Established in November 2011 as part of Tufts CTSI’s Stakeholder & Community Engagement Program, Addressing Disparities in Asian Populations through Translational Research (ADAPT) is a community-academic partnership based in Boston’s Chinatown.
Tufts CTSI places particular emphasis on Asian health disparities because the Tufts campus is located in Boston’s Chinatown and affiliate practice centers and hospitals in surrounding cities (Quincy, Malden, Lowell) have high proportions of Asian residents.
An increasing body of literature demonstrates that Asians are not “the model minority without health problems,” particularly for recent immigrants. These findings mirror those of our clinical and research community.
Methodological (e.g., data collection representative of the diverse cultures making up Asia), genetic and environmental/cultural issues continue to result in substantive health disparities. At the same time, the Asian population nationally is projected to triple in growth and represent 8% of the US population by 2050, making it critical that we focus on improving the health of Asian Americans.
ADAPT’s Mission and Goals
Since its inception, ADAPT has prioritized building trusting relationships with the Chinatown community.
ADAPT is a collaboration of administrators, researchers, clinicians, and students affiliated with Tufts Medical Center, Tufts University, and community leaders from six community organizations in Boston’s Chinatown. The collaboration follows principles of community-engaged partnerships, including community-identified goals and priorities, shared decision-making, and co-learning.
- Aims to raise awareness of Asian health disparities and facilitate community-engaged research that targets the health of Asian Americans.
- Functions as a space for co-learning, mutual collaboration and the incubation of ideas and collaborations.
- Provides seminars and hosts Asian Health Symposia that target the research and clinical communities, public health and policy makers, and community leaders.
- Supports investigators interested in Asian health disparities.
- Encourages researcher-community organization collaborative efforts to seek funding for research and services in our surrounding community.
Through a strategic planning process in Nov. 2015, ADAPT has established a formal governance structure and adopted a new mission/vision statement and by-laws. The following strategic priority goals will inform and guide ADAPT’s work for the next several years.
To assess, improve and promote health and well-being among underserved Asian-American communities in the Greater Boston area through research, education and advocacy.
Healthy Asian communities where everyone has the necessary individual, social, economic, and environmental resources to successfully lead healthy lives.
Strategic Priorities & Goals
- Strengthen and Expand Bi-directional Community & Academic Partnerships through Research and Education
- Develop a Community-Driven Health Agenda for Boston’s Chinatown
- Develop a Policy and Advocacy Agenda for Addressing Asian Health Disparities
- Increase ADAPT Sustainability
ADAPT is guided by an active community-researcher Steering Committee whose core members include representatives from:
- Action for Boston Community Development
- Asian Community Development Corporation
- Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence
- Asian Women for Health
- Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
- Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center
- Tufts Medical Center (Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies)
- Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
- Tufts University School of Medicine Department of Public Health and Community Medicine
ADAPT Projects & Activities
ADAPT fosters bi-directional conversations about collaborative activities to link academic research expertise with community-identified priorities in the context of academic objectives of the university and the missions of community-building and service provision of ADAPT’s community partners.
ADAPT provides consultation and support for research grants focused on Asian health. It helps incubate academic-community research partnerships and secure seed funding for their work. See examples of research projects & partnerships here.
In addition to supporting the development of research partnerships, ADAPT provides learning opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students interested in Asian health and to connect them with potential research, internship, or volunteer opportunities in Chinatown.
As part of its commitment to bi-directional research relationships, ADAPT conducts a yearly community forum/symposium for community building, research dissemination, and stakeholder input. The Asian Health Symposium serves as a mechanism for the broader community to engage with Tufts on issues affecting Chinatown.
Monthly ADAPT Meetings
ADAPT holds monthly meetings on the second Wednesday of each month. Community and academic members interested in Asian health are welcome to attend.
ADAPT has established working groups in priority/interest areas identified by the academic and community partners to provide ongoing co-learning and engagement opportunity for members. Currently the working groups are focused on Diabetes Prevention, Collective Impact (Mental Health), Child Health & Wellness and Health and Housing.
Asian Health Equity Fellowship
Tufts CTSI and Tufts University School of Medicine Department of Public Health and Community Medicine offer a one-year Asian Health Equity Fellowship. The Asian Health Equity Fellowship provides the opportunity for a Tufts graduate student to learn about community-engaged research and partnership building with the Asian American community in Boston.
Engage with ADAPT
ADAPT membership is open to individuals and organizations who are interested in community-academic research partnerships focusing on Asian health, and who are committed to supporting and promoting ADAPT’s mission, vision, and strategic priorities.
For Tufts clinicians interested in Asian health, and junior/senior researchers committed to Asian health disparities, please submit a service request.
Carolyn Rubin, EdD, MA, ADAPT Director
Karen Freund, MD, MPH, ADAPT Research Lead