201508 Small Group Discussion -- Collaborating to Reduce Black Infant Mortality

Saturday, November 7, 2009: 2:40 PM

Tracy Sbrocco, PhD , Center for Health Disparities, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Initiated in 1999, the African American Health Program (AAHP) of Montgomery County Maryland addresses health disparities for African Americans in one of the wealthiest counties in the United States. Funded by the County's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and administered by a non-profit contractor, its mission is to eliminate health disparities and improve the length and quality of life for African Americans in the County. Black Babies S.M.I.L.E. (Start More Infants Living Equally healthy), AAHP's best practice nurse home visiting/case management model, provides services to high risk African American pregnant women and neonates. As caseloads increased, the need for a data management system was apparent. With limited funding and staff expertise, AAHP collaborated with the newly created Center for Health Disparities of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) to design the system. Additional resources were needed to provide the computer programming for an efficient and user friendly format the staff could use as both a client record and for data analysis and reporting. Westat, a nationally known corporation with headquarters in the County, had been selected to provide an evaluation plan and services and worked with AAHP and USUHS to convert the tool to an ACCESS system. This collaboration between County government, a non-profit community based organization, an academic institution and a private corporation has been a model of cooperation and efficiency in promoting research and addressing the issue of health disparities. It has resulted in program evaluation, required to secure further resources and grow the BBS program as well as a sophisticated and valuable assessment tool to conduct ongoing evaluation for this project and others for the AAHP.

Stages and/or steps the partnership has taken towards moving to policy changes in your community (local, state, etc.)

1. Data from the first evaluation were published and have been used to guide program development for the nurse case management program.

2. Positive outcomes led to the program being recognized within the county government and funding for the program was increased.

3. The utility of the program evaluation model has been extended to other county programs, which are ongoing.

Lessons Learned:

1. There are important, existing programs that may benefit from evaluation. The benefits include sustainability for programs with positive outcomes.

2. Partnerships must be malleable and modifiable over time in order to meet new needs as the project continues.

3. Data analysis is powerful when conducted in context with the community delivering the program.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss CBPR principles in conducting research with local departments of health; 2. Evaluate policy scans so that identified policies overlap with community needs 3. Discuss how participatory analytic strategies can be used to translate CBPR related work into policy recommendations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over a decade experience conducting CBPR. I also am the Director of Graduate Studies and have lectured to academic and professional audiences for over 15 years. I have been the PI for an RO1 and currently the Director of research for our University's P20.
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.