DDEMD Stakeholder Engagement Innovation Center
May 2021 Council
Point(s) of Contact
Pamela L. Thornton, Ph.D.
DDEMD has prioritized health equity research. A fundamental approach for tackling health disparities and promoting equity involves meaningful stakeholder engagement with individuals and communities that are ‘hardly reached’ yet central to research that involves them. Stakeholders may be incorporated across the research process from idea generation, design, execution, and oversight, to dissemination of results. Evidence indicates that stakeholder engagement can result in powerful outcomes such as trust building, enhanced recruitment and retention, and maximizing uptake and sustainability of successful interventions. Although engagement activities with community may require additional research time, the opportunity to promote health equity and reduce disparities outweighs this potential challenge. DDEMD investigators often lack expertise in stakeholder engaged methodologies. To accelerate this important area, strategic investments are required. Thus, this initiative will establish a novel Stakeholder Engagement Innovation Center to provide research resources to educate investigators in stakeholder and community engaged research and develop a community of diverse, multidisciplinary researchers with expertise in critically-needed methods to improve diabetes prevention and treatment interventions in health disparities populations. The proposed initiative is informed by a DDEMD 2020 seminar series and complements current NIDDK strategic planning efforts to achieve health equity.