198160 Building a Neighborhood Wellness Center: A community needs assessment in North Philadelpphia

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

James Plumb, MD, MPH , Family and Community Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Rickie O. Brawer, PhD, MPH , Office to Advance Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
Brian Wallin, MPH, MS II , Office to Advance Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
A 2006 health assessment of individuals in Lower North Philadelphia found “the overall health of adults and children in zip codes 19121 and 19132 is significantly poorer than that of adults and children in Philadelphia as a whole.” To address these findings, Project Home, a non-profit organization addressing the continuum of homeless services plans on building a neighborhood “Wellness Center” to address the higher rates of poor health status in these zip codes. The Center for Urban Health at Thomas Jefferson University assisted Project Home to conduct a “community needs assessment” to identify preferences for, and barriers to, accessing services, in the proposed Wellness Center. This assessment included an anonymous survey to adults at sites in North Philadelphia, and five focus group sessions for adults. Summary statistics from the survey, and common themes from the focus groups, are being used by Project HOME in the planning for the Wellness Center. Key findings include that the proposed Wellness Center should be place: 1) where an individual can not only be taken care of, but inspires volunteerism for people of all ages where a person's skills can be used for the benefit of others; 2) where the community can go to receive information on how to connect to various associations in the area; 3) that has ties to local institutions in the community; 4) that provides opportunities for employment on the premise, especially for the youth

For the Wellness Center to be effective it must: foster connectivity, and build social capital.

Learning Objectives:
Participants in this session will: 1) Understand the components of an effective Academic-Community partnership 2) Describe a multimodal community assessment process 3) Learn the themes expressed by the community for wellness services

Keywords: Wellness, Community Building

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: For the past 16, I have been involved in providing primary care and educational services in collaboation with Project HOME, an NGO focusing on the continuum of homeless services and homeless prevention through comprhensive community development
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.