Background and History

Development of the Center for Healthy Communities

True to its mission to build collaborations and partnerships with the community, the Center for Healthy Communities (CHC) from the beginning engaged community-based representatives in developing the mission, vision and guiding principles of the center.

In May 2014, nearly 50 representatives from community organizations, UCR faculty and researchers from other academic institutions gather in the center’s first Strategic Planning Retreat. Participants met the center leadership and provided invaluable guidance to develop the mission, vision, and priorities of the center.

During the summer of 2014, Dr. Greer Sullivan and center Deputy Director Christina Reaves continued to meet with UCR faculty, community-based-organizations, health service providers, and grassroots coalitions to learn more about Inland Southern California. At the same time, a multi-disciplinary team of UCR academics began meeting to explore research funding opportunities. In late August, an informal focus group of community members was convened to provide input into ideas for a research project. The team will continue to meet and evolve as specific projects emerge.

A workshop was convened in October 2014 including the panel discussion “Community-Based Research: How Researchers and Community Members Can Work in Partnership.” Successful teams of researchers and community organizations shared their experiences with participants. Guest speakers included Ken Wells, M.D., MPH from UCLA and Loretta Jones, M.A., founder and CEO of Healthy African American Families, who recently won the Team Science Award from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science. Juliet McMullin, Ph.D., Victor Kaiwi Pang, president and co-founder of the Pacific Islander Health Partnership, and Jane Ka'ala Pang, RN, PHN, director and co-founder of the Pacific Islander Health Partnership shared their collaborations.

The center will continue to hold periodic retreats and workshops. For more information or details about upcoming events and meetings, call (951) 715-2700 or email