201541 Facilitating health equity conversations: A health advocacy tool

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

C. Linn Gould, MS, MPH , Just Health Action, Seattle, WA
Elizabeth Mogford, PhD, MPH , Sociology, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA
Just Health Action (JHA), a non profit organization based in Seattle, Washington has developed an exciting alternative health education curriculum that teaches students to take action on the root causes of health inequities. Moving beyond educating about individual behavior change, this approach provides students tools to advocate for reducing health disparities that result from social, political, economic, and cultural factors (the social determinants of health). Importantly, we not only teach about the “upstream” causes of health disparities, we teach tools to promote “upstream” solutions. One of JHA's most successful advocacy tools has been to teach students facilitation skills so that they can facilitate health equity conversations with their classmates, family, friends, and community. JHA teaches a facilitation technique called the “ORID facilitation method” developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs. We practice the technique using “Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?”, a PBS documentary series that explores the evidence of more powerful determinants than medical care, lifestyles, and genes: the societal conditions in which we are born, live, and work. The series examines health inequities in specific population groups who are affected by discrimination, unemployment, education, immigration, socioeconomic status, globalization, etc. This poster explains: 1. JHA's health education framework for teaching the social determinants of health and advocacy skills; 2. Advocacy examples; 3. An evaluation of the “Unnatural Causes” documentary series as a tool to facilitate health equity conversations.

Learning Objectives:
1.Discuss the merits of facilitation as a health advocacy technique. 2.Discuss the pros and cons of using the “Unnatural Causes” documentary series as a tool for educating students about the social determinants of health.

Keywords: Health Advocacy, Health Education Strategies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Linn Gould, MS, MPH is the Managing Director of Just Health Action, a non-profit organization in Seattle, Washington that develops curriculum for and teaches workshops on the social determinants of health. Specifically, Just Health Action advocates for reducing health inequities that result from social, political and economic factors. JHA facilitates discussion and consensus around health inequities and the social determinants of health and teaches individuals and communities tools to take action on these root causes. Examples of our work can be found on JHA's website at www.justhealthaction.org.
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.