To fully appreciate the health of an individual, it is necessary to understand the effect of a person's attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors within their social, environmental, and cultural context. The medical model, although extremely useful, has its limitations when it comes to understanding the health of people as they live in the world. Wellness does not happen in the doctor's office alone, akin to the fact that scientific discovery is not limited to a laboratory. In this perspectives article, we posit that by using a community-engaged research approach, we not only allow for the translation of scientific discovery into clinical practice and public health initiatives, but we also create a new way of generating and integrating knowledge to improve health outcomes. In short, community-engaged research is not only a tool for translation, it is unique method for scientific discovery bringing transdisciplinary teams together that study health problems in real-world contexts and consider sustainability at the front end of asking the research question.
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