A two-hour research panel was convened at the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 with a theme of "Engaging Communities in Behavioral Health Research."
The research panel featured research projects from the three departments: Aging and Mental Health, Child and Family Studies, and Mental Health Law and Policy. Dr. Karen Holbrook, Vice President for Research and Innovation, provided introductory comments that focused on the importance of university research partnerships with the community in the area of behavioral health. Dr. Junius Gonzales, Dean of the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, served as the session moderator with Dr. LuAnn Panacek, Executive Director of the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County and Dr. Harold Keller, Associate Dean of the College of Education serving as discussants.
Speakers on the research panel included Dr. Lise Fox who discussed a tiered-framework for the promotion of young children’s social competence and prevention of challenging behavior. Dr. Larry Schonfeld provided a presentation on the role of the Florida BRITE Project in engaging communities to utilize evidence-based practices to improve services for older adults through substance abuse screening and brief intervention services. Dr. Paul Stiles discussed a new NIMH-funded study that is examining the effect of coercion, incentives, and other environmental factors on the voluntary nature of research participation among offenders. The panel presentations highlighted the importance of engaging the community as partners in the research process to enhance implementation outcomes and dissemination.