The view from the Pewamo Parlor is spectacular today…with beautiful blue skies, more than a touch of orange and yellow in the trees, and an intermittent falling leaf. The warm temps and cool fall breeze are certainly a relief from the intense summer heat. But, at the same time, I am amazed that the season has again changed. It seems just yesterday that we were enjoying an early August vacation in Tennessee. While Brian and I felt a moment’s hesitation about heading south in the peak summer heat, we, nonetheless, enjoyed a refreshing week at the Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee. Fabulous water falls, vigorous hiking, marathon canoeing, friendly tennis matches (okay….mostly friendly tennis matches), poolside reading……some of our favorite ways to relax and rejuvenate. Our favorite hiking and canoeing paths are often those least traveled ----the trails where you rarely come across other hikers or the far nooks of the lake where you just might catch a glimpse of wildlife along the banks. As we hiked and canoed, my mind wandered to past adventures with our children, either family camping or camping with scout troops----where we were taught the importance of ‘leaving no trace’; that is, trying to leave no evidence that we had been there. While we wanted to enjoy and marvel at nature’s wonders, we did not want to do harm.
The same can be said for our work with CoSAGE. Certainly, a critical goal of CoSAGE is to do no harm as we carry out health related research. To achieve this goal, we work closely and in partnership with two community advisory committees, made up of your family, friends, and neighbors: the Research Advisory Committee and the Research Ethics Committee. This close partnership helps assure that the work we do is consistent with community values and needs. Unlike the ‘leave no trace’ motto of our vacation adventures though, the CoSAGE project continues to strive to make a positive impact on community wellness over time.
Vacations are short, and seasons change. But we are refreshed and ready to continue our community-based health research adventure with you!