Eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities require that we find more effective methods to reach individuals and communities that have not benefitted from established interventions. This paper examines a critical dimension of eliminating health disparities: behavior change. The focus is on an innovative theory of change which emphasizes how a combination of collective community efforts, environmental approaches and policy decisions can influence health behavior which is to say that community matters and environment matters. The community health worker program in Brooklyn, N.Y. the Healthy Heart program in New York State and the Plain Talk program in five sites around the nation are models forged by this theory. In each instance these programs seek to develop partnerships that foster engagement and involvement of community residents in: the assessment of needs, the development of programs, the design of research and the interpretation of findings, the delivery of services, the evaluation of outcomes as well as the development/change and implementation of policies that impact their environment.
Learning Objectives: 1. Develop strategies for mapping community dynamics, cultural norms and health issues. 2. Identify and implement four cost effective strategies for engaging and sustaining collective community effort. 3. Construct and apply two effective environmental and policy approaches to behavior change
Keywords: Community, Environment
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: 1. The Caribbean Women's Health Association 2. Healthy Heart Program 3. The Annie E. Casey Foundation's Plain Talk Program
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA