157016 Participatory communication, community health, and social change - The story of a Community Health Workers Initiative in Miami

Monday, November 5, 2007

Mikele Aboitiz-Earle , Covian Consulting, Inc, Miami Beach, FL
Maritza Concha, MA , Covian Consulting, Orlando, FL
Maria Elena Villar, MPH , School of Communication, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
We present a case study that illustrates how participatory communication led to the success of an initiative to support community health workers. Active participation at the community level is a process that enables groups to maximize their potential and progress from individual action to collective social and political change (Israel, Checkwa, Schultz, & Zimmerman, 1994). The case study describes how participatory communication is exercised in a community partnership in Miami, FL to support community health workers (CHW) in their role as agents of social change.

Active participation will be discussed within the context of (1) communication among members of the partnership, (2) the partnership as an opportunity for learning and exchange of ideas, (3) the partnership as a tool for influence, and (4) the impact of the partnership on the role of CHWs in Miami-Dade County. This presentation will also highlight the importance of ongoing evaluation in the areas of communication and partnership to meet health needs and achieve social change.

Learning Objectives:
- To increase knowledge on participatory communication - To show the importance of ongoing evaluation in the areas of communication and partnership - To demonstrate the impact of community health workers as agents of social change

Keywords: Communication, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.