204604 Formulating an evaluation and data-collection plan for the Baltimore Cardiovascular Health Disparities Initiative

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sushila Murthy, MPH, MD candidate , The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Shannon Cosgrove, MHA , Healthier Communities Initiative, YMCA of the USA, Washington, DC
Caroline Fichtenberg, PhD , Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
The Baltimore City Health Department is proposing an Initiative to address cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the city's leading cause of death, the leading cause of a 6-year gap in life expectancy between the City and the state of Maryland, and the top reason for a 20-year range in life expectancy among neighborhoods within the city itself. The Initiative, to be launched July 2009, aims to bring successful community-based public health programs to scale citywide, translating research into practice and distributing resources to communities in need.

The Cardiovascular Health Disparities Initiative includes five evidence-based components, each intended for populations that bear unequal burdens of cardiovascular disease: (1) health education through faith institutions for women over 40, (2) disease management by community health workers for underserved patients with known disease, (3) blood pressure screening and referral in barbershops for at-risk men, particularly African American men, (4) Salt Task Force, (5) tobacco control.

Each component requires careful data-collection and evaluation to assess overall program success and target improvement efforts. This paper will focus on evaluation of the first three components. Challenges include those of translating research into practice, namely having limited resources to increase the scale of interventions and subsequent data-collection. Additional considerations include choosing indicators to compare with State and national data and collaborating with community-based organizations to determine how evaluation tasks fall within their organizational capacity. This evaluation scheme seeks to make the Initiative sustainable and serve as an example for other large community-based programs aimed at reducing disparities.

Learning Objectives:
Identify evaluation and data-collection methods to be used by large community-health programs aimed at reducing disparities.

Keywords: Community Health Programs, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a student of public health and have been interning at the Baltimore City Health Department, working on part its Cardiovascular Health Disparities initiative.
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.