182373 Fostering community involvement and utilizing technology to create a successful program: The VB/I-70 Community Health Worker model

Monday, October 27, 2008

Elizabeth Schiffman, MA , Department of Environmental Health, City and County of Denver, Denver, CO
Jason Salas , Environmental Health, City and County of Denver, Denver, CO
Unique in many respects, the VB/I-70 Community Health Program (CHP) is a first in that it incorporates the community health worker (CHW) model with traditional superfund remediation strategies. As an environmental justice site, community involvement and input in the process was a primary goal, and this combination helped to foster communication and ensure effective education of the site's residents on the dangers of lead poisoning from multiple sources. The program utilized 10-12 CHWs collecting behavior data and demographic information and providing educational materials. The site included 4800 properties, with 5000+ residences. Originally slated as a three-year project, a fourth year was funded to further our efforts in the community and create a more sustainable impact. A program manual, detailing the planning, execution, and evaluation phases of the project, lessons learned, and strategies for implementing this model in a universal setting is under construction. This manual details the program's unique aspects, including the use of PDAs for data collection to increase efficiency and limit paperwork, a Microsoft Access database to store, manage, and analyze field data, GIS mapping technology to gauge progress and focus field work, methods to increase community buy-in and involvement in a project, and details of our collaborative efforts with other city agencies and non-profit partners. The CHP offers important insights and practical advice on the collection and management of field and evaluation data, increasing and maintaining effective community participation, as well as creating a program that leaves a sustainable and long-term impact in the community.

Learning Objectives:
- Realize the potential of GIS mapping, PDAs, and other technologies to help streamline processes. - Discuss effective strategies to create community buy-in and promote involvement. - Develop/create a plan to ensure effective and sustainable program impacts. - Identify elements of the CHP that can be applied in other programs.

Keywords: Community Health Promoters, Community Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked with this program for two years and am currently the Program Coordinator.
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.