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Project ENGOAL: Engaging older adult learners as health researchers

Research project

Quick facts

Director/PI: Project Lead Silvia Sörensen; Co-Investigator Joyce Duckles

Collaborators: Dr. Sandhya Seshadri and Dr. Craig Sellers, geriatrics researchers at the School of Nursing; Ms. Doreen Young, member of the Beechwood Neighborhood Coalition; and Rev. Phyllis Jackson, RN, director of the Interdenominational Health Ministry Coalition; Warner School of Education and Human Development students; North East Area Development.

Funding: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Eugene Washington Engagement Award


The premise of ENGOAL is that older adults from underserved communities are the experts on their own needs and can offer a unique perspective on their communities’ values and priorities. The long-term objective of the program is to increase the relevance, translatability, and impact of current geriatric health research to older underserved patients by building collaborations between patient researchers, health researchers, and providers. To this end, the ENGOAL team aims to develop a pool of older adult health researchers (i.e., patient partners) who can be called upon to make meaningful contributions as co-researchers to existing and future research projects and/or be valued consultants on research projects and clinical services.

ENGOAL aims to:

  1. Provide community-dwelling older adults with education and information to enable them to become educated consumers of research and to partner as co-researchers with geriatrics researchers at the University of Rochester.
  2. Develop patient partners’ health literacy around specific chronic illnesses to enable them to advocate for themselves and members of their community regarding these illnesses. 
  3. Provide patient partners with information that will enable them to move toward greater engagement and effective communication with their health professionals.
  4. Assess the process of patient researcher preparation and skill development, and sustainability for replication in other university communities.

Stories about ENGOAL

ENGOAL Program Creates Community of Emerging Health Researchers
University of Rochester Researchers Receive PCORI Community Engagement Award