172873 Bridging cultural and language boundaries to improve knowledge, access to services, and healthy behaviors among Latinos at risk for HIV infection: Lessons from a community-academic partnership

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Annie Michaelis , Department of Health Policy & Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Amy Huffman , Latino Outreach, Columbus AIDS Task Force, Columbus, OH
Fannie Fonseca-Becker, DrPH , Director, J&J Community HealthCare Scholars Program, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Background: The Columbus AIDS Task Force (CATF), a community-based organization that provides comprehensive care services, educational programs and HIV testing to underserved populations in central Ohio, launched its Latino Outreach Program in 2006 to address the needs of the growing Latino population, comprised of many recent immigrants whose primary language is Spanish. As part of this initiative, CATF and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, with funding support from the Johnson & Johnson Community Health Care Program, formed a community-academic partnership to evaluate the Latino Outreach Program. Methods: Using a hands-on, participatory approach, the community and academic partners designed the evaluation plan using a conceptual framework of program activities and intended outcomes. Based on this framework, the partners created measures for evaluating program implementation and effectiveness, and built a data management and reporting system using Epi Info software. Results: While language barriers, cultural norms, and the presence of misinformation and stigma surrounding HIV provide challenges to the implementation and evaluation of the Latino Outreach Program, these challenges have been met through culturally sensitive, confidential programming and creative, adaptive methods for tracking program success. After two years of collaboration, CATF has developed its in-house capacity to conduct evaluations, increasing its ability to make evidence-based decisions about program strategies. Conclusions: The synergy stemming from partnerships between community organizations and academic institutions aids in the construction of programs that bridge cultural divides in a respectful, client-centered manner while still allowing for thorough data collection that feeds into future evidence-based program improvements.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Identify 3 ways in which conceptual frameworks are valuable tools for program evaluation. 2) Discuss challenges stemming from cultural and language barriers and possible solutions. 3) Describe how a community-academic partnership can benefit both organizations and academic partners.

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was integrally involved in the research presented in the abstract and I have no conflicts of interest.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.