Building research infrastructure in community health centers: A Community Health Applied Research Network (CHARN) report

Sonja Likumahuwa, Hui Song, Robbie Singal, Rosy Chang Weir, Heidi Crane, John Muench, Shao Chee Sim, Jennifer E. DeVoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-587
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Community health centers
  • Community health networks
  • Practice-based research network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice


Dive into the research topics of 'Building research infrastructure in community health centers: A Community Health Applied Research Network (CHARN) report'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this