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Innovation Award

The purpose of this award is to support the development, maintenance or evaluation of community-university partnerships and collaborations in mental health that do one of the following: conduct or facilitate community- or place-based research, prevention, intervention, education or dissemination of research findings into practice or policy. These are generally one-time awards, limited to one per faculty member/staff per year, for new or ongoing projects that require funds to reach new partners or to create new collaborations.

To apply, send as an electronic attachment only not more than a one-page document to Yeates Conwell M.D., and Ann Marie White, Ed.D.

2014 Innovations in Community Scholarship Award

Past Winners

Jeanna Mastrocinque, Ph.D.

Jeanna Mastrocinque, PhD and Catherine Cerulli, JD, PhD have been working with community partners, Peter Navratil, LCSW-R, CASAC (Monroe Youth and Family Center; Stand Up Guys) and Jed Metzger, PhD, LCSW (Nazareth College; RiseUp Rochester) on a community based participatory research project to better understand families’ and friends’ needs and experiences in the aftermath of a homicide. The Rochester site of this study is one site of a multi-site national project. The study focuses on families and friends of homicide victims (FFHV) and resulting health concerns and experiences in the medical, behavioral health, and criminal justice systems. The results illustrate multifaceted health issues for FFHV in the aftermath of a homicide, including biological, psychological, social, and spiritual consequences. In understanding these consequences and experiences, the research provides suggestions for legal, criminal justice, medical, behavioral health, and spiritual professionals. The research team is currently working on the next steps of translating these findings into practice. This study was also funded by the National Research Service Award NIMH T32 MH18911 (Caine).

Silvia Sörensen, Ph.D.

Silvia and the University of Rochester’s Department of Psychiatry’s Aging Well Initiative were able to provide an opportunity to provide mental health promotion among individuals directly involved with troubled persons in the Rochester inner city. They partnered with several predominantly African American religious organizations in the Rochester community to promote healthy aging in body, mind, and spirit, through outreach, education, and research.  The community partners expressed a need for specialized information about mental health problems and care which will assist ministers in their service to parishioners.  Ministers are often faced with serious mental health issues in their work with parishioners.  In response to the community partners’ request, the Aging Well Initiative has been offering a free class entitled “Mental Health Topics for Pastoral Care,” coordinated by Silvia Sörensen and Paul Duberstein.

Wendy J. Nilsen, Ph.D.

Wendy’s goal was to increase the effectiveness of the Children’s Center Helping Hands Health Fair to examine the mental and physical health of the children indirectly involved in the legal system. She partnered with the URMC Children’s Center, Monroe County Public Library System, Monroe County Family Court, Monroe County Health Department, and the URMC Medical Education program to provide a non-traditional setting in which families at-risk for poor outcomes may attend.

Angelica Perez

Angelica made it possible to have the first sobriety-focused cultural and health celebration event for this community. She was able to work with the Catholic Family Center Restart Latino Services, Hispanic Prevention Education Program, and the Puerto Rican Festival, Inc. to bring together the Latino culture in a safe environment. Angelica was able to promote the societal benefits of alcohol and drug use disorder treatment and celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture.