disease; acting as the community partner for the UCLA/RAND Center for Adolescent Health Promotion, a CDC funded Prevention Research Center; and contracts and agreements with county public health and health programs to provide mental health services, insurance outreach and enrollment, immunizations, and communicable disease control prevention programs on campuses.

The LAUSD will provide an opportunity for scholars to become familiar with school-based programs throughout the District. Current priorities within the division include prevention of obesity and dental disease in underserved communities; evaluating and improving suicide prevention programs; implementing evidence-based substance abuse prevention programs; improving the cultural appropriateness of programs; increasing the number of students and families who are enrolled and retain health insurance coverage; improving educational achievement through health and mental health interventions, including reducing school drop-out. Besides the direct service provision to students and families, the division offers opportunities to develop, assess and analyze national, state and local health policies as they affect the district as well as the students and communities we serve.

Greater Los Angeles Veterans Affairs
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System is the largest healthcare facility in the VA. The Healthcare System operates 1,056 beds with over a $390 million dollar budget. Services include comprehensive medical, surgical, psychiatric, diagnostic and treatment services. In addition, the Healthcare System operates a 321 bed Domiciliary to prepare veterans for re-entry into a community setting, preventing homelessness for approximately 95% of the residents. Geriatric services are offered as well, including nursing home care units and an active community nursing home program. Soon to begin operation is a Community-based Outpatient Clinic, which will provide primary care to patients in the south Los Angeles communities.
VA-based scholars and faculty have conducted extensive consumer-oriented and community-based research projects and have examined the dissemination of these programs across VA populations and systems. Some of which include innovative information technology interventions, improvement of chronic disease management, evaluations of quality improvement programs. The VA offers scholars an opportunity to develop and evaluate programs within the context of a comprehensive health program for a defined population

Mid-Valley Family Practice Program
The Mid-Valley Family Practice Program is a fully accredited teaching family health center within the Mid-Valley Comprehensive Health Center. The Mid Valley site is 1 of 2 teaching family health centers within the UCLA residency training program. Since 2001, the UCLA-DFM has operated a school-based asthma screening project at Sun Valley Middle School. Associated with the Sun Valley Middle School project is a community-based weight reduction program that utilizes group neighborhood walks and prevention. The program is organized around Latina lay health workers known as Promotoras, and has extramural funding. DFM also operates a summer urban research fellowship for UCLA Medical students during the summer following their first year of school.  Students are provided with an introduction to community based research and provide asthma screening for new middle students entering the Sun Valley School in the July track.
Clinical scholars interested in studying the efficacy of community-based interventions tailored for low-income communities using a broad range of approaches including Health Promotoras to influence prevention efforts may wish to choose this program as the site for their study.

UCLA Healthcare System
Many Clinical Scholars Program faculty provide care within the UCLA Community Physicians Network (CPN) system. It has served as the basis for development and piloting of intervention projects, such as a recent federally funded, multi-site study of improvements in the recognition and treatment of panic disorder. These settings can provide scholars with an important laboratory for development and testing of approaches for community-based, primary care practices.
Scholars may use the CPN clinics to examine alternative approaches for recruiting patients, under diverse insurance coverage, into quality improvement studies, to conduct qualitative research on issues such as doctor-patient communication, and to develop approaches to help patients become more effective partners in chronic disease management.

JWCH Medical Clinic at the Weingart Center
The JWCH Medical Clinic at the Weingart Center is located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row, a 10-block area where more than 18,000 homeless individuals reside at any given time. JWCH is currently contracted by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LACDHS) to provide primary care services to persons receiving General Relief and those eligible for the Public Private Partnership services. More then 1,500 clients receive health care services at the clinic each month including primary care, x-rays, EKGs, family planning, male wellness, and HIV testing, prevention and care services, as well as laboratory services. Patients in need of specialty services and preventive and specialized dental care are referred to LACDHS sites.  JWCH Institute Inc. is a private non-profit health agency that was established as the Attending Staff Association of the John Wesley County Hospital in 1960 by concerned L.A. County physicians. These staff physicians sought to establish an agency that could obtain additional funds to support and augment patient care, education, and research at the John Wesley facility. When the hospital was demolished in 1979, the agency continued its efforts to assist LA County patients, but the name was no longer relevant and was subsequently changed to JWCH Institute Inc. Prior to 1979, medical research and education at county facilities were the paramount functions of the agency. However, after 1979, medical services and patient education took priority with a focus on community-based health education and social support programs.  The agency's current mission is to improve the health and wellness of under-served segments of the population of Los Angeles County through the direct provision or coordination of health care, health education services and research. The mission is being accomplished through a variety of programs and activities, such as: medical outreach and referrals for medical care, HIV services and drug treatment; health education; psychosocial assessment and intervention; primary medical care; family planning services; and research.

QueensCare LA Healthcare Alliance
QueensCare LA Healthcare Alliance's network includes the Health and Faith Partnership, a coalition of more than 60 multi-ethnic neighborhood organizations, including churches, schools and social service agencies that are closely tied to their communities and considered safe and trusted places to seek health care.

Priority projects include developing, implementing and evaluating chronic disease management programs, improving clinician competency in information technology-based algorithm and audit and feedback programs, and evaluating the effectiveness of health promotion activities implemented in churches.

Venice Family Clinic
Venice Family Clinic (VFC) is the largest non-profit free clinic in the nation. About 500 medical professionals provide direct patient care on a volunteer basis, including 300 residents in training.   The Clinic provides comprehensive primary health care, mental health services, health education and child development services, as well as public insurance enrollment to nearly 22,000 patients, including over 5,000 children, who make more than 110,000 visits. Prescription medicines are provided at no charge.  Patients, most of whom live and work in the Westside neighborhoods of Venice, Mar Vista, Santa Monica, Culver City, and Inglewood, are low income and lack private health insurance. More than 15% of the Clinic’s patients are homeless.

Scholars could pursue a range of projects from improving identification of substance abuse, facilitating referral to specialized services, enhancing chronic disease programs that fit within existing resources, or improving the cultural appropriateness of care. The clinic encourages program evaluation, quality improvement studies, community-based interventions, and clinical and cost effectiveness research