Serving Our Region

OneGreatCommunityBirmingham, Alabama is 23 communities, 99 neighborhoods, the birthplace of civil rights, a historic steel town, home to a world-class medical center. We are One Great Community.

One Great Community (OGC) is the community engagement element of the CCTS. According to NCATS, "information sharing at each stage of the process ensures that researchers are meeting community health needs, and that work, in turn, informs work in the laboratory." 


Established in 2008, the Community Council held the first of 9 conversations to identify community issues of priority at Lawson State Community College. By 2010, in collaboration with the McWane Science Center, the OGC planned the first yearlong Health Change in Your Community Challenge (HC3) program, to engage community members--and youth in particular--about how to make healthy eating and exercise choices. The program hosted 119 children and 47 adults, representing 4 community group.

In 2011 the OGC conducted a series of social network analyses, in which OGC members were asked to complete a survey about their communication relationship with other OGC members, and explain how that pattern changed over the course of their involvement in OGC. Increased links were shown between all members from pre- to post-involvement.

The HC3 program continued in 2012, when IRB approval to take pre-and post-program body measurements of participants provided data, the results of which were presented at the American Public Health Association annual meeting that year. Also in 2012, OGC launched the Community Health Innovation Awards (CHIA) as an annual grant competition for local community organizations. 

In 2013 the OGC Council began meeting with the UAB Center for the Study of Community Health's Jefferson County Community Participation Board. The idea to collaborate on an event to benefit both academic and community partners resulted in the inaugural Community Engagement Institute.

Flagship Programs

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The team approach of local leaders, the UAB community and neighborhood groups promotes the sharing of resources and expertise. Grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 are awarded to local organizations whose ideas creatively and innovatively address community issues.
The Community Engagement Institute is an education and training opportunity for academic and community partners to explore, discuss and gain practical skills related to collaborative research and service, especially to address local identified needs and to connect key stakeholders and change agents to one another for action.