In order to develop effective partnerships with African American patients it is important for health care providers to understand the lived experiences of their patients and how they experience their health and the disease process (Jack, Liburd, Tucker, & Cockrell, 2014). Many Africans Americans experience chronic and historical mistrust and marginalization within the medical system (Cuevas, O'Brien, & Saha, 2016). As a result, engaging patients in sharing their perspectives and experiences managing chronic disease can enhance the development of trust in patient-provider relationships. (Cuevas et al., 2016). This session describes three unique initiatives highlighting the racial health disparities African Americans and other patients of color with chronic disease experience. The first is a qualitative study conducted with one group of African American women with type-2 diabetes at a New England area medical clinic using Photovoice methods with the goal of informing medical providers and interdisciplinary training models. The second describes a secondary data analysis project examining the long-term care needs assessment of 1,204 community-dwelling older adults residing in Alabama. The third is a community academic partnership designed to engage cancer survivors and their family members in research decision-making at the Cancer Care Center in a Safety Net Accountable Care Organization.