Community-Engaged Research Partnerships as Healing Spaces for Health Professionals and Researchers

Online Publication Date:
September 18, 2023
Publication Status:
Awaiting Publication
Manuscript PDF File:

**Forthcoming in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP) 18.2. All rights reserved.**


Drawing from collective experiences in our capacity building project: Health Equity Activation Research Team (HEART) for Inclusion Health, we argue that while community-engaged partnerships tend to focus on understanding health inequities and developing solutions, they can be healing spaces for health professionals and researchers. Data were obtained from a 15-month participatory ethnography, including focus groups and interviews. Ethnographic notes and transcripts were coded and analyzed using both deductive and inductive coding. Practices of radical welcome, vulnerability, valuing the whole person, acknowledging how partnerships can cause harm, and centering lived experience expertise in knowledge creation processes were identified as key characteristics of healing spaces. Ultimately, health professionals and researchers work within the same social, political and economic contexts of populations with the worst health outcomes. Their own healing is critical for tackling larger systemic changes aimed at improving the well-being of communities harmed by legacies of exclusion.