Loyola University Chicago

Center for Field Innovation, Research, Strategy, and Training (C-FIRST)

School of Social Work

About Us


The Loyola University Chicago (LUC), School of Social Work (SSW), Center for Field Innovation, Research, Strategy, and Training (C-FIRST) engages community-based interventions and practice-based research that supports the sustainable implementation of innovative interventions to meet the unique challenges faced by organizations, clinicians, and students across Chicago and suburban communities.

C-FIRST promotes and creates collaborative relationships with academic and community stakeholders in the development and implementation of:

  • 1. innovative training programs (e.g., training the workforce of future social workers, nurses, and physicians in interprofessional interventions in atypical settings);
  • 2. community-based clinical training and organizational support (e.g., training the current workforce with flexible quality products that meet continuing education requirements while addressing immediate demands, via KOGNITO simulated experiences, our CABISAM certificate program, and soon to be developed online workshops and certificates);
  • 3. create clearinghouses and libraries that are populated in response to community inquiries and demand;
  • and 4. providing ongoing consultation and technical assistance.


To ensure every individual and community has access to state-of-the-art intervention. (*this is a first attempt to answer the “Why?” vision Question).

C-FIRST was conceived as a center to engage intensive practice-based and practice-led research aimed at bringing evidence based and practical interventions to address the challenges faced across Chicago and suburban communities. Through unique partnerships with government and community organizations, C-FIRST aims to bring real world solutions in a way that is sustainable and relevant by focusing on policy, organizational, and practice interventions across multiple domains to include organizational and workforce development. Evidence-based practices and other successful approaches and interventions derived from research should be portable, replicable, and published (albeit “working knowledge”) whenever possible.


The mission of C-FIRST is to work with government, organizations, as well as the pre-professional and professional workforce to improve efforts to meet social challenges by sustainable implementation of research-based innovation through practice-based research, strategy, and training.