Community Engagement | Illinois Prevention Research Center | University of Illinois at Chicago

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Through our partnerships we aim to reduce health disparities in Illinois, and increase our state’s capacity to apply scientific evidence in policy and environment changes to improve health behaviors.

Our scientists and team members partner with diverse groups invested in community health in Illinois — local and state government agencies, health coalitions and networks, nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups, community organizations, public health practitioners and researchers. We strive to engage community leaders and residents who envision a better future for their neighborhoods and communities.

We build and nurture partnerships based on values of trust, mutual respect, cooperation and shared leadership.

Through these partnerships, we aim to reduce tobacco use and obesity in underserved and minority populations by achieving the following:

1. Successful completion of our applied research project, which involves collaborations with Chicago Parks District, Chicago Parks Foundation, and community-based park coalition leaders.
2. Greater capacity of Illinois to conduct, evaluate, disseminate, and translate effective prevention research that results in practice, policy and environmental changes that improve population health.
3. New research collaborations that enhance the capacity, expertise, and infrastructure of community partners to conduct community-based research to prevent tobacco use and obesity.

We provide technical assistance and offer training to community partners, especially regarding evaluation of changes related to policy and environment that aim to prevent tobacco use and obesity. Learn more about our training.


Jamie Chriqui, PhD, MHS, and Angela Odoms-Young, PhD, co-lead the Illinois PRC’s community engagement, partnership, and technical assistance activities. Dr. Chriqui has extensive experience in policy research, evaluation, and evidence translation. Dr. Odoms-Young has extensive experience in community engagement, capacity-building, and health disparities research.

For more information about our community engagement efforts, contact Dr. Jamie Chriqui at [email protected] or Dr. Angela Odoms-Young at [email protected].


Download the Principles of Community Engagement, 2nd edition (PDF), published by the National Institutes of Health in 2011.