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