This article introduces the Community Health Applied Research Network (CHARN), a practice-based research network of community health centers (CHCs). Established by the Health Resources and Services Administration in 2010, CHARN is a network of 4 community research nodes, each with multiple affiliated CHCs and an academic center. The four nodes (18 individual CHCs and 4 academic partners in 9 states) are supported by a data coordinating center. Here we provide case studies detailing how CHARN is building research infrastructure and capacity in CHCs, with a particular focus on how community practice-academic partnerships were facilitated by the CHARN structure. The examples provided by the CHARN nodes include many of the building blocks of research capacity: communication capacity and "matchmaking" between providers and researchers; technology transfer; research methods tailored to community practice settings; and community institutional review board infrastructure to enable community oversight. We draw lessons learned from these case studies that we hope will serve as examples for other networks, with special relevance for community-based networks seeking to build research infrastructure in primary care settings.
- Community health centers
- Community health networks
- Practice-based research network
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Family Practice