To improve its efficacy and outcomes, Mary's Center collaborates on a regular basis with scholars who conduct community-based research. Community-based research refers to a partnership between an academic institution, usually a university, and a community organization such as Mary’s Center. The partners come together around a mutually identified goal.
Typically a research team partnering with Mary’s Center brings project funding and expertise in the latest evidence-based strategies for medical and social services screening and interventions. Mary’s Center brings to the project a population—say, of low-income immigrant women—who the researchers need for the study and who potentially can benefit from the intervention being introduced and tested by the researchers.
In choosing our academic partners, we are vigilant about protecting the safety and confidentiality of our participants. Our main goal in working with researchers is to enhance the quality of our services.
Our most successful academic partnerships result in research that improves our work and helps inform policymakers and experts in the medical and social services fields about effective, replicable models.
If you are interested in learning more about Mary's Center research please contact Sofia Morales,
Special Assistant to President/CEO, tel: 202-420-7002; email@example.com
The projects below illustrate recent Mary’s Center research collaborations.
Increasing Pediatricians’ Capacity to Help Children and Parents with Mental Health Problems
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Public Health have been working with Mary’s Center since 2004. Funded by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, one project was part of a study carried out at several sites, of which Mary’s Center was one. It involved training a portion of pediatricians in a set of skills designed to increase the likelihood that during a visit families would disclose mental health concerns and be willing to engage in treatment. The results indicate that across study sites communication training had a positive impact on parent mental health symptoms and reduced minority children’s impairment across a range of problems. A follow-up project is adapting the same communication skills training for Mary’s Center medical assistants. To read a study resulting from our collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, click here.
Preventing Postpartum Depression among At-Risk Women
From 2004 to 2008, Mary’s Center worked with George Washington University and Georgetown University researchers who received a grant from the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau to test a method of preventing perinatal depression among women of childbearing age. The more than 200 (mostly low-income Latina) women receiving prenatal care who participated in the study reported a number of depressive symptoms or had a history of depression and low levels of social support. These women attended a special eight-week class that taught them mood management strategies. The researchers hoped that these cognitive behavioral techniques would help prevent these women from getting postpartum depression. The research found that immigrant Latina families have many risk factors, but also great resilience. After one year of the intervention, most of the women in the study did not become depressed. To see the published results of this collaboration, click here.
The same university researchers are now working with Mary’s Center’s WIC program through a related grant that will allow them to modify the mood management class to include recently delivered mothers as well as pregnant women.