The Center on Society and Health Attends 6th Annual CTSA National Conference

September 18, 2013

Members of the Center on Society and Health attended The 6th Annual Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) National Conference held August 22-23 in Bethesda, MD. The two day event featured researchers and public health experts from around the country who conduct community-engaged research and are committed to advancing translational science.

One speaker was Christopher Austin, the Director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) and Community. Austin stressed the importance of team science, using the presentation to claim that translation science “requires top performers with a wide variety of different expertise to work together to a common goal.” The presentation emphasized how important community engaged research is in the field of translational science.

The second day of the event featured a presentation by Bechara Choucair, the Public Health Commissioner for Chicago. Choucair partnered with the Chicago Department of Health in order to address issues such as food deserts in which residents lack access to fresh produce. He also helped make Chicago more bike accessible in order to cut down on emissions and to encourage physical activity.

Our center’s director, Steven Woolf, was the keynote speaker at the event. Woolf encouraged researchers to move beyond traditional laboratory research and engage the community more. He asked the audience to think beyond the clinical setting and create a “bidirectional relationship” between the community and the clinic. Woolf’s presentation demonstrated how both the community and the clinic could both have affect on individuals, and how a combination of clinical research and community outreach can improve health outcomes and encourage healthier living.

This story was originally published with the VCU Center on Society and Health. Please visit their website for more information related to this article.

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