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MDM Institute for Community Research-Dallas (MICRD)

Located in Dallas, Texas, the MDM Institute for Community Research (Dallas) is the only community-driven and community -located research institute in Dallas, Texas. Based on the healthcare crisis in the U.S and the urgent need to reduce health disparities, the initial focus for MICRD is health care and environmental research. Other focus areas include: education, job skills and technology. The three year plan also includes the formation of a Youth Action Research Institute to conduct youth led action research for development, disease risk prevention and social change.

Mission & Vision (Healthcare Research only)

  • The MDM Institute for Community Research (Dallas) aims to champion population health improvement strategies for urban residents through research, education and communication.
  • MICRD’s vision is to build a center of excellence dedicated to advancing community health best practices in community based research in Dallas County.

This will require the collaboration between community health centers, health professionals, academic teaching and research institutions and the community at large.  Thus, a primary goal of MICRD is to provide a community-based “point of access” where stakeholders meet to develop and implement research strategies designed to improve the health status of urban residents in Dallas County.

As a community-based research organization, MICRD:

  • Promotes community based research  via  the collaboration urban health professionals (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, etc.), urban based hospitals, and academic institutions to conduct community based participatory research and implement solutions relevant to the populations of these communities. MICRD aims to be “the research institute for collaboration to affect public policy and positive change in the health status of community residents.
  • Offers a community-based research infrastructure to academic investigators for the implementation of knowledge translation research and clinical trials to promote health equity (i.e. volunteer recruitment).
  • Encourages collaboration and networking activities between urban health professionals.
  • Promotes development of partnerships between community health centers and academic institutions for teaching and research in urban population health.
  • Attracts young physicians and other health professionals with an interest in community based participatory research to urban areas.
  • Attracts research resources to Dallas County.
  • Provides opportunities for mentoring students in health research while addressing health issues in real life clinical scenarios.         

As a community-driven research organization, MICRD:  

  • Allows community participation in the development of research initiatives and interpretation of results  (participatory research)
  • Enables community members to take ownership of health issues and act upon them
  • Corrects for a ‘missing link’ in traditional health research: partnership between community health centers  and the communities they serve
  • Facilitates bottom-up, strategic approach to healthcare solutions

History and Leadership

Established as a not-for-profit organization in 2012, MICRD is governed by a small Board of Directors, Medical Director, Dr. Cecil Bailey, and Founding Director, Thea G. Walker. MICRD is expanding its Board of Directors to add university, hospital, medical clinics and community residents who will best advance the mission and vision of the organization.

Progress to Date:

  • Completed business formation and received 501c3 tax exempt status
  • Signed MOU for management & technical support from research staff at El Centro Community College in Dallas, Texas and MLK Family Clinic (Dallas, Texas) for grant  research and CBPR collaboration support
  • Prioritized clinical focus areas of  obesity, diabetes and heart disease for research study programs
  • Identified two possible sites to house initial operations (research/administrative office space)

Next Steps:

  • Obtain a $25,000 planning grant to complete a detailed 3 year business/ funding plan, identify collaborative  partners , obtain research/administrative office space and initiate 3 community health research projects in 2013.
  • Generate a minimum in $150,000 in start-up funding (3 year endowment)
  • Identify short –term opportunities for research study collaborations.