185424 Creating a public health policy pipeline in communities with racial/ethnic health disparities: The South LA Community Health Leadership & Training Program

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 9:30 AM

Nancy Watson, MSW , Community Health Councils, Los Angeles, CA
The Community Health Leadership & Training Program, a project of three community-based organizations in South LA, was developed to prepare individuals from South LA to assume organizational leadership positions and represent the community in various health policy and decision-making roles. The program piloted in 2006 and a second class was in 2007. The partners developed and delivered 3-unit and 1-unit health leadership training courses at Los Angeles Trade Tech College. The program which graduated 60 students was successful in orienting participants to the broad spectrum of issues, strategies, and skills needed to reduce health disparities in South LA. Participants were primarily African American and Latino residents and staff of local community organizations. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected through surveys administered at the end of each class, observation, and follow-up interviews with participants/organizers. Participants said there was a rich exchange between the different races/ethnic groups and that the cultural relationship building was one of the major successes. Overall, students highly praised the program and it was successful in linking individuals to policy advocacy and organizing efforts during the program. 54% of Year 1 graduates participated in one or more policy activity such as county board meeting testimony and precinct walking. Initial follow-up results demonstrated that participants had begun to apply some of the skills and knowledge obtained from the program, but it could have gone further with helping participants apply their new skills in the real world. The second year curriculum was modified to address these needs. A follow-up forum for both years' graduates was convened for networking and skills building and the three training partners actively recruited graduates for policy activities led by each organization including a health coalition. The project also partnered with the community college to articulate the program within a health policy career-track, certificate program statewide.

Learning Objectives:
1. Articulate three components of an effective community health leadership training curriculum that increases the policy advocacy capacity of residents and public health professionals to address health disparities. 2. Identify at least two ways to increase participation of diverse individuals in a community health leadership program.

Keywords: Leadership, Public Health Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved in planning and implementing community-based public health leadership programs for 7 years. I have 7 years experience conducting public policy advocacy and for 3 years developed training/technical assistance to health agencies.
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.