181124 Creating a community-driven policy advocacy infrastructure to address ethnic health disparities

Monday, October 27, 2008: 9:00 AM

V. Diane Woods, DrPH, MSN , Psychology Department/African American Health Institute SBC, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA
Katie Greene, JD, CRNP , Health Policy Analyst, African American Health Institute of San Bernardino County, San Bernardino, CA
For Americans of African ancestry, health disparate outcomes continue to reflect disproportionately higher mortality across all preventable health conditions. In San Bernardino County, California, the average age of death for the Black population is 59 years. Disparate health outcomes identified by the affected population in a major countywide health planning project indicated complex factors negatively affected Black health. One major factor was a lack of “political will” and significant investment by the County Supervisors to aggressively address health issues of local residents. To bring about environmental structural changes, a community-driven infrastructure was developed to address policy issues that affect the Black population. Current policies needed to be analyzed to determine the effect on Black health and their communities. A health policy analyst was hired to create appropriate public health policy language, to monitor policy effect and outcomes. Additionally, relationships with key community stakeholders, policy-makers, and health industry leaders were created to develop a local infrastructure to address health disparities. State elected officials in the California Legislative Black Caucus and the California Department of Health Office of Multicultural Health, as well as the local ethnic medical society, were included in the local infrastructure to garner leverage for advocacy. This paper will discuss the community-driven health policy advocacy infrastructure and training, advocacy strategies implemented by a local coalition of African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans to ensure medical and allied health education for ethnic minorities, and policy analysis of the Governor's proposed health reform package on the Black community.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this session, participants will be able to: 1. List at least three strategies to bring about community structural changes to positively impact Black health outcomes. 2. Name five core components of a community-driven policy advocacy infrastructure 3. Understand how to conduct effective community advocacy training among Black Americans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The African American Health Institute of San Bernardino County was created as a direct result of my community-based participatory research. Educating and training community stakeholders in policy advocacy was one of the expressed needs documented during our major health planning project among the African American population. Additionally, public health policy and social research was my cognate for my doctoral studies.
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.