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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Without Struggle There is no Progress: A Participatory Evaluation of Dismantling Racism within a Public Health Department

Derek M. Griffith, PhD1, Erica L. Childs, BA1, Vanessa Jeffries, MEd2, and Eugenia Eng, DrPH3. (1) Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 319C Rosenau Hall, CB #7440, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7440, 919/966.8650, derek_griffith@unc.edu, (2) Chatham County Health Department, PO Box 130, Pittsboro, NC 27312, (3) Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Rosenau Hall - Campus Box 7440, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7400

A number of reports and articles have demonstrated that clients of color receive inferior care once they enter the healthcare system; however, these efforts have not examined the social, organizational and working environment to determine how racism functions within a specific healthcare system. A Southern county public health department decided to examine healthcare disparities in their services, though convincing staff that building an anti-racist organization is central to the health departmentís mission of promoting the health of all county residents has proven challenging. Also, helping staff to move beyond defining racism as individual prejudices and discrimination to understanding the larger institutional and systemic components has been and remains a struggle. The public health department began an intervention designed to develop a common language and a common analysis for understanding how racism manifests in organizations, but they needed a system for measuring the effectiveness of their efforts. This presentation describes three aspects of the dismantling racism evaluation: (1) the history of the public health department and its efforts to serve clients of color; (2) the institutional and structural barriers and facilitators of the dismantling racism process and evaluation; and (3) the methodological and practical challenges of using a participatory action research approach to develop tools to understand how racism functions within a county public health system. People who attend this session will learn how we navigated these obstacles, what role staff and community members played in the evaluation process, and our recommendations for evaluating and addressing racism in a health service organization.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Health Disparities, Health Activism

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

Community Research Forum

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