Research, Education, and Community Health Coalition (REACH) of Galveston County
is a 501(c)3 non-profit that was first established in 2014 by Preventive Medicine and Community Health (PMCH) faculty Dr. Sharon Croisant and former PMCH faculty Christine Arcari. REACH aims to facilitate collaborative research and service efforts between Galveston County-area community leaders and policymakers with UTMB scientists.
Are Galveston youth at high risk for depression and suicide?
Are there working groups who can assist recovering drug and alcohol abusers?
Questions like these are formed by members of REACH, and the group collaboratively answers them and publicizes information to bridge the gap between research efforts at UTMB and the community. Simultaneously, the group aims to understand our communities' needs. REACH engages more than 20 UTMB centers and institutes and nearly 40 community organizations, creating a vast network of members who represent a wide array of interests.
REACH operates through a number of mechanisms, including our offer-and-ask process (see below), our workgroups, and through our information sharing network. Current workgroups include standing and ad hoc groups. Standing workgroups include our executive committee, our by-laws and membership committee, our comprehensive community health needs assessment committee (see below), and our newly forming health policy committee. Example ad hoc workgroups include groups focusing on children’s health, mental health, and other key issues determined by the group.
Membership includes clinicians, researchers, policy makers, public health agencies, social service providers, educators, cultural and faith-based organizations, and many more. By bringing together members from diverse backgrounds, REACH is eliminating redundancies in research, education, and community health initiatives, thus leveraging time, funding, and efforts by all groups involved. Members of REACH are very enthusiastic about multi-directional communication and actively participate in research.