199857 Developing the infrastructure for community based participatory research through coalition building in a suburban environment: Shedding light on invisible populations

Monday, November 9, 2009

Melody S. Goodman, PhD , Graduate Program in Public Health/ Department of Preventive Medicine, Stony Brook University -School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY
Jewel D. Stafford, MSW , Graduate Program in Public Health/ Department of Preventive Medicine, Center for Public Health and Health Policy Research, Stony Brook, NY
Priscilla Barnes, MPH, CHES , College of Health and Human Services, Western Michigan University, Eagle River, AR
Residential segregation has been established as one of the many causes of the disparities in health between whites and blacks. Minority communities in the residentially segregated suburb of Suffolk County, NY have continued to experience a disproportionate burden of poor health outcomes (Erase Racism). The Center for Public Health and Health Policy Research (CPHHPR) developed the Suffolk County Minority Health Action Coalition (SMHAC) through a community driven process that informs decision-making, produces evidence-based initiatives, and responds to the unique public health challenges facing its region. SMHAC is a network of action oriented community members, key leaders and health professionals with the mission to improve health outcomes, and reduce health disparities in Suffolk County. To this end, SMHAC has utilized the power of partnerships as a vehicle to develop the infrastructure for community based participatory research, empower communities of color to become agents of social change and harness synergy among diverse community stakeholders including public and private entities. This community partnered approach has increased awareness about health inequities that exist in our region and shed light on the needs of invisible populations, including undocumented residents, the working poor and Native Americans. There are “no cookbook solutions” to engaging community members; each community is unique in needs and resources. It was necessary to develop a flexible framework that would set boundaries while allowing coalition members to provide content and direction. This framework and its guiding principles are not specific to Suffolk County and may be generalizable to communities across the country.

Learning Objectives:
Describe a multifaceted approach that engages communities to address identified concerns and develop culturally appropriate solutions to improve minority health outcomes Discuss how the power of partnerships can be used as a vehicle to increase social capital and empower communities of color Explain how to utilize coalition building as the infrastructure for community based participatory research

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Community-Based Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Melody S. Goodman, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Preventative Medicine and Associate Director for Graduate Program in Public Health (GPPH). She is also the Director for the Center for Public Health and Health Policy Research (CPHHPR) at Stony Brook University. In her capacity as Director, she provides guidance and leadership to Suffolk County Minority Health Action Coalition in Suffolk County. Dr. Goodman and her research team host community forums known as Mini-Summits on minority health, locate and apply for funding sources with their coalition to sustain community based efforts, and works directly with minority communities in Suffolk County to improve health outcomes through research and education. Dr. Goodman received her PhD in Biostatistics from Harvard University with minors in theoretical statistics and the social determinants of health disparities, and has experience working with minority and underserved communities. She is collaborating with the National Human Genome Research Institute to analyze patterns of beliefs about the genetic causation of health conditions and disease outcomes among health center patients. She also serves as a biostatistical consultant for the Center for Community-Based Research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
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.