The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4029.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - Table 6

Abstract #67098

Building community capacity: Lessons learned from the Alameda County Community Health Teams Initiative

Elizabeth S. Maker, MPH, Public Health Department, Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, 1000 Broadway, Suite 500, Oakland, CA 94708, 510-267-8096,

Ensuring the public’s health has become increasingly challenging for health departments, due to increasing demands and eroding funding. A promising approach to overcome these challenges is “community-based public health” which involves active collaboration with community groups and residents to identify and address health issues. The Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) has committed to working with residents and groups to address a broad range of community-identified priorities, including safety, food, shelter and health disparities. Four years ago, they implemented the Community Health Teams (CHT) Initiative, which deployed teams of nurses and outreach workers to ten neighborhoods throughout the county. Along with individual and population health services, the teams provide “capacity-building” services with residents and emerging community groups. Their activities include: jointly assessing community needs and resources; attending local meetings and events; organizing a mini-grants program; and assisting with planning and implementing community action. This session will discuss preliminary results of the CHT evaluation, and implications for community building interventions. The evaluation will determine whether CHTs were able to increase community capacity to identify and address health issues, as measured by: increases in the knowledge, skills and confidence of individuals (individual empowerment); internal development of community groups (community group empowerment) and relationship building among community groups. The evaluation will further explore why some teams may have been more successful than others in accomplishing their activities and in increasing community capacity. Among the reasons discussed will be the experience, knowledge and motivation of CHT staff, and the availability of outside resources.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Community Building, Health Departments

Related Web page:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Alameda County Public Health Department Community Health Academy Partnership for the Public's Health
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Current employee of the Alameda County Public Health Department Former employee of the Community Health Academy and the Partnership for the Public's Health

Community-Based Public Health: Round Tables for Better Research and Practice

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA