Capacity Building Together: Shifting Roles for Research and Implementation in Health Resilience Among American Indians in Arizona

Lisa J. Hardy, kevin l. shaw, Amy Hughes, Elizabeth Hulen, Priscilla Sanderson, Candi Corrales, Travis Pinn, R. Cruz Begay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Community engagement has become a leading framework for supporting health equity. The process of engagement includes groups working together to continually identify and erode existing inequalities to promote a justice-oriented approach to health and wellness for all. Missing from the literature is a fine-grained study of processes that occur between and among project partners building the foundation for ongoing trust and reciprocity. Our project, Health Resilience among American Indians in Arizona, brought new and seasoned researchers together to collect and analyze data on healthcare provider knowledge and American Indian resilience. Four years after the conclusion of the project, central members of the team developed a postproject self-assessment to investigate lasting impacts of project participation using what we call an “Iterative Poly-knowledge Evaluation Cycle approach.” Results highlight the value of flexibility of roles and organic change within projects, the importance of a focus on strengths rather than deficits, and the identification of lasting change on project team members at all levels to build and bolster multisectoral scaffolding for partnerships for health. We present this case study to contribute to an understanding of impacts of community-engaged, Indigenous research projects on people who work together toward challenging existing systems of inequality for better community health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)806-817
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Promotion Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Native American/American Indian
  • community-based participatory research
  • evaluation design
  • health disparities
  • health research
  • health research
  • minority health
  • program planning and evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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