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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: Stories of Injustice, Neglect and Hope from 31 Rural Black Communities in Southeast Missouri

Laverne M. Carter, PhD, MPH, MA1, Margaret Grayson, Board Chair2, Melicia Whitt, PhD3, and William Johnson, Board Vice Chair2. (1) Managing Principal, The Carter Consultancy, Inc., 6007 Old Stratford Court, Alexandria, VA 22315, (2) The Southeast Missouri Community Partners for Progress, 319 W. North Street, Sikeston, MO 63801, (573) 471-9466, semcpp@sbcglobal.net, (3) Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Medical Center Boulevard, Wake Forest, NC 27157

The third largest concentration of Blacks in Missouri is located in the Southeastern area of the state in a geographic region that has come to be known as “The Bootheel”. The area, which is characterized by the shape of the heel of a boot, consists of six counties. Approximately 18,000 Black residents are dispersed through out 31 communities within the counties. In 2000, a group of residents made a bold decision to create a community-based organization to mobilize residents and develop solutions to the growing health problems and injustices. The Southeast Missouri Community Partners for Progress, Inc. (The Partnership) is an organization created by and for Black residents in the Bootheel. Since its inception, the organization has conducted more than 40 community-based focus groups. Black residents have repeatedly provided stories of “low-to-no” access to health care, neglected environmental conditions that have led to major health problems and death, discrimination in service delivery, increasing incidence of chronic diseases in those under the age of 35, and a failure of designated funds to reach the 31 Black communities that are most in need.

Armed with evidence, program and policy ideas and support from external researchers, The Partnership has engaged in a movement to create broader choices for improved health for the Black residents of southeast Missouri. This session will provide conference participants with information on the critical needs and challenges faced by rural black communities and a model for implementing community driven health program and policy initiatives.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: African American, Community Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
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.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Stop! You are Making Me Sick! Improving Public Health through Political and Social Change

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA