A research program founded by Arch G. Mainous III, Ph.D., chair of the department of health services research, management and policy in the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions, received the Innovative Program Award from the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine at the society’s annual meeting in May.
The Council of Academic Family Medicine Educational Research Alliance, or CERA, was recognized for having a substantial impact on scholarly activity within the discipline of family medicine in the less than five years since its creation. CERA is designed as a resource for increasing the quality and frequency of research and scholarly activity among members of Council of Academic Family Medicine organizations, improving the process for surveying constituents, providing a clearinghouse of data for members, and offering mentoring and education to junior researchers.
CERA steering committee members assist investigators at institutions that don’t have a strong research infrastructure move their research from an idea to a published study. Steering committee members help researchers develop proposals, refine research questions, analyze data and prepare and submit manuscripts.
“With a little bit of funding, expertise and mentoring, CERA has led to the creation of a voluntary community of people doing scholarly work that wouldn’t otherwise have happened,” said Mainous, who serves as the chair of CERA’s steering committee. “It has really helped researchers working in low-resource environments.”