The Importance of Maintaining Community Partnerships
Kleindorfer: Having community partners - and not just a member of a board that comes once a month, but somebody who really feels engaged, and able to participate, and give you their opinion - is super important.
France: And it doesn't matter if they're someone the same as you, or that you perceive as different than you culturally, it's still true that a personal connection is always going to be most effective.
Woo: I volunteer at a free clinic in my city and being part of that clinic I learned so much about the culture, about the things that are happening, about needs and concerns of people who can't afford to go to our university hospital or to some of the private hospitals in town, and what their particular needs are and what their realities they face.
France: And I guess, medical care has to be able to transcend all of the other things that happen between cultures.
Gorelick: There are ways to do this but again, this is about the zeal that you have to have, this is about the commitment that you as the investigator have to have if you want to make this happen. Patients who are socioeconomically strapped have a big hill to climb and so we've got to help them.
Edwards: We have to first claim the history and then we have to go back out to the community and listen to people because they'll tell us what we need to do. But first you have to be present, then you have to listen - you can't go in to tell people what to do, you have to listen - and you have to create relationships and relationships take time. And when you have a relationship with an individual or a group of people, they often will go out of their way to help you do what you need to do, as long as there's some sense that that benefit is going to go back to the community.