184558 Campaigning for healthcare: When one size doesn't fit all

Monday, October 27, 2008

Diandra N. Ayala , Class of 2010, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Elizabeth N. Strachan , Class of 2010, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC

For the last eight years, students at WFUSM have organized a free health fair. In reviewing demographics from past fairs, students identified disparities between the fair participants and city demographics. A minority focus group was created to investigate possible social barriers influencing attendance and to assess the specific needs of the community.


Although Spanish-language advertising materials were used in previous years, they had limited impact on Latino participation. The minority focus group contacted local community leaders, churches, and teachers to evaluate past advertising techniques and investigate more effective strategies for encouraging all community members to attend. After assessing the specific needs and concerns of the Latino community, advertising was focused on radio and Spanish language flyer distribution within schools, churches, and door-to-door delivery in local communities.


2007 health fair figures tallied 117 Latino in attendance; 2008 results showed a 167.5% increase in this demographic. When participants were asked how they learned about the health fair, the majority cited newspaper advertisements. In contrast, participants identifying themselves as Latino, identified radio advertisements (20%), flyers (33%), and word of mouth (19%) more frequently.


One of the goals of this year's health fair was to promote knowledge of the fair and increase involvement within the Latino community. The increased Latino participation in this year's fair demonstrates that responding to cultural differences is a successful method of reaching target populations within this demographic. These efforts contributed to the overall goal of allowing the entire community to benefit from a free health fair.

Learning Objectives:
Connect with local community leaders. Identify important barriers to community participation. Assess the health care needs of the local Latino community. Evaluate the most effective methods of outreach.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Presenter does not have any prior research experience, books/articles, or prior program exerience related to this topic.
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.