201637 Against All Odds: Developing Our Community Roadmap to Health

Monday, November 9, 2009: 1:30 PM

Suzette Harris, MPH , Jefferson County Department of Health, Birmingham, AL
Clarice Davis, MPH , Jefferson County Department of Health, Birmingham, AL
Julie Cobb, RN , Jefferson County Department of Health, Birmingham, AL
Allison Taylor, MPH , School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Devon Taylor, MPH , Jefferson County Department of Health, Birmingham, AL
Alabama's most populous county falls under the jurisdiction of a single local health department; however, it is divided into twelve school systems and over thirty cities, each with their own political interests. Against these odds, in 2005, organizations from Jefferson County gathered to start a new initiative: Health Action: It Takes Community. With the Jefferson County Department of Health at the helm and sixty local organizations participating, the Health Action Partnership followed a national model to improve the health of county residents. Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP), a community-driven strategic planning tool for improving community health, was realized through four separate assessments: twenty-two focus group sessions; recent community health data; a meeting of 100 local leaders evaluating the county public health system against national standards; and the determination of trends, events, and factors that impact the health of the community. These assessments identified four strategic issues encompassing a variety of community themes and public health system concerns: encouraging healthy lifestyles, developing livable communities, affecting public policy and assuring access to care. The Health Action process demonstrates how to conduct community health assessment through community partners and employing MAPP. Now in its third year of a formal collaborative agreement among local agencies and organizations, the Health Action Partnership can serve as an example to assist other communities in designing similar processes to improve the entire local public health system.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe assessment methods for engaging a large county with numerous communities. 2. Explain types of “success” and ways to build momentum around them. 3. Differentiate positive and negative processes when engaging partners in the MAPP model.

Keywords: Assessments, System Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the lead organizer of the Health Action Partnership of Jefferson County, Alabama described in the abstract for the past five years. My MPH is in Health Behavior and Health Education from UNC-Chapel Hill where we conducted Action-Oriented Community Diagnosis similar to the process used in materials being presented.
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.