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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3072.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - Board 10

Abstract #113024

Community health advisors mobilizing & empowering communities through Innovative capacity building research-based approaches

Sokoya Finch1, Ferman Richardson, BS2, Roderick Palmer, BS2, and Roland Smart, BS3. (1) Project CHOICE, Florida A & M University, 4259 Bainbridge Highway, Quincy, FL 32353, (2) Project CHOICE, Florida A & M University, 4259 Bainbridge Highway, Quincy, FL 32353, 850-875-7862, sokoya@earthlink.net, (3) Project CHOICE, Harvard University, 841 Parker Street, Boston, MA 02120

Community based participatory research (CBPR) is a collaborative approach to research that facilitates innovative buy-in from research community to civic-leaders to senior citizens. CBPR, regarded as an alternative to traditional research, enhances the potential for community based research partnerships. Despite recent demands for CBPR initiatives, very few guidelines exist in determining how best to establish mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships between highly researched and distrusting communities and well-intentioned academic institutions. Community health workers (HAs) represent the bridge to successful community based research efforts, ensuring that all stakeholders are valued as equal partners. During this presentation, participants will be introduced to the Center for Healthy Options & Innovative Community Empowerment (CHOICE), a unique rural/urban partnership between Gadsden County, Florida and Roxbury Massachusetts. The workshop will examine strategies used to maximize the role and voice of trained HAs. Capacity building through assessment, training, knowledge and “sense of community” will be introduced as a methodology to improve buy-in and accountability among all stakeholders. Historically, engaging poor and underserved communities of color in ongoing research efforts has proven to be challenging by traditional standards. CHOICE has designed and is successfully implementing a process that assures the community's role as an equal stakeholder and partner in decision-making.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Health Disparities, Minority Research

Related Web page: www.projectchoice.org

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

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The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA