203222 Walking the walk: Using a community participatory approach to health education (The Philadelphia Ujima experience)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 2:50 PM

Candace Robertson-James, MPH , Women's Health Education Program, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Ana Nunez, MD , Women's Health Education Program, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Serita Reels, MPH , Women's Health Education Program, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Kim U. Kahng, MD , Women's Health Education Program, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
The Advancing System Improvements to Support Targets for Healthy People 2010 (ASIST- 2010) grant program was introduced to improve the health of vulnerable populations, using Healthy People 2010 objectives, in the areas of health care access, heart health, diabetes prevention and control, fitness / obesity and cancer screening. The Drexel University College of Medicine Philadelphia Ujima project (an ASIST 2010 funded program) utilizes a community participatory framework and lay health worker approach to address target areas in underserved communities. Evidence based curricula and gender focused approaches form the foundation of interactive interventions. Methods: Twenty eight lay health workers (LHWs) were recruited by four community partner sites. LHWs participated in a 20 hour training on program objective areas. Baseline and follow up assessments were implemented. Results: Interactive tailored programming has shown improvements in knowledge, awareness of objectives and an increase in health behaviors such as routine care and health screenings. All LHWs expanded the reach of programs and messages beyond participants to their families, friends, peer networks, members of their community sites represented as well as other organizations they are affiliated with. Lay health workers also identified four key roles to play as they completed the training and prepared to return to positively influence their community sites. Conclusions/ Lessons Learned Effective community/academic partnerships using community participatory approaches with lay health workers embedding principles of cultural humility can aid in improving health behaviors. Lessons learned will be used to develop a replicable model of advocacy to promote health of communities.

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe a community participatory network utilizing a lay health worker approach to promote self advocacy, health behaviors and practices 2) Identify key roles lay health workers can play within community organizations to promote health and behavior change within sites.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the project director and have been intimately involved with project. I also have experience implementing other health education and community participatory projects
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.