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Sharing the PRCHN's Experiences
One of the many benefits to being part of the national Prevention Research Center (PRC) network are the reciprocal relationships the PRCHN has with other PRCs. The deep inter-relationships of the PRCs and their ability to help each other was brought into focus in January when PhD student Alyssa Mayer of the University of South Florida interviewed Jean Frank, the staff liaison for the PRCHN’s community advisory board (Network of Community Advisors) who has been a part of the PRCHN since its inception in 2009. Mayer has worked with Dr. Carol Bryant at the Florida Prevention Research Center for five years and is conducting dissertation research in community-based health promotion. The purpose of her dissertation is to explore the factors contributing to community coalition effectiveness by conducting interviews with principal investigators and core research staff of current and past Prevention Research Centers.

The purpose of the interview was to investigate community-academic partnerships--as exemplified in PRCs--to explore the aspects that make them work. Alyssa asked about highlights of the working relationship between the PRCHN and the Network of Community Advisors (NOCA) as well as areas for improvement. Some of the most helpful factors Jean identified were:

• The Center’s budgetary support of NOCA
• PRCHN Director Elaine Borawski’s personal support in terms of her attendance and participation at so many levels.
• NOCA's retreats, during which process and structure are always evaluated
• NOCA's ability to contribute to research effectiveness, make connections, and contribute to dissemination
• NOCA’s balance of leadership

When asked about the future and the new funding cycle, Jean’s response conveys all of the excitement and enthusiasm the entire staff feels about the PRCHN’s work:

“One of the things that I love about this new five-year cycle is—and it couldn’t have happened in the first five years because NOCA wasn't fully functioning when the core research project was designed—but the PI and her team on our core research project are working with NOCA in the research committee. They are using NOCA’s connections to identify potential research sites. So, it is an inter-dependent project and I love watching that. That’s wonderful. If that can continue, if the communication, the honesty, the listening, if all of these things that have been established so far can continue, oh my goodness."
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