Miami CTSI

Miami Nonprofit and CTSI Pilot Awardee Team Up To Understand Public Health Issues of Local Kids


From left to right: Dr. Eric Brown, Stephanie Sylvestre, of The Children’s Trust, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Dirk Butler, of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Hosanna Community Baptist Church Pastor Charles Lee Dinkins.

Miami CTSI Pilot Award recipient, Eric Brown, Ph.D., and his research team are partnering with the Hosanna Community Foundation to survey local youth in Miami in an effort to identify the most pressing public health challenges facing them today with the goal of developing and implementing strategies that will help improve their lives.

Led by Rev. Charles Lee Dinkins, pastor at Hosanna Community Baptist Church in Liberty City, the implementation of Evidence2Success will be supported by a $450,000 grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Dr. Brown, who is also an associate professor in the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health, and his team at the Miller School of Medicine will provide support in data collection, analysis and reporting.

“We’re fortunate to have the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Children’s Trust, and the City of Miami on this project. It’s rare that public-private, university-community partnerships can come together like this to advance a common mission to prevent health and behavior problems in youth,” said Brown, associate professor in the division of prevention science & community health. “This project is a great example of translational science, which takes our public health know-how and gets it into the community so that the community can take charge of the solutions.”

Hosanna is focusing specifically on students from the Liberty City, Brownsville, Westgate, West Little River and Allapattah neighborhoods.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation chose the Hosanna Community Foundation, a Miami non-profit that has been developing prevention and coalition work in these communities, to launch its Evidence2Success implementation – a first in Miami.

Evidence2Success is a framework already successfully implemented in four other sites in the U.S., which helps the community and public system leaders work together to use scientific data to accurately identify and asses the needs of local youth and then implement evidence-based interventions to improve their well-being.

After receiving approval from Miami Dade County Public School System review board and school administrators, the research team will begin the data collection process via electronic surveys distributed on tablets provided by the CTSI. Data collection is expected to start in September.

The survey will ask questions regarding public health issues affecting young people in these neighborhoods such as substance use, delinquency, violence, academic achievement, anxiety and depression, as well as individual and environmental risk and protective factors associated with these issues, said Arthur de Oliveira Corrêa, a research assistant on Dr. Brown’s team.

Parents will be asked for their consent to allow their child to participate, and students themselves can opt out of the survey or skip any questions they do not want to answer. The data will be de-identified for reporting purposes and remain confidential using a secure REDCap database.

“This is completely community driven. Our role in this project is to provide the community coalition with tools to accurately identify and asses what is going on, how big and important of an issue it is, and provide them with the science to implement evidence based programs that have been proven to work,” Corrêa said.

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