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Affinity Networks

Our innovative college model encourages individuals to connect between and across disciplines to collaborate and foster new ideas that advance an area of focus. To that end, we support Affinity Networks that bring together individuals with shared interests to explore a methodology or an opportunity for improvement within the college. Affinity Networks are designed to advance research methodologies, teaching excellence, community engagement or a functional area of the college.

Members of Affinity Networks create a supportive environment for professional development and a place to develop new ideas. From the networks, our college gains a growing supply of new ideas and knowledge, program improvements, methodologies and approaches that further our commitment to designing health solutions.

Affinity Networks and Translational Teams

Affinity Networks differ from Translational Teams, another unique initiative of the College of Health Solutions. Affinity Networks are groups of faculty and staff, practitioners, policy experts, advocates and others who have an interest in the topic and represent a pool of talent from which Translational Teams can draw. Translational Teams, which include community partners working alongside faculty, staff and students, focus on solving specific and complex health problems or challenges. Translational Teams and Affinity Networks may work together, but each group serves a separate and distinct purpose. For example, an Affinity Network on dissemination and implementation science could serve as a core methods group within a Translational Team.  

Affinity Networks at the College of Health Solutions

The first group of Affinity Networks have been identified, and others will be formed and developed in the coming years.

  • Affinity Network on Athletics: Increases communication and develops a collaborative relationship among ASU Sun Devil Athletics, the College of Health Solutions and local community organizations involved in the improvement of athletic performance.
  • Affinity Network on Biomedical Informatics, Biomedical Diagnostics, and Data Science: This network supports Translational Teams through expertise in informatics design, methods, and analysis of biomedical data and biomedical diagnostics. The network also advances biomedical informatics and diagnostic methodology. It aims to conduct original research on BMI methodology and its application to various health-related problems, and highlights aspects of this research through annual methodology challenge events.
  • Affinty Network on Data Quality in Electronic Data Capture: Provides a consistent outlet to demonstrate features of various electronic data capture tools, discuss ongoing use of these tools and collect information on how each tool can be improved.
  • Affinity Network on Dissemination and Implementation (D&I): Develops and implements D&I projects, advances D&I methods through new applications and strategies and builds D&I principles into the education foundation of the College of Health Solutions.
  • Affinity Network on Experiential Learning (ELAN): is proposed as a professional learning community for CHS faculty interested in promoting and engaging in teaching through experience. We will share best practice for experiential learning (EL), which includes applied and service learning.
  • Affinity Network on Geographic Information Sciences and Technologies (GIST):  aims to become a hub for faculty and students interested in spatial methodologies. By considering contextual and geographic elements, GIST aims to build a larger community of practice around the use of geographic information science (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), spatial techniques/methodologies (e.g. omnidirectional photography) and other contextual data to enhance research endeavors and community development.
  • Affinity Network on Health Policy and Equity (HPEN): Serves as a premier resource for local and national health policies impacting the health care and outcomes of vulnerable populations.
  • Affinity Network on Research Design and Methods: serves as a shared resource to enhance research outcomes. The network accomplishes this aim by providing ongoing training, consultation and resources; by introducing new methods and approaches; and by bringing attention to emerging trends in science that enhance scientific rigor in CHS.
  • Affinity Network on Research Participants Registry and Database Network: Plans to design a research participant registry to collect and store both contact and limited demographic information from individuals who give consent to volunteer in research studies, as well as a database to collect and store health information in a searchable format. Both systems will comply with the requirements of HIPAA.
  • Affinity Network on Simulation (SAN): aims to build a community of practice in simulation and interprofessional education. The network will develop a database of training opportunities and current resources within CHS, connect faculty and students with appropriate learning opportunities, develop methods to expand expertise and create avenues to disseminate information.
  • Affinity Network on Training: works in collaboration with Translational Teams to develop, implement, and sustain a robust training infrastructure at CHS. The training infrastructure incorporates synchronous and asynchronous training components that support the work of translational research investigators and teams, community stakeholder collaborations, and student engagement and development.