Vincent Thomas Francisco


Vincent T. Francisco
  • Kansas Health Foundation Professor, LSI Senior Scientist
  • Kansas Health Foundation Professor of Applied Behavioral Science
  • Director of the Center for Community Health and Development (a WHO/PAHO Collaborating Centre)

Contact Info

Office Phone:

Biography

Dr. Vincent Francisco is KHF Professor of Community Leadership, Department of Applied Behavioral Science, and Senior Scientist with the Institute for Life Span Studies. He is Director of the Work Group for Community Health and Development, a WHO Collaborating Centre at the University of Kansas. In his work, he uses behavioral science to help understand and improve conditions that affect population health and health equity. He is co-developer of the Community Tool Box, a widely used Internet-based resource for promoting community health and development. Dr. Francisco has experience in the research and evaluation of community-based intervention programs focusing on promoting healthy adolescent development, reduction of risk for HIV/AIDS, teen substance abuse, youth violence, teen parenthood, and chronic/cardiovascular diseases. He works with community initiatives to help them build capacity for systems change, create environments in which those organizations can succeed in accomplishing their mission, and evaluate those interventions within an open systems environment. Many of these projects include state and federally funded community coalitions, especially Drug Free Communities. The communities with whom he has worked include inner city and rural communities of color, tribal and first nations communities (both reservation and inner city), and marginalized communities in countries outside North America. Dr Francisco has been a technical consultant for best practices identification initiatives such as The Guide to Community Preventive Services, and served on the board of Healthier Cities and Communities. In addition, Dr Francisco partners with community based organizations and advocacy groups to collaboratively develop interventions at the individual and small group level. He has experience in developing and providing behavioral treatment for high-risk youth and those experiencing clinical-level problems. Settings for this experience include residential and day treatment, but also include community settings more broadly. Further, Dr Francisco has taught university courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in individual and community health intervention development.

Research

My scholarship has been focused on translational and transdisciplinary science, and on the translation of research to practice, with an emphasis on community-engaged scholarship. My primary interest is research in community development, especially for the enhancement of community integration and support, and work toward empowerment of marginalized groups. My current research portfolio includes research on variables associated with community systems change, building the capacity of community members (especially marginalized groups) for engagement in community health improvement initiatives, and research on variables associated with population-level behavior change in community settings. This work in an academic environment can best be described using Boyer's model of scholarship, as the intersection of the Scholarship of Discovery, with the Scholarship of Application. More broadly in academia, we would know it as Community Engaged Scholarship. Much of my experience is in the research and evaluation of community-based intervention programs focusing on adolescent development, reduction of risk for HIV/AIDS, teen substance abuse, youth violence, teen parenthood, and chronic/cardiovascular diseases. I also have experience in the provision of technical support for the development of coalitions. I work with community initiatives to help them build capacity for systems change, create environments in which those organizations can succeed in accomplishing their mission, and evaluate those interventions within an open systems environment.

Research interests:

  • applied behavioral science
  • applied community research
  • community engaged scholarship, community health promotion research

Teaching

Throughout my academic experience, I had the privilege of being involved in undergraduate and graduate training. While at the University of Kansas, I taught a course in community development, as well as a combined undergraduate and graduate course in building healthy communities. This course was co-taught by myself, Dr Stephen Fawcett and Dr Jerry Schultz. It was offered as a face-to-face and distance learning course, with 8 sites throughout the State of Kansas (including KU). I also taught or co-taught numerous graduate course within the (then) Department of Human Development and Family Life (now the Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences). I served on the graduate thesis and dissertation committees of 13 students at KU. While at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, I taught several undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of community mental health, community health promotion, theory development, applied research and program development. Most of these courses are face-to-face, but I also teach distance learning courses and developed courses using blended classroom approaches. When I can, I use techniques derived from errorless learning, and personalized systems of instruction, into the development of the courses. Online and blended courses are perfect for these techniques, especially when one can pair them with application exercises that give the students an opportunity to develop a professional produce they can use to demonstrate their competence to others.

Teaching interests:

  • practical application of research
  • online education
  • distance learning
  • androgogy

Service

I have experience in leadership positions within several professional associations. I have been Trustee at Large for the Society for Public Health Education (responsible for the mid-year scientific conference), led the revision of the SOPHE annual and 5-year strategic planning process (in 2005), as well as been the Ambassador to the Council on Linkages Between Public Health Practice and Academia. My time as an Ambassador from SOPHE to the Council on Linkages Between Public Health Practice and Academia (http://www.phf.org/programs/council/Pages/default.aspx) was from 2003 to the present. This is a multi-organization coalition of public health professional and academic organizations, with the sole mission to improve public health training and community practice. I was influential in developing the national public health systems research agenda (as co-chair of this committee), and the development and improvement of core competencies for public health training. In both committees, I was successful in also featuring community psychology principles and competencies in the development of the products. I also chaired the work force enumeration effort in public health. In this latter effort, I learned once again how many people in the public health work force are also trained as community psychologists. I was Co-Editor for Evaluation in Practice for the Journal of Health Promotion Practice from 2000 to 2008. I am the founding Editor and publisher for the Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice (http://www.gjcpp.org/) beginning in 2009, and currently am currently Editor Emeritus since January 2015. In addition to my professional scholarship and professional service, I worked with colleagues at UNCG to develop the doctoral program (PhD) in community health education. I was recruited for this effort, with the intent of creating something similar to what we developed at the University of Kansas. Although it was in a Department of Public Health Education, the program is a PhD in community health engagement. This was an extensive collaborative effort that included groups throughout the university, as well as the broader community. I took the program from the planning stage to the implementation phase, involving approvals at every level up to the UNC President's office. I have been involved in the revision and development of courses in community health improvement, community mental health promotion, integration of community psychology principles into community health promotion more broadly. I led effort to develop an applied research and practice agendas within several professional associations, redeveloping courses to be of service to communities and CBOs, as well as use this as an opportunity for community-engaged scholarship.