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About Us

Engaging communities as active partners in health research impacts its direction, design, outcomes, communication, and dissemination. The Community Engagement and Collaboration core (CECC) promotes academic-community partnerships and engagement in translational health research by: 

  • Providing consultations for researchers, community organizations and community-engaged research projects
  • Helping researchers identify community health needs and priorities
  • Fostering relationships among researchers and community organizations
  • Providing input on research design and methods to optimize community engagement
  • Offering training opportunities to build capacity through workshops, symposia, and online tools
  • Identifying, and providing support for diverse, inclusive, equitable, and mutually beneficial equitable research partnerships between our UMass campuses and their communities.

Meet Our Community Engagement and Collaboration Core Leadership Team

Stephenie Lemon

Stephenie Lemon, PhD, MS

Dr. Lemon is Professor and Chief of the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine in the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences at UMass Chan Medical School. She is the Director of the UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center, and a recognized leader in chronic disease prevention and control research, implementation science and community engagement in research. 
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Ira Ockene

Ira S. Ockene, MD

Dr. Ockene is the David and Barbara Milliken Professor for Preventive Cardiology and the Director of the Preventive Cardiology program at the UMass Chan Medical School, with particular interest in primary and secondary disease prevention.
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Jyothi Ananth Pendharkar, MS, MBA
Program Director

Ms. Pendharkar is the Program Director for the Community Engagement and Collaboration Core of the UMCCTS. Her research interests include socio-cultural determinants of heath, community engagement in research, social and health policy, science communication, operationalizing research, and social justice.

Barbara Estabrook

Barbara Estabrook, MSPH, CHES
Program Director

Ms. Estabrook is the coordinator for the Greater Worcester Community-Based Research Network, and Program Director in the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine. Her work has included numerous community-based research studies. She has special interests in health and science communication, and in strategies for creating and sustaining collaboration and partnerships.



Our work is guided by the UMCCTS Community Advisory Board

Contact Us:
UMCCTS Community Engagement and Collaboration Core
UMass Chan Medical School
Worcester, MA 01655

Email: communityengagement@umassmed.edu
Website: www.umassmed.edu/ccts/community