CNCS Research and Evaluation Digest: Award-winning Video, CNCS Response to Opioid Crisis, Webinar, and more

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June 2020

Statement from our CEO

In her recent communication to our grantees, our CEO Barbara Stewart reflected on the worldwide response to racial injustice, inequities, and the coronavirus pandemic:

“There has never been a greater need for us to do what we do. At a time when we may feel desperate to have an impact for good, your work makes a difference. It makes a difference to communities and individuals all across this country. You build bridges, you bring people together, you connect those who may need a helping hand to those who are eager to offer it, you break down barriers and bring cultures together. It is the work of healing; it is the work of recovery; and, it is the work that can continue to be a unifier as we move forward.”

The Office of Research and Evaluation sends this installment of our quarterly newsletter with her sentiments in mind. We hope that every member of our community is supported and in good health as we work together during truly unprecedented times.


Playbook Group Photo - University of Pittsburgh


2018 ORE Research Grantee Implements Community-Led Equitable Development in Pittsburgh

Dr. Mary Ohmer, University of Pittsburgh, and Dr. Shannah Tharp-Gilliam, Homewood Children’s Village, recipients of a 2018 Office of Research and Evaluation Community Conversations research grant at the University of Pittsburgh, have been working in the Homewood neighborhood of Pittsburgh alongside community partners at the Homewood Children’s Village to increase civic engagement around equitable development issues in the community. Their community-based participatory research project, Research for Equity and Power, has developed Equitable Development Playbook to aid Homewood residents in creating positive changes in their neighborhood. This comprehensive and user-friendly guide is a valuable resource for other communities to adapt and implement similar programs. For further information, please email Dr. Ohmer and Dr. Tharp-Gilliam.

 Read Playbook

What’s New on the Evidence Exchange            

Check /out some of the new resources added to the Evidence Exchange:

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CNCS-Supported Recovery Coach Programs


New Research From CNCS: A Promising Response to the Opioid Crisis: CNCS-Supported Recovery Coach Programs

In 2017, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared a public health emergency about the alarming number of opioid-related overdoses and deaths occurring in the country. In response, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) increased its efforts to address the epidemic, using service as a solution. CNCS-sponsored efforts in this area cover a range of activities and interventions. One of the interventions that the agency has supported is the recovery coach program model.

The recent study, A Promising Response to the Opioid Crisis: CNCS-Supported Recovery Coach Programs, examines 16 AmeriCorps grantees’ use of the recovery coach program model in their programs. It assesses similarities and differences between the programs and provides recommendations for strengthening similar practices and programs in the future.

Find out the promising and potentially transformative results of the grantees implementing the recovery coaching in their strategy to address the opioid crisis.

Read Report

Turning Community Research into Collective Action  - Virginia Commonwealth University - Virginia Tech


ORE Research Grantee Spotlight: Virginia Commonwealth University & Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) have brought together community partners and stakeholders in Martinsville to address the local opioid crisis. The two-year project is led by a community-based participatory research team, Engaging Martinsville (EM), in collaboration with community partners.

Engaging Martinsville worked with local stakeholders to identify factors impacting opioid misuse and recovery. Three groups of local stakeholders worked together to prioritize a list of 15 potential strategies for addressing the opioid issue. These were presented at community-wide meetings, where four strategies were selected for implementation by those attending. Currently, the community has four stakeholder workgroups collaborating to create a drug court and detox center, to raise awareness about the opioid problem and what the community is doing to address it, and to expand prevention programs in the schools. Initial successes include new funding for services, a grant proposal, a new school curriculum, and a plan for videos to highlight community resources. The grantees are also providing technical assistance to a research team led by ServeMinnesota in Minneapolis to replicate this project, with a focus on deploying AmeriCorps volunteers to meet unmet service needs.

Virginia Tech, VCU, and the community partners have learned a lot about the resilience of a community facing a serious opioid crisis and the solutions that stakeholders can bring to the table. Visit the grantee profiles to learn more about Virginia Tech and VCU’s grant as well as other 2018 CNCS Community Conversations grantees.

Grantee Profile

Now Available: Participatory Health Research: Challenges and Approaches Webinar

How do we bring in stakeholders to actively participate in health research? During a recent webinar, ORE invited three researchers from to describe a range of participatory health research methods that have been used to engage patients and stakeholders.

The “Participatory Health Research: Challenges and Approaches” webinar looked into emerging models of engagement and co-producing research, from who initiates research to the roles that patients and stakeholders play throughout the research process. The discussion then took a closer look at two methods: the SEED Method for research question development and prioritization, and the Sí Texas partnership-centered evaluation model. For more information on more methods and more, read Researching Health Together by researcher Dr. Emily Zimmerman

Check out the presentation materials and watch the recording on our webinars page.

Watch Webinar

Senior Corps - Youtube


Senior Corps Health Benefits Video Wins Two 2020 Telly Awards!

We are proud to announce that our 2019 “Senior Corps Health Benefits” video has won two Telly Awards. ICF Next, which created the video with Senior Corps and ORE, submitted the video promoting the Senior Corps Longitudinal Study for the awards, which showcase the best work created within television and across all video screens.

The video highlights the independent report, sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, that shows Senior Corps provides the access, structure, and financial support for low-income, at-risk Americans 55 and older to live happier, healthier lives while making a difference in their communities. Click here for more information.

The video received TWO Telly Awards. It received Bronze honors in the Craft – Non Broadcast [category and Silver honors in the General – Non Broadcast category. It was selected out of more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.

We’re incredibly proud of the continued work of Senior Corps and ORE. Be sure to check out the award-winning video as well as the accompanying interview with Dr. Deborah Carr.

Watch Video