Los Angeles – The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) today announced it is the recipient of funding for a first-of-its-kind community-led research program for The National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH Common Fund Community Partnerships to Advance Science for Society (ComPASS) program, designed to advance health equity, will enable examination of structural drivers of health in various communities. The awarded $6 million over five years (Award Number: 1OT2OD035940-01) will allow HACLA, in partnership with UCLA and Charles Drew University, to research and study ways to address underlying structural factors within the community of Watts that affect health, such as access to safe spaces, healthy food, economic opportunities, transportation, and quality health care.
ComPASS-supported research projects, which focus on populations that experience health disparities will study social determinants of health — the social, physical, and economic conditions where people are born, grow, live, work, age, and play — that contribute to health inequities. Each NIH awardee has a unique approach to conducting its examination of underlying conditions, engaging residents, and exploring strategies to improve those health outcomes that is localized. HACLA and its research partners will build off the work of the resident-responsive, partner-led approach HACLA has undertaken in the Watts Rising Initiative, which was initiated in 2017 and has been able to already drive a wide-range of projects focused on public and environmental health. (maybe provide link to website?) Our intention is to address the public and economic health goals that impact Watts residents and build on the already initiated structural solutions that could include food access, health education, and expansion of greenspace.
“As an Assistant Professor at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU), I am honored to continue as a Data Partner with Watts Rising. I remember when the collaborative was a thought and am proud to see its growth and have connected HACLA and CTSI as part of this continued commitment to Watts,” said Dr. Cynthia Gonzalez, faculty in the CDU Department of Urban Public Health and lifetime resident of Watts. “This grant is historic for NIH and for Watts. We’re looking forward to seeing the vision come to life and engage more residents of Watts.”
“The UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Community Engagement and Research Program are honored to work with the dedicated residents and community organizations of the Watts Rising collaboration, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and our colleagues at Charles Drew University on this important and innovative program,” said Dr. Arleen Brown, Co-Director, UCLA Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTSI). “This grant shifts the paradigm by supporting community-academic partnerships to conduct research initiated by the community. It is a testament to the tremendous community-based work being done at Watts Rising and HACLA.”
“We are proud to be one of the 26 awardees across the country to receive this unique funding from NIH,” said HACLA President & CEO, Doug Guthrie. “Through these awarded funds, HACLA will work closely with residents of Watts and community partners to frame the local community health indicators of greatest concern and develop sustainable solutions that promote health equity and create lasting change in HACLA’s housing communities and the Watts community.”
The ComPASS program is funded by the NIH Common Fund and managed collaboratively by NIH staff from the Common Fund; National Cancer Institute; National Institute of Mental Health; National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities; National Institute of Nursing Research; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; and NIH Office of Research on Women's Health, with many of the NIH Institutes Centers and Offices providing input and participating in program development and management. More information is available on the ComPASS program website: https://commonfund.nih.gov/compass.
To learn more about ComPASS, watch this brief video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVQVYQBh6KM.
About HACLAwww.hacla.org.The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) was established in 1938 by City of Los Angeles Resolution No. 1241. HACLA is one of the nation’s largest and leading public housing authorities, providing the largest supply of quality affordable housing to residents of the City of Los Angeles. HACLA provides affordable housing to over 83,000 households in its Public Housing and Section 8 rental assistance programs, and offers a range of permanent supportive housing programs for homeless households, including: Project-Based, HUD – Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing, Homeless, Tenant Based Supportive Housing, Housing Opportunities for Persons with Aids (HOPWA), Continuum of Care and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy program. For more information, visit
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