186343 Community and Academic Partnership: Experience from the Rural Community of the Project CHOICE

Monday, October 27, 2008: 1:00 PM

Selina Rahman, MBBS, PhD, MPH , Center for Environmental Equity and Justice, Environmental Sciences Institute, Florida A & M University, Tallahassee, FL
Richard D. Gragg, PhD , Environmental Sciences Institute, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL
Cynthia H. Harris, PhD , Dean, School of Allied Health Sciences, Florida A & M University, Tallahassee, FL
Cynthia Harris, PhD, DABT , Institute of Public Health, Florida A & M University, Tallahassee, FL
Angela Burgess , Environmental Science Institure, Florida A & M University, Quincy, FL
Saleh M. M. Rahman, MD, PhD, MPH , Institute of Public Health, Florida A & M University, Tallahassee, FL
The Center for Healthy Options and Innovative Community Empowerment (CHOICE) is a collaborative partnership between, Florida A&M University, Harvard School of Public Health and a rural community of Gadsden County, Florida. This partnership aims to develop and implement strategies for determining the causes of and eliminating health disparities in rural community members. We accomplish these goals by creating community-university partnerships that conduct community-based participatory research, disease prevention, training, and education, foster coalition building among stakeholders that leads to social transformation to improve the health, welfare, and quality of life of community members.

CHOICE has established group membership with sense of belonging, fair participation and open communications by creating group norms of collaborative works. By sharing power in decision making, empowering community for priority setting the project has created productive and mutually trustworthy partnership relationship. An evaluation plan and feedback mechanism was established to identify area of conflict, mechanism of conflict resolution, strengths and weaknesses and to adopt specific strategies for working in diverse partnership.

Administrative, Community Outreach and Information Dissemination, Training, and Research cores and their interactions among and between the universities and the respective communities have been enhanced through Gadsden Community Health Council. The CHOICE partnership has challenged FAMU faculty, researchers and students through applied health disparities research opportunities by exposing limitations and generating creative solutions towards cultural competence and community based practice. To evaluate this partnership we considered Tuchman's model on stages in decision making such as forming, storming, norming and performing.

Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate community and academic partnerships in community-based research 2. Enhance understanding of problems in developing sustainable partnership and possible solutions 3.Identify the barriers and accelerating factors in partnership development and utilize lessons learnt

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Community Building

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Published several reports, presented several articles on this study. I am currently working as the research coordinator of Project CHOICE.
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.