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Translating Research into Action to Improve Health

How did the development of a vaccination program in the Sahara desert inspire UCB Clinical Professor Linda Neuhauser's pioneering career in translational and participatory research?

Dr. Neuhauser, Co-Principal Investigator of Health Research for Action, recounts the lessons she learned in Africa in an interview in Berkeley Health Magazine; and describes how she and colleagues at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health translate clinical research into effective, real-world applications.

Health Research for Action was founded on the principles Dr. Neuhauser espouses. In Africa she encountered serious and complex social problems that could not be solved using traditional public health approaches. She learned about the need "to engage communities and health workers at all levels to solve problems from the outset. Without that engagement," she says, "nothing successful can be implemented or sustained." Health Research for Action works with intended beneficiaries and others to design, implement, and revise health interventions—in multiple languages and at different literacy levels. This empowering approach has proven successful in helping people make more informed and confident choices about health.

March 2009