200836 Using objective methodology to engage African-American community partners in community-academic research

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 1:00 PM

Gina Curry, BS , ARCC/Northwestern University, Community-Campus Coordinator, Chicago, IL
Janine Lewis, MPH , Westside Health Authority, Chicago, IL
Knesha Rose, MPH , Office of Community Health, Healthcare Consortium of Illinois, Dolton, IL
Geraldine Peacock, RN , Health Professionals Ministry, Apostolic Faith Church, Chicago, IL
Virginia Bishop, MD, MPH , Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
African American (AA) communities often experience disparate health outcomes. In line with community-based participatory research principles, the voice and presence of these communities in research on community health issues that impact them is mandatory. This presentation will address how one community-academic research partnership sought to address this issue and develop long term collaborations and relationships with Chicagoland AA Communities. The mission of the Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities (ARCC) is to grow equitable and collaborative partnerships between Chicago area communities and Northwestern University (NU) for research that leads to measureable improvements in community health. ARCC is governed by a steering committee (SC) comprised of community-based organizations and NU faculty and staff. The initial steering committee was invited to participate based on existing NU relationships, creating a gap in community representation, most notably Chicagoland AA communities. To become more inclusive of the diversity in Chicagoland neighborhoods, NU staff embarked on a nine month process of AA community outreach using focused interviews and focus group methodologies in an effort to garner AA perspectives and recommendations on engaging communities in community-academic research partnerships. Feedback from the AA communities was compiled, analyzed and reported to the existing SC. Based on this report, the SC collaboratively developed an objective protocol for seeking new member applicants. ARCC original SC members, new SC members and staff that participated in the process will share the successes, strategies for addressing challenges, lessons learned, anticipated future practices and the overall impact of this effort.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the background of how a gap in community representation emerged and the attempts to resolve the issue. Discuss what worked, what did not and the impact this process had on the existing body, as well as on the new African-American members. Assess the feasibility of duplicating the process with other groups.

Keywords: African American, Community Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the primary person involved in every aspect of this project.
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.