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Hunter College > Schools of the Health Professions > Brookdale Science Center > Center for Community & Urban Health > Consultative Cores
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Consultative Cores

The Center operates within a consultative core organizational structure in which each core represents a distinct knowledge area necessary to accomplish the Center's mission-driven work. Core Directors provide appropriate resources to projects from within the Center and make referrals, as they deem appropriate, to other Cores; to researchers or faculty from within the Schools of the Health Professions, Hunter College and/or CUNY; to outside investigators; or to external consultants. Project Directors and Principal Investigators consult with the Executive Director and with Core Directors prior to initiating a project and at different phases during the “life” of the project in order to meet the quality assurance criteria associated with each project phase (see Project Phase Quality Gate diagram); Project Directors, Principal Investigators and/or the Executive Director broker the consultative process for line staff.

The Executive Director, in consultation from the Center’s Internal Advisory Board, provides administrative, programmatic and scientific oversight of Cores, projects and products. The Executive Director and the Core Directors guide the development and implementation of the Center's strategic planning in dialogue with the Internal Advisory Board, and provide day-to-day problem solving for the Center and for individual projects as needed. Project Directors and Principal Investigators are responsible for project management under the aegis of the Executive Director.

By promoting constant information exchange and feedback loops, this consultative core structure provides continuous quality improvement. It also ensures that knowledge is disseminated across projects rather than being located primarily in a small group of individuals within a particular project.

Administration and Coordination
The Administration and Coordination Core oversees the functioning of all centralized Center operations and ensures that the Center is in compliance with all applicable college, state and federal regulations, as well as with the policies and procedures set forth by the Research Foundation of the City University of New York (RF-CUNY) and by the Hunter College Office of Research Administration. It is responsible for Center-wide quality assurance, human resources and facilities management, for developing and maintaining Center policies and procedures, and for ensuring the timeliness and quality of all reports to funders. It maintains internal Center communications, liaises with RF-CUNY regarding human resources matters, and liases with the Dean of the Schools of the Health Professions regarding the integration of the Center into the academic work of the Schools of the Health Professions, of Hunter College and of CUNY. It oversees the Faculty Fellow process, and is responsible for facilitating strategic planning as well as for other administrative and internal infrastructure activities that strengthen the Center.

Collaborations and External Relations
The Collaborations and External Relations Core identifies, recruits and screens external collaborators and partners who will enable the Center to advance its mission-driven work. Informed by the Institute of Medicine’s principles for effective collaboration, it offers assistance in forming partnerships and consultative relations with other centers, both academic and nonacademic; with funders; with city, state and other governmental agencies; with individual investigators; and with community-based organizations and other service providers.

Fiscal Services
The Fiscal Services Core is responsible for financial oversight of the Center and of all Center projects. It assists investigators in establishing a fiscal plan that is appropriate to accomplish project aims, liaises with RF-CUNY regarding fiscal matters, and monitors the budgets of all Center projects to ensure that they remain accurate, current, and reflective of each project's scientific needs and goals. It also offers assistance in researching appropriate funding sources.

Human Rights, Public Policy, and Health
The Human Rights, Public Policy, and Health Core focuses on the societal factors that contribute to health and the ways in which policies can protect or harm health and human rights. The Core researches and promotes the application of human rights laws and principles to Center projects and their participants; supports the development of public policy from Center projects; and contributes to human rights policy development for local, national and international health issues.

Program Development
The Program Development Core helps align program design with program aims and evaluation. It offers assistance in applying the principles of program planning to develop interventions that are both theory-based and responsive to local or contemporary conditions, provides resources regarding existing evidence-based programs, and assists in the development of program manuals and curricula.

Project Management and Operations
The Project Management and Operations Core assists in planning project protocols and applying project management methods to assure timely and sound execution of projects. It offers techniques for continuous quality improvement of projects, provides training on supervisory techniques and on various aspects of project operations (e.g., interviewing, outreach), and ensures that every ongoing project implements and complies with all applicable human subjects requirements. It also provides assistance with all aspects of establishing and maintaining field sites (e.g., infrastructure, training and supervision of field workers, and building and maintaining community relations).

Research and Evaluation
The Research and Evaluation Core coordinates Center-wide evaluation systems. It offers guidance and training on data management, data quality control, data security, data analysis, sampling, research design, measurement design or selection, and psychometrics. It ensures that all project data collection instruments are designed appropriately and rigorously so that findings lead to scientifically accurate inferences relevant to project aims, and helps projects to address human subjects concerns in all phases of project design.

Training and Professional Development
The Training and Professional Development Core facilitates knowledge transfer by identifying the internal and external training needs of staff and of the field, and by ensuring that the Center provides regularly scheduled competency-based trainings responsive to these needs. It offers, and offers assistance with, skills and informational trainings; aids in the identification or development of training manuals, media and curricula; and helps plan the dissemination of project results or products. It creates and maintains an archive of training curricula and materials that are evidence-based or that have been subject to expert review for their accuracy and appropriateness.

Writing and Communications
The Writing and Communications Core ensures the quality of all Center documents and makes certain that the Center’s public face accurately reflects its mission, its activities and its products. It aids with the content and structure of internal and external communications, and reviews items at all phases of project design. It assists with the writing of grant applications, project reports, publications, manuals, curricula, presentations, and any other project materials, ensuring their timeliness and their quality. It also assists with planning the dissemination of project products.


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