201691 UP for the MARCH! Building a Senior Citizen Community Engagement Board: Penn MARCH Minority Aging Research for Community Health

Monday, November 9, 2009: 8:30 AM

Jennine Groce-Martin , School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
John T. Groce, PhD , MALE (Maturing Africans Learning from Each Other), Philadelphia, PA
Julie James , Older Adult Sunshine Center, Philadelphia, PA
Frances Walker , PARCC, Philadelphia, PA
Jerry C. Johnson, MD , School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
To build trust and involve elders in the community in a research center, community engagement board members must become an integral part of the decision-making of the center. This paper describes the process and lessons learned in establishing a research center, community engagement board. Within the past year, Penn MARCH (Minority Aging Research for Community Health) has successfully established an academic community research board, “Up for the March”- comprising representatives of organizations with significant experience in serving older adults. The board has identified health priorities and concerns specific to minority aging; provided oversight for activities designed by the center; planned and dissemination efforts, and offered investigators assistance with recruitment and retention. First, an informed member of the Center with significant knowledge of senior services in the Community identified potential board members. Second, members were given an orientation package that expressed the overall goal of the Center and its potential to benefit seniors. Strict roles and expectations of board members were established and a modest remuneration for their time was established. Since its inception, members of Up for the MARCH have assisted in the planning and coordination of two community health education forums for seniors, assisted in planning and writing an NIH P30 Center, and established a review mechanism for individual investigator initiativesThe success is based upon committed leadership of respected community representatives, experience and expertise with health issues of seniors, and a preexisting relationship and trust among members, and the development of activities giving members a meaningful role.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the process of starting, establishing and maintaining a coalition with grass roots organizations who are interested in reducing health disparities and improving the health of minority older adults. Identify the key challenges in increasing minority elders in research Explain the structure of a community engagement board that utilizes collaborative decision making among stakeholders who have a fundamental role in the research process Explain programs and activities used to improve the health of the community

Keywords: Aging, Community Health Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved in all aspects of the design, implementation and coordination of the Penn MARCH, Community Engagement Core entitled Up of the MARCH.
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.