Mission Community Health Advocacy & Research Alliance (CHARA) identifies, develops, and conducts health research to answers questions that matter in the Columbia Gorge region.
Vision We bring together community members, patients, health care professionals, and researchers to collect and generate good research questions in order to learn how to foster health in our community and to share what we learn with others.
We define health as a state of well-being for people and as a desired outcome of healthcare and many other social and educational activities.
We recognize the health of our community as a regional economic asset.
We harness individual and community strengths as the solutions to local needs.
We practice the principles of collective impact and align our work with others in the community.
We facilitate creation and funding of relevant research questions that test interventions and programs to improve health.
We conduct research that is rigorous, professional, and contributes to the larger body of knowledge about fostering health.
In 2013, with seed funding from the Patient Centered Outcomes Institute (PCORI) Pipeline to Proposal Program, Kristen Dillon, MD and Melinda Davis, PhD initiated an academic-community research partnership focused on enhancing health in the Columbia Gorge region. This partnership was designed to complement the regional collaboration and health improvement activities being catalyzed by the Columbia Gorge Health Council, the governing body for the PacificSource Columbia Gorge CCO.
Since its formation, this partnership has grown to become the Community Health Advocacy and Research Alliance (CHARA) by engaging patients/community members, service providers, health system leaders, organizational collaborators and academic partners in conducting research that matters here. CHARA's foundational activities included: conducting 35 Appreciative Inquiry interviews with diverse community and health system stakeholders to understand the factors that contribute to health and well-being in the region; engaging with the boards of existing regional health and social services organizations to listen to existing health related priorities and discuss the research network; and establishing and learning from a governing board of community members, health system and service agency
leaders who are committed to the CHARA mission and vision.
In 2015, CHARA was awarded Tier II Pipeline to Proposal funding from PCORI to continue to build the regional research partnership, conduct community-based capacity building research trainings, and develop identified health priorities into targeted research questions and proposals.
Community Health Advocacy & Research Alliance (CHARA)